Author:
Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Laura Ferri, Tamara Bunnell, Jerry Price
Subject:
U.S. History, World History, Political Science
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan, Primary Source
Level:
Middle School, High School
Tags:
  • Japanese American
  • Japanese American Internment
  • World War II
  • japanese-american
  • japanese-american-internment
  • wa-social-studies
  • world-war-ii
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Friends Across the Wires - Teacher Guide

    Friends Across the Wires - Teacher Guide

    Overview

    This is the teacher guide to accompany a viewing of Friends Across The Wires, an original play exploring the impact of the the Japanese-American Incarceration during WWII on a group of young people in Seattle. The guide offers background to the play as well as opportunities to engage with primary sources to learn about historical patterns of racism.

    Film, written and directed by Laura Ferri, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives license.
    Teacher guide, by Tamara Bunnell, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial license.

    Introduction

    All materials in this packet are designed to accompany a viewing of the original play Friends Across the Wires, written and directed by Laura Ferri, which explores the impact of the Japanese American incarceration on a group of young people in Seattle.

    This guide is divided into sections for ease of use and includes supplementary materials designed to offer background to the play as well as opportunities for deeper learning. The lessons, intended for middle and high school students, are designed with simplicity in mind so that individual teachers can adapt them to the ages and needs of their classes, as well as their individual teaching styles

    Friends Across the Wires | Seattle Historical Theater Project

     

    PREPARING STUDENTS FOR VIEWING

    This play is written to teach any audience about the Japanese American incarceration, so students need not have prior knowledge about it in order to appreciate and understand the material. That said, students may benefit from having general knowledge about World War II prior to viewing the play, including knowledge of the primary Axis and Allied nations and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

    The full play is just over 90 minutes, so teachers may wish to stop and start the film over the course of more than one class. There are labeled scene markers for this purpose. To access scenes directly, hover over the red and white dots to see the scene titles and time notations, then click on the spot where you wish to begin.

    An Important Note About Language

    As noted in the introduction to the video, there is harmful racial language in this play. This is a result of the fact that many lines in the play come directly from primary sources. It is also an accurate representation of the time. Students should be directed to understand that this terminology is no longer acceptable and that it should not be used today under any circumstances. We recommend reading this link from Densho before engaging with students on the topic:

    Throughout this packet, words to describe events of the time are used intentionally and according to current best practice. We refer to the Japanese American incarceration, for example, rather than the Japanese internment or relocation, and to forced removal rather than evacuation. For more information on why these and other terms are recommended, see Item 1 in the Supplementary Links section.

     

     

    Lesson 1: Shigesato Murao & the CWRIC Hearings

    Download Teacher Guide.pdf for copies of all reference documents

    Background

    Shigesato “Shig” Murao attended, and was a star basketball player for, Seattle’s Broadway High School. He was incarcerated at Minidoka and then joined the Army, eventually serving in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Shig eventually moved to Illinois, where, in 1981, he testified as part of the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings. The CWRIC was a group tasked by the United States Congress with examining the impact of Japanese American incarceration. The CWRIC ultimately concluded, in their 1982 report Justice Denied, that there was no justification for the incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII and that, in fact, it was driven by “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

    Activity

    1. Introduce students to the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings to explain the context of this lesson.
    2. Have students read Shigesato Murao’s testimony from the 1981 Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) hearing in Chicago on page 27 (the testimony begins on line 17).
    3. Through discussion or written reflection, ask students to consider the following questions:
    • How does Shig’s testimony align with scenes from the play?
    • What kind of racism did Shig experience during basketball games when he was a student at Broadway High School?
    • Can you think of any similar incidents in sports, either historical or contemporary, in which players were harassed because of their racial or other identities? How are those incidents similar to or different than what happened to Shig?
    • Shig describes feeling both love and hate after encountering a Chinese friend wearing an “I am Chinese” button. What could he mean by this?
    • What was Shig’s life like before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the passage of Executive Order 9066, and what was it like after?
    • Shig describes the dilemma of not knowing whether to go into the “white” or the “black” door. This was likely when he was in training after joining the Army. How is this similar to the bus incident described by Torao in the play?
    • Shig describes being approached by a Black man prior to his removal from Seattle, in which the man said he wished he could go wherever Shig was going. What does this tell you about racial dynamics in the United States at that time?
    • What is the overall point Shig made with his testimony? How did it feel to read about his experiences?
    • What impact do you think Shig’s testimony might have had on the CWRIC?
    • How do you imagine Shig might have felt in giving his testimony?

