Japanese American National Museum
Current Exhibitions

Citizen USA: Experiences of Youth in Camp


Citizen USA, arguably the first children’s book about Japanese American incarceration, was written by Charles K. Ferguson while he served as director of adult education at the Manzanar concentration camp during World War II. In it, Jane Sato, a young incarceree at Manzanar narrates daily life in the camp and also hints at the overall uncertainty ahead. It represents what life may have felt like for children in camp. The unpublished work was donated to JANM in 2003 by Lois Ferguson, the author’s widow.

Please note that the planned exhibition has been cancelled. However, the JANM Store is publishing the book for the first time based on the original artifact in JANM’s permanent collection. It will include a foreword by JANM Chief Curator Karen Ishizuka that describes the history of the Fergusons and the artifact. It will be available this fall.



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