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On View

Thank you to everyone who came out to experience Un-American. We were moved by your stories, thought, compassion and expression. It was our honor to bring this exhibit to the community and to meet former internees who came to see the story we were telling. The overwhelming response to the exhibit has us exploring ways to make it into a traveling exhibit to share in other communities. Thank you again for visiting us. We cannot wait to see you when the new Chandler Museum is open in late 2018. 

Chandler Museum LogoUn-American: Japanese Internment in our Backyard

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps. More than 16,000 individuals – women, men and children – were relocated to Gila River Internment Camp only a few miles away from Chandler, simply because they looked like the enemy.

Attendees to this exhibit in 2017, experienced the photos and stories of the people who were forced to leave behind almost everything they owned to live in stark conditions in the middle of the desert. 

View the exhibit card for Un-American

America in Times of Conflict Series
February 18, 2017 @ Downtown Chandler LibraryAmerica in Times of Conflict: Un-American

Dr. Richard Matsuishi from the Japanese American Citizens League introduces the topic of this talk on Japanese internment during World War II as well as its significance on the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066. 

Chandler Museum Director Jody Crago will discuss how Japanese immigrants came to America and why, and what led up to the Japanese internment camps of World War II. Go behind the barbed wire fences to understand the experiences of neighbors and friends who suddenly looked like the enemy to many Americans because of the war. 

Watch this video playlist of Dr. Matsuishi and Jody Crago

16,655 Paper Crane Project
Paper Crane Progress - Chandler Museum

As part of this exhibit, Chandler Museum led a community effort to make 16,655 origami cranes, each one representing one of the 16,655 individual (adults and children) who were incarcerated at the Gila River Internment Camp. 

The cranes, along with the names of the individuals, are on view at Chandler Museum during the run of the exhibit. Come see the strings of cranes on display around the museum. 

The crane, or orizuru, is believed to live for 1,000 years. In Japanese culture the crane has come to represent good fortune and longevity. There are myths of souls being carried to paradise by a crane. And if a person folds 1,000 cranes, there is a belief that their wish will come true. The origami crane has also become a symbol of hope and healing.

Watch our Museum Director fold his 1000th crane, shared on Facebook Live (February 17, 2017)

NEW! Watch our video to learn more about the project and how to fold a crane. 

Paper Crane Illustration


America in Times of Conflict Logo

This exhibit is complementary to America in Times of Conflict, a collaborative series with Chandler Public Library, Chandler Senior Center and Chandler Center for the Arts.