    Extension

    Some might hear the name Shig Murao and think of another Shig (Shigeyhoshi) Murao, who was a key figure in the “Howl” trial. Though the two Shigs are not the same person, they were, in fact, brothers. In the Howl incident, Shig (Shigeyoshi) Murao, manager of the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, was arrested and charged with obscenity for selling poet Allen Ginsberg’s poetry book Howl and Other Poems.

    The site below gives a detailed biography of Shigeyoshi, including his involvement with City Lights and the trial. It also addresses the fact that, though Shig was a key figure in the “Howl” trial, he is often not mentioned or included in the retelling of the story, such as in the 2010 film Howl. Those who wish to explore this story might engage students in a discussion of who tends to get erased from the stories of history.

    Shig Muro: The Enigmatic Soul of City Lights and the San Francisco Beat Scene | Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts:

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3
    Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    Washington State Social Studies Standards:

    C1.6-8.4 Evaluate efforts to reduce discrepancies between key ideals and reality in the United States

    C2.9-10.1 Explain how citizens and institutions address social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and international level.

    C4.11-12.3 Evaluate the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

    H1.9-10.1 Analyze change and continuity within a historical time period.

    H2.11-12.4 Analyze how cultural identity can promote unity and division.

    Lesson Two: Japanese American Seattle Schools Employees Resignation

    Download Teacher Guide.pdf for copies of documents referenced in activity.

    Background

    In Scene 5, we learn that Shig Murao’s older sister was forced to resign from her job with the Seattle School District. Her name was Mitsuko Murao, and she was one of a group of Japanese American women, all clerks and secretaries, who were the targets of a committee of mothers from Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle. The West Seattle group claimed the Japanese American women were a threat to the children of Seattle, and demanded they be fired. Before the school district could decide, the women collectively resigned, though under great pressure.

    The person who wrote and pushed them to sign their letter of resignation was James Sakamoto, an important figure in the Japanese American community. Sakamoto was the owner and editor of the highly successful Seattle newspaper, The Japanese American Courier, as well as a leader in the Japanese American Citizens League, a civic organization that cooperated with the United States government during incarceration. In a meeting he called in his office at the Courier, Sakamoto told the women that resigning was the “honorable” and “loyal” thing to do.

    The incident was covered in the local newspapers, and though hundreds of Seattleites signed the petition pushing for the removal of the Japanese American women, many others spoke out in their defense. Ultimately, the school board accepted the letter of resignation. In response to the resignations, Esther Sekor, the leader of the Gatewood group, was quoted in The Seattle Times as saying, “I think that’s very white of those girls. They have our appreciation and thanks.”

    In the 1980s, the Seattle School Board acknowledged the women had been unfairly treated and voted to give the women financial redress, which was ultimately approved by the Washington State Legislature.

    Activity

    1. Have students read this article written by Priscilla Long. for an overview of the story and the text of the resignation letter. Students may need some background on the concept of redress.

