Un-American: Japanese Internment in our Backyard
February 7 - Summer 2017
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.
Experience 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 Library
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
As part of this exhibit, Chandler Museum is leading 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, will be on view at Chandler Museum during the run of the exhibit.
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)
Learn more about how you can contribute to the Project.
NEW! Watch our video to learn more about the project and how to fold a crane.