Identity is shaped by how an individual sees himself or herself in conjunction with how others perceive his or her identity. Identity can change over the lifetime of a person and is comprised of multiple things like race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and age.

The United States government classified these children as Japanese, even though some had mixed-race ancestry, and removed them to Manzanar during World War II. Many adults, who better understood the complicated circumstances these children were caught in, tried to make life as normal for the children as possible.

  • Who can decide what your identity is? Can the government decide what your identity is?
  • How important might your childhood experiences be to the formation of your identity?
  • How might your experiences have unexpectedly or unintentionally influenced you?
  • Knowing what you know about these children and their situation, how do you think they were perceived by the United States government, other adults, other children, and their teachers?
  • How do you think the children perceived themselves?