    Seattle School Board accepts the forced resignation of Japanese American teachers on February 27, 1942 | HistoryLink

    1. Have students read the February 25, 1942, Seattle Times article included in this lesson.
    2. Through discussion or written response, engage students with the following questions:
    • What do you think James Sakamoto’s motivation was in writing the resignation letter and asking the women to sign it? Why do you think he chose to become involved?
    • Were James Sakamoto’s actions right or wrong? Explain your answer.
    • Following the successful movement to have the women ousted from their positions, Esther Sekor, the group’s leader, was quoted as saying “I think that’s very white of those girls.”  What does this tell us about her views and perhaps the views of others at the time?
    • Can you think of any other times in history when people of a particular identity were asked or forced to give up their jobs? Explain.
    • Considering that many male Japanese American heads of household had been arrested and were still being held when the resignations occurred, why might losing one’s job be particularly harmful to a woman of Japanese descent at that time?
    • Roughly 40 years after the event, the Seattle School Board and the Washington State Legislature acknowledged the wrong, following a successful campaign for redress. Does acknowledging historic wrongs matter? Does it do any good? Explain your answer.

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts:

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3
    Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    Washington State Social Studies Standards:

    C1.6-8.4 Evaluate efforts to reduce discrepancies between key ideals and reality in the United States

    C2.9-10.1 Explain how citizens and institutions address social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and international level.

    C4.11-12.3 Evaluate the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

    H2.11-12.4 Analyze how cultural identity can promote unity and division.

    Lesson Three: Executive Order 9066 and The United States Constitution

    Background

    In Scene 3, Kiyoko and Peggy reference three Constitutional amendments they believe would make it illegal for anyone to search the Fujimoto home without cause, though ultimately their home is indeed searched by the FBI. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many Japanese American homes were searched in this manner. Though these actions took place before the passage of Executive Order 9066, Kiyoko and Peggy were not the only ones to question whether such actions were legal, and many of the same Constitutional questions arose with Executive Order 9066.

    There were many cases that challenged the order and the restrictions and incarceration that followed, including the notable cases of Gordon Hirabayashi, Minoru Yasui, Fred Korematsu, and Mitsuye Endo. For this lesson, students will explore the general constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, focusing on Amendments 4, 5, and 14.  Students may need some background on the nature and rules of executive orders prior to engaging in the lesson.

    Activity

    1. Have students read the full text of Executive Order 9066, which can be found on page 38.
    2. Have students make a list of rules the order established, using what they gleaned from the text and/or scenes from the play.
    3. Have students read Amendments 4 and 5 and Section 1 of Amendment 14, which can be found on page 40.
    4. Comparing the documents, ask students to answer the following questions:
    • Did any aspect of Executive Order 9066 violate the 4th Amendment? Explain your answer.
    • Did any aspect of Executive Order 9066 violate the 5th Amendment? Explain your answer.
    • Did any aspect of Executive Order 9066 violate Section 1 of the 14th Amendment? Explain your answer.
    • Is it ever okay for the President to take actions that violate the principles set forth in the Constitution?  Why or why not?

    Extension

    Lead students through an exploration of the cases mentioned in the above Background section. Suggested sites for succinct information about the cases are Densho.org and Oyez.org. Using the details of the cases and the amendments on page 40, ask students to explore the constitutionality of each case. One approach would be to present the details of the cases without the decisions, then ask students to determine what they believe the decisions should be, citing evidence from both the cases and the Constitution.

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts:

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3
    Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8
    Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.9
    Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

    Washington State Social Studies Standards:

    C1.6-8.4 Evaluate efforts to reduce discrepancies between key ideals and reality in the United States

    C2.9-10.1 Explain how citizens and institutions address social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and international level.

    C4.11-12.3 Evaluate the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

    H2.11-12.4 Analyze how cultural identity can promote unity and division.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order No. 9066

    Executive Order No. 9066

    The President

    Executive Order
    Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

    Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national‐defense material, national‐defense premises, and national‐defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104).

    Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded there from, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

    I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

    I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments, and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

    This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    The White House,
    February 19, 1942

    Amendment IV of the United States Constitution

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V of the United States Constitution

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Section I, Amendment IV of the United States Constitution

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

     

    Lesson Four: Roy Tsuboi and the Safety Patrol Incident

    Download Teacher Guide.pdf for copies of documents referenced in activity.

