an illustration of a middle-aged Japanese American man walking past a telephone poll with a poster on it containing the book title.

We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration

by Franke Abe Author, Tamiko Nimura Author, Ross Ishikawa Author and Matt Sasaki Author

This nonfiction graphic novel offers three compelling stories of Japanese American resistance and rebellion during the second World War. Each features an everyday person whose story complicates modern narratives about this horrific piece of US history. Jim Akutsu refused to be drafted from the concentration camp at Minidoka after his citizenship was revoked and he was classified as an "enemy alien." Hiroshi Kashiwagi faced impossible choices, and resisted the pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake but had to make other compromises for his family's safety. And Mitsuye Endo was recruited to be part of a lawsuit against US concentration camps but was able to ultimately choose her own path despite immense public pressure. Well-researched and beautifully drawn, this book honors the past from rarely-heard perspectives of ordinary people who faced down injustice with courage and grace.