1941: WORLD WAR II

Prisoner in My Homeland

ESTIMATED TIME: 1 HOUR

The year is 1941. You are 16-year-old Henry Tanaka. When the government forces you and 120,000 other innocent Japanese Americans into camps, how will you react?

Meet the Characters

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Meet the Characters

Roll over a character to learn more.

Harry Ueno (historical figure)

Harry Ueno (historical figure) is a 35-year old “Kibei.” Ueno was born in Hawaii and sent to Japan to be educated. As an adult, he moved to Los Angeles, started a family and sold fruit. Ueno lives in Block 22 and works in the Block 22 mess hall as a cook’s assistant.

Kiyoko Tanaka (fictional character)

Kiyoko Tanaka (fictional character), Henry and Lily’s mother, is an Issei Japanese American in her early 40s. She manages the household, and helps with the farm. When she emigrated to the United States to get married, she brought several family heirlooms, including a kimono and a tea set. She expects Henry to attend Japanese school, watch after his sister, and work on the farm.

Kinzo Tanaka (fictional character)

Kinzo Tanaka (fictional character), Henry and Lily’s father, is an Issei Japanese American in his late 50s. He is the head of the Tanaka household, and spends most of his time working on the strawberry farm. He is also a judo instructor at the local Japanese community center. His mother lives in Nagasaki. He hopes that Henry is the first member of the Tanaka family to go to college, and encourages him to develop both his mental and physical abilities.

Lily Tanaka (fictional character)

Lily Tanaka (fictional character) is Henry’s thirteen-year-old younger sister. She lives with her family on the strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island. When incarcerated at Manzanar, she joins the majorettes and practices baton throwing. Lily also appears in the game as “Great Aunt Lily,” who reads Henry’s diary along with Maya, Henry’s granddaughter.

Henry Tanaka (fictional character)

Henry Tanaka (fictional character) is a sixteen-year-old Nisei Japanese American when the mission begins. He was born and raised on a strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. He attends the local high school where his favorite subject is chemistry. He is expected to attend Japanese school and help out on the farm by weeding the fields, planting and harvesting strawberry plants, and doing other chores. He keeps a diary that he illustrates with sketches. His family has a dog named Clark (named for Clark Kent, aka Superman).

Meiko Yamamoto (fictional character)

Meiko Yamamoto (fictional character) is Mr. and Mrs. Yamamoto’s only daughter. She is smart, thoughtful and motivated to do well. Like Henry, her favorite subject is Chemistry, though she also enjoys Miss Nelson’s American history class.

Tadashi (fictional character)

Tadashi (fictional character) is an 18-year-old Nisei Japanese American from Terminal Island whom Henry meets at Manzanar. Terminal Island is home to Japanese American fishermen and canning workers. Compared to Bainbridge Islanders, Terminal Islanders are considered tough and street-smart. Tadashi lives in Block 10 and works in the mess hall.

Miss Nelson (fictional character)

Miss Nelson (fictional character) is a 30-year old teacher from California and a Quaker. She works as a high school teacher at Manzanar, living and working there beginning in October 1943. She is sympathetic with the young incarcerees, and encourages them to study hard. She attempts to help eligible students leave the camps for colleges on the East Coast and Midwest. This character was loosely based on Eleanor Gerard Sekerak, a teacher at the War Relocation Authority concentration camp in Topaz, Utah.

Mr. Yamamoto (fictional character)

Mr. Yamamoto (fictional character) is a Nisei Japanese American who runs a grocery store on Bainbridge Island. He is an active member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). While critical of the government’s forced removal and incarceration policies, he supports strategies that demonstrate Japanese American loyalty such as cooperating with the authorities and encouraging Nisei to serve in the armed forces.

Harry Ueno (historical figure)

Harry Ueno (historical figure) is a 35-year old “Kibei.” Ueno was born in Hawaii and sent to Japan to be educated. As an adult, he moved to Los Angeles, started a family and sold fruit. Ueno lives in Block 22 and works in the Block 22 mess hall as a cook’s assistant.

Kiyoko Tanaka (fictional character)

Kiyoko Tanaka (fictional character), Henry and Lily’s mother, is an Issei Japanese American in her early 40s. She manages the household, and helps with the farm. When she emigrated to the United States to get married, she brought several family heirlooms, including a kimono and a tea set. She expects Henry to attend Japanese school, watch after his sister, and work on the farm.

Kinzo Tanaka (fictional character)

Kinzo Tanaka (fictional character), Henry and Lily’s father, is an Issei Japanese American in his late 50s. He is the head of the Tanaka household, and spends most of his time working on the strawberry farm. He is also a judo instructor at the local Japanese community center. His mother lives in Nagasaki. He hopes that Henry is the first member of the Tanaka family to go to college, and encourages him to develop both his mental and physical abilities.

Lily Tanaka (fictional character)

Lily Tanaka (fictional character) is Henry’s thirteen-year-old younger sister. She lives with her family on the strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island. When incarcerated at Manzanar, she joins the majorettes and practices baton throwing. Lily also appears in the game as “Great Aunt Lily,” who reads Henry’s diary along with Maya, Henry’s granddaughter.

Henry Tanaka (fictional character)

Henry Tanaka (fictional character) is a sixteen-year-old Nisei Japanese American when the mission begins. He was born and raised on a strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. He attends the local high school where his favorite subject is chemistry. He is expected to attend Japanese school and help out on the farm by weeding the fields, planting and harvesting strawberry plants, and doing other chores. He keeps a diary that he illustrates with sketches. His family has a dog named Clark (named for Clark Kent, aka Superman).

Meiko Yamamoto (fictional character)

Meiko Yamamoto (fictional character) is Mr. and Mrs. Yamamoto’s only daughter. She is smart, thoughtful and motivated to do well. Like Henry, her favorite subject is Chemistry, though she also enjoys Miss Nelson’s American history class.

Tadashi (fictional character)

Tadashi (fictional character) is an 18-year-old Nisei Japanese American from Terminal Island whom Henry meets at Manzanar. Terminal Island is home to Japanese American fishermen and canning workers. Compared to Bainbridge Islanders, Terminal Islanders are considered tough and street-smart. Tadashi lives in Block 10 and works in the mess hall.

Miss Nelson (fictional character)

Miss Nelson (fictional character) is a 30-year old teacher from California and a Quaker. She works as a high school teacher at Manzanar, living and working there beginning in October 1943. She is sympathetic with the young incarcerees, and encourages them to study hard. She attempts to help eligible students leave the camps for colleges on the East Coast and Midwest. This character was loosely based on Eleanor Gerard Sekerak, a teacher at the War Relocation Authority concentration camp in Topaz, Utah.

Mr. Yamamoto (fictional character)

Mr. Yamamoto (fictional character) is a Nisei Japanese American who runs a grocery store on Bainbridge Island. He is an active member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). While critical of the government’s forced removal and incarceration policies, he supports strategies that demonstrate Japanese American loyalty such as cooperating with the authorities and encouraging Nisei to serve in the armed forces.

Not pictured:

Maya Tanaka (fictional character) is Henry’s granddaughter. In the present day, after Henry’s death, she finds his diary while cleaning out his attic. Surprised by her discovery — her grandfather had never spoken about his incarceration during World War II — she reaches out to Great-Aunt Lily (Henry’s sister, Lily, now an elderly woman) to learn more and is inspired to dig deeper into the past.

Mr. Flores (fictional character) is a Filipino American who works with Mr. Tanaka on the strawberry farm. After the Tanakas are forcibly removed to Manzanar, Mr. Flores looks after the farm, but severe labor shortages limit his ability to harvest the crop.