    Background

    In Scene 6, Ume tells Torao about an incident in which a white man she does not know abducts and threatens her and brings her to the Seattle Police station, insisting that someone of Japanese heritage should not be allowed to be a school crossing guard. This scene is based on a real incident involving a boy named Roy Tsuboi, younger brother to Louise Tsuboi Kashino, on whom the character of Kiyoko is based. Both documents involved in this lesson include a racial slur that was used against Japanese Americans in the 1940s. Before using this lesson, please review the “An Important Note About Language” on page 3 and discuss with students, proceeding with care.

    Activity

    1. Have students read the April 24, 1942, article from The Seattle Times on page 43.
    2. Have students view the “License to Hunt” document from the United States Holocaust Museum collection on page 44.
    3. Engage students with the following questions:
    • According to the Seattle Times and Roy Tsuboi’s testimony, what happened to Roy on April 16, 1942?
    • What would your reaction be if something like this happened to you?
    • The “license” shown here and referenced in the play was one of many such handmade licenses distributed following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, indicative of the mindset of some individuals at the time. What words would you use to describe such a “license”?
    • This article appeared “above the fold” on the front page of The Seattle Times on April 24th, 1942, which means it was placed in the most visible, eye-catching position of the paper that day. What does that tell you about how important the incident was seen to be by the editors of the paper?
    • In his testimony, what justification does Karl Paykull give for his actions?
    • What are the flaws in Paykull’s argument?
    • How does Judge Hodson respond to Paykull and what can you surmise about his viewpoint based on what he says?
    • Where was Roy Tsuboi born and where was Karl Paykull born? Of the two, who do we know for sure was an American citizen?
    • Who was ultimately charged with a crime in this incident and what was the punishment?

    Extension

    By examining the actions and words of Karl Paykull and Judge James Hodson, we can see that there were notably different perspectives within the white community in 1942 regarding how individuals within the Japanese American community should be seen and treated. In reading Karl Paykull’s words and understanding he was an immigrant himself; sophisticated students can engage in deeper conversation here about who has had access to assimilation in American culture, who has been seen historically as “American”, who has not, and by whom. This article also provides a concrete example of the ways in which American citizens of Japanese descent were often not differentiated from the Japanese, a truth that runs throughout the play and was a driving force behind Executive Order 9066.

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1
    Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    Washington State Social Studies Standards:

    SSS1.6-8.1 Analyze positions and evidence supporting an issue or an event.

    SSS1.6-8.2 Evaluate the logic of reasons for a position on an issue or event.

    SSS3.6-8.1 Engage in discussion, analyzing multiple viewpoints on public issues.

    Lesson Five: Statement of United States Citizen of Japanese Ancestry or the “Loyalty Oath”

    Download Teacher Guide.pdf for copies of documents referenced in activity.

    Background

    The Statement of United States Citizen of Japanese Ancestry, also referred to as the Loyalty Oath or Loyalty Questionnaire, was a divisive and controversial document administered to adult incarcerees in the camps by the American government. The document was comprised of a series of personal questions related to, among other things, one’s connections to Japan and Japanese culture.

    Though often referred to as a single document, there were actually several versions over time, but all had the same intent: to determine the level of loyalty an individual had to the United States, as well as their trustworthiness to serve in the American military and/or apply to leave the camps.

    Most controversial were Questions 27 and 28, on which this lesson is centered. These two questions, which were particularly difficult to answer both for the Issei generation, who were not eligible for American citizenship, and for young men of military service age, who were being asked if they were willing to serve despite the fact they and their families were imprisoned, were highly divisive.

    Though thoughts about the questionnaire and the “right” answers varied, many who answered no to both questions were ostracized. Referred to as “No No Boys” or “No No Families,” those who answered no to the two questions endured another forced removal when they were sent to the Tule Lake camp, which was converted to a high-security segregation center. Minidoka, where most Seattle Japanese Americans were sent, had the lowest “No No” rate of all the camps.

