January 27: Manjiro Nakahama. MAJIRO: THE BOY WHO RISKED HIS LIFE FOR TWO COUNTRIES

Manjiro Nakahama “John Mung”, sailor

Jan. 27, 1827- November 22, 1898

Manjiro: The Boy Who Risked His Life for Two Countries by Emily Arnold McCully (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)

The
story of a boy who is saved by a whaling captain (Whitfield) after his
crew’s boat shipwrecks on an island in Japan. The captain takes Manjiro
back to America and educates him. Later as a young man, Manjiro returns
to Japan and plays a pivotal role in opening trade between Japan and the
Western world.

The house where Manjiro lived with Captain William Whitfield is now a museum in Fairhaven, Mass. Visit the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society Inc. website to discover more and follow the Manjiro trail.

January 25: Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura. BARBED WIRE BASEBALL

Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese-American, baseball player
b. January 25, 1900
d. November 13, 1968

BARBED WIRE BASEBALL
(Abrams, 2013)

by Marissa Moss
illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

Overview:
 

As a boy, Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura dreams of playing professional
baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a
successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig! When the
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to
one of ten internment camps where more than 110,000 people of Japanese
ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball
to the camp, along with a sense of hope.
This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II,
introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history
through Marissa Moss’s rich text and Yuko Shimizu’s beautiful
illustrations. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival
photographs, and a bibliography.

January 1 Birthday: Chiune Sugihara. PASSAGE TO FREEDOM: THE SUGIHARA STORY

PassageToFreedom

Chiune Sugihara, diplomat
Jan. 1, 1900-July 31, 1986

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low,1997)

Sugihara,
known as the “Japanese Schindler” was a diplomat serving in Lithuania
during WW II when he saved thousands of Jews. This powerful narrative is
written from the point of view of Sugihara’s son Hiroki.

The Jewish Virtual Library tells the compelling story of Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara’s eternal good deeds