Children of the Camps: The Documentary
by Satsuki Ina
A powerful, thought-provoking video perfect for use in cultural competency and awareness classes. We are sure it will provide you and your students a deeper understanding of the impact of racism, and discussions that travel far outside the classroom.
Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. It led to the mass evacuation and incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry… more than half were children.

The impact of the World War II internment on Japanese Americans still lingers in the form of humiliation, anger, shame, regret and abandonment. This program provides a rare glimpse into the very private lives of a few of these Japanese Americans who have not previously talked openly about the trauma of their internment experience. Satsuki Ina, a psychologist and former internee, leads a three-day intensive group therapy where the participants give words to their childhood trauma and mirror each other’s experiences. In so doing, the group members allow themselves to feel and subsequently let go of the humiliation and shame they have been holding onto for many years.

This film is a powerful lesson in racism in the United States, and provides a group therapy model on how to help heal the wounds caused by institutionalized oppression. In light of the recent wars in the Middle East, this film is more important than ever, and is a must-see for anyone wanting to understand how intolerance, prejudice and racism deeply impact the lives of Americans.

What therapists are saying…

". . . The production values are excellent, the workshop participants and Dr. Ina are engaging, and the life experiences that are shared are compelling. . . . Children of the Camps is an outstanding effort and is highly recommended."

-- MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship

"This video's . . . compelling as survivors discuss painful memories, often clashing over their assessments of what it's like to live in a country they feel has rejected them. . . . At video's end, survivors liken themselves to the driftwood they find at the edge of the ocean; they have weathered the storms, and endured."

-- Video Librarian
"[Children of the Camps] is phenomenal and . . . very well done . . . [Dr. Ina] did honor to so many who have been wronged. She gave a voice to their grief and bravery.”

-- Lee Mun Wah, Director, The Color of Fear
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Educators will find this film rich with emotionally gripping accounts of the impact of war, fear, racism, and discrimination. Although the Japanese internment has largely faded from American consciousness, the emotional wounds of war and unjust imprisonment still reverberate through the Japanese-American community. 

By watching this video, you will:
  • Describe common experiences of Japanese-American children who were incarcerated in camps during World War II.
  • Explain how the trauma of childhood camp experiences may still affect the lives of Japanese-Americans today.
  • Apply culturally appropriate interventions to help adult survivors of childhood trauma heal and live their lives more fully in the present.

Length of video: 00:57:00

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream

This DVD plays in All Regions

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-201-8

Individual ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-201-3

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-202-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-202-0

Satsuki Ina is founder of the Family Study Center, a community agency dedicated to providing community counseling services and clinical training for therapists. In her practice she specializes in cross-cultural counseling, interracial marriages, transracial adoptions and diversity training for agencies and corporations. Dr. Ina is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Counselor Education at California State University, Sacramento.


CE credits: 6

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe common experiences of Japanese-American children who were incarcerated in camps during World War II.• Explain how the trauma of childhood camp experiences may still affect the lives of Japanese-Americans today.
  • Apply culturally appropriate interventions to help adult survivors of childhood trauma heal and live their lives more fully in the present.
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