    Activity

    1. Re-watch Scene 15, “The Loyalty Oath”, using the scene marker at minute 1:06:12 and watching until minute 1:12:30.
    2. Ask students to read the Statement of United States Citizen of Japanese Ancestry, also known as the Loyalty Oath, paying special attention to page 4 (included in this lesson).
    1. Ask the students to summarize what they learn from the scene and from the form regarding why certain questions on the form were difficult for many to answer.
    2. Divide the class into two groups. Ask those in Group One to create a statement supporting the argument that individuals should have answered “Yes and Yes” to questions 27 and 28. Ask those in Group Two to create a statement supporting the argument that individuals should have answered “No and No”.
    3. Have students share their arguments and discuss. Consider asking these questions:
    • What were the arguments for answering yes to both questions?
    • What were the arguments for answering no to both questions?
    • Should the government have created this form at all?
    • What do you think you would have done if you were really in that situation?

    Extension

    Engage students in an exploration of the German American Bund, an organization comprised of mostly German Americans who held open rallies in support of Nazi Germany, including a 1939 rally of 22,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Following the onset of WWII, the Bund was outlawed and many of its leaders jailed or incarcerated as enemy aliens. Their cases were examined on an individual basis, however, and the vast majority of those who supported the Bund were free to go about their lives without any consequence or limitation on their freedoms.

    By contrast, despite not one single case of sabotage or disloyalty, all individuals with Japanese ancestry along the west coast were incarcerated without due process following Executive Order 9066.  Discussion topics might include why German and Japanese Americans were treated so differently, what the ideologies of the Bund were, and how those beliefs continue to be perpetuated among some groups in the United States today.

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3
    Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    Washington State Social Studies Standards:

    C1.6-8.4 Evaluate efforts to reduce discrepancies between key ideals and reality in the United States

    C2.9-10.1 Explain how citizens and institutions address social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and international level.

    C4.11-12.3 Evaluate the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

    H1.9-10.1 Analyze change and continuity within a historical time period.

    H2.11-12.4 Analyze how cultural identity can promote unity and division.

    Lesson Six: Responding Through Haiku Poetry

    Background

    In Scene 3, Kiyoko reads a Haiku by the Japanese poet Basho. Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry that involves just three lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the third line 5 syllables. Traditionally, Haiku poems focus on nature or a moment in time, though there are many variations on the form. Note: The Japanese to English translation as Kyoko reads out loud in this scene results in the loss of the traditional syllable count.

    Activity

    1. Assign students the task of writing Haiku poems that speak to the themes and events of the play. It may be useful to prepare some examples to share with students before they begin writing. There are many excellent resources on Haiku poetry online.
    2. Ask students to share their work via a read aloud, gallery walk, or other method.

    Standards

    Common Core State Standards English Language Arts

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10
    Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    Attribution and License

    Attribution

    Friends Across the Wires is the result of extensive research involving personal interviews, primary sources, and visits to key locations. We are particularly grateful to Patsy McInery Love and Louise Tsuboi Kashino, on whom the two main characters are based, as well as their families.

    Friends Across the Wires was written and directed by Laura Ferri for the Seattle Historical Theater Project. Friends Across the Wires Teacher Guide by Tamara Bunnell.

    We are very grateful to Densho, whose work in the area of documenting and educating about the Japanese incarceration is unmatched. The links and resources we reference in this packet are but a portion of their extraordinary work.

    This project was generously supported by the Kip Tokuda Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program through a grant from the Washington State Legislature (RCW 28A.300.410) administered by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public InstructionThis project was supported, in part, by 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax.


    License

    cc by nc nd logo
    Except where otherwise noted, Friends Across the Wires, copyright Seattle Historical Theatre Project, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

    cc by nc license
    Except where otherwise noted, the
    Friends Across the Wire Teacher Guide is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked.