What were the experiences of Japanese American women during the World War II concentration camps? How did they keep hope alive for themselves, their families and community? Question 27, Question 28 uses real interviews and testimonials to tell their stories of hardship, determination and community. This presentation is an abridged version of the original, which has been shortened and edited for families.
Presented in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum.
Featuring Linda Igarashi, Yumi Iwama, Stephanie T. Keefer and Helen H. Ota
Stage Management by Risa Kurosaki
Question 27, Question 28 Program
Question 27, Question 28 Timeline and Japanese Glossary
“Artists at Play hosts free virtual plays showcasing Asian American resilience” from the Daily Bruin
Read the article, which includes interviews with Stefanie Lau and Chay Yew.
“Repeating the History” from the Los Angeles Times
Read about the origins of Question 27, Question 28 by Chay Yew.
Artist Mine Okubo
Question 27, Question 28 director Jully Lee chose to use artwork by Mine Okubo in between scenes of the online performance. Okubo was relocated to Tanforan Assembly Center and then imprisoned at Topaz War Relocation Center from 1942 to 1944. There she made more than 2,000 drawings and sketches of daily life in the camps. After her release, Okubo studied art and continued her career as a painter
Mine Okubo Collection at the Japanese American National Museum
Mino Okubo biography
“The ‘No-Nos’ of Tule Lake from the Los Angeles Times
The play title, Question 27, Question 28 refers to two questions that incarcerated adults had to answer as a way for the government to assess their loyalty. Question 27 asked if they would serve in the military and Question 28 asked for unqualified allegiance to the United States. Those who answered “no” to both were deemed “disloyal” by the government and moved to Tule Lake, a high-security prison camp.
Read the collection on the Los Angeles Times website
“‘Her Name is Shizuko’ – A Mother’s Influence” from Library of Congress
Artists at Play’s promotional material for Question 27, Question 28 uses this photo from Dorothea Lange. For almost 80 years, the woman was unknown. She was recently identified as Shizuko Ina, and her daughter, Satsuki, shares her family’s experience with the WWII concentration camps and the iconic photo.
Question 27, Question 28 at the Aratani Theatre
Artists at Play and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center presented the full-length version of Question 27, Question 28 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Day of Remembrance. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the creation of military zones and the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans without due process. Directed by Alison De La Cruz, KPCC’s The Frame sat in and recorded a portion of the rehearsal.
WATCH ON FACEBOOK
Japanese American National Museum
Common Ground: The Heart of Community chronicles Japanese American history beginning in the late 1800s with Issei pioneers through the redress movement.
Timeline of Japanese American History
Exploring America’s Concentration Camps
Other Activities and Resources
Tales of Clamor by PULLproject Ensemble
Created by traci kato-kiriyama and Kennedy Kabasares, Tales of Clamor utilizes ensemble storytelling, circus arts and archival footage from the 1981 Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings to explore cultural and institutional silence in the redress movement for Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in WWII concentration camps. PULLproject Ensemble recently received a grant to continue development of the play, including a possible tour in 2022.
Tales of Clamor teaser
“Tales of Clamor Tells the Emotional Reckoning of Japanese-Americans After WWII” from NPR
- Recommended Reading List
- The Japanese American National Museum online store has many books available about the Japanese and Japanese American experience.
- We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
- They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
- Displacement by Kiku Hughes
- Citizen 13660 (paperback) by Mine Okubo
- Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppenheim
- Sylvia and Aki by Winifred Conkling
- Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi
- No-No Boy by John Okada
Artists at Play is exploring ways in which our work can enrich K-12 education, especially how our histories are situated within United States history. Recent events demonstrate that the stories and experiences of our diverse Asian American communities need to be learned and championed. Please email ArtistsAtPlayLA@gmail.com for more information.
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