We Hereby Refuse

We Hereby Refuse


by Frank Abe & Tamiko Nimura

With artwork by Ross Ishikawa & Matt Sasaki

A co-production with Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience


This book ships in mid-May.


A graphic novel with the story of camp as you’ve never seen it before. Three voices. Three acts of defiance. One mass injustice.


Japanese Americans complied when evicted from their homes in World War II -- but many refused to submit to imprisonment in American concentration camps without a fight.


In this groundbreaking graphic novel, we meet:


JIM AKUTSU, the inspiration for John Okada's No-No Boy, who refuses to be drafted from the camp at Minidoka when classified as a non-citizen, an enemy alien;

HIROSHI KASHIWAGI, who resists government pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake, but yields to family pressure to renounce his U.S. citizenship; and

MITSUYE ENDO, a reluctant recruit to a lawsuit contesting her imprisonment, who refuses a chance to leave the camp at Topaz so that her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.


Based upon painstaking research, We Hereby Refuse presents an original vision of America's past with disturbing links to the American present.


Frank Abe wrote and directed the PBS film on the largest organized resistance to incarceration, Conscience and the Constitution. He won an American Book Award for JOHN OKADA: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy, and is co-editing a new anthology of incarceration literature for Penguin Classics. He blogs at Resisters.com.

Tamiko Nimura is a Sansei/Pinay freelance writer, editor, and public historian, contributing regularly to Discover Nikkei and the International Examiner. She is working on a children’s book and a family memoir responding to her father’s unpublished memoir of his wartime imprisonment at Tule Lake. She is also the niece of Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and can be found at kikugirl.net.

Ross Ishikawa is a cartoonist and animator living in Seattle. He is working on a graphic novel about his parents and their coming of age during World War II. His work is online at rossishikawa.com.


Matt Sasaki is the artist on the previous volume in this series, Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers. He lives with his wife and an old dog north of Seattle. Samples of his other work are online at mattsasaki.com.