Gaijin by Matt Faulkner


San Francisco, 1941: America has just declared war on Japan.With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly learns that his home is no longer a welcoming one. Streetcars won't stop for Koji, and his classmates accuse him of being an enemy spy. When a letter arrives from the government notifying him that he must go to a relocation center for Japanese Americans, he and his mother are forced to leave everything they know behind. Onc...

Details Gaijin

Release DateApr 15th, 2014
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Childrens, Middle Grade, War

Reviews Gaijin

  • Dov Zeller
    While World War II America is often portrayed in super-heroic terms, there was a lot of shady business going on. Gaijin brings to life in graphic form, I believe for the first time, a bit of this horrifying American history -- the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in internment camps after Pearl Harbor and through the end of the war.Gaijin opens with a gorgeous two-page spread, the Golden Gate bridge bird's eye view, dotted with foggy clouds and...
  • Elizabeth A
    Book blurb: With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly realizes that his home in San Francisco is no longer a welcoming one after Pearl Harbor is attacked. I do believe this is the first graphic novel I've read that portrayed the Japanese interment camps, and explored some of what Japanese Americans endured right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This is an important part of American history, and Koji's coming of age angst ...
  • David Schaafsma
    Japanese internment story based on the author/artist's own great-aunt's story. She was Irish, married a guy who was Japanese, they faced discrimination wherever they went as they had a "mixed" or "gaijin" son. Graphic history/memoir would work with any teaching unit on internment… and is complicated because of the mixed race issue and the fact the boy is very, very (and appropriately) angry, and acts out in his rage… so the ugliness happens a...
  • Raina
    Important story, stunning artwork. Intense subject matter. So glad it exists. Read it thinking I might booktalk it to elementary kids this summer, but didn't end up doing that. Might be a better candidate for middle schoolers next January.
  • Sarah Donovan
    I liked it, I do. I am reading as a middle school teacher and feel responsible to put 'good' books around them. The images are beautiful, powerful, but the narration is missing nuance and layer for middle schoolers, I think. I feel like the ending was abrupt. I went back thinking I missed pages, and in a way, I liked that Faulkner trusted the reader to fill in the gap. And I wonder about the mom's plot line? I will buy a copy and encourage conver...
  • Kristen
    Visually stunning, this graphic novel brings to life an important time in American history. At the same time, it's a fantastic coming-of-age story as Koji, half-Japanese and half-Irish, struggles to fit in. Beautiful and powerful. LOVE!!!
  • Deyanira
    Jeez, those graphics gave me life!
  • Sean Kottke
    Faulkner's artwork in this work of coming-of-age historical fiction is extraordinary, and could nearly convey the whole story without the assistance of dialogue. An afterword provides stirring personal context for this story of internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, and the whole project is quite timely with the debut of George Takei's musical "Allegiance." This would complement the classic Farewell to Manzanar beautifully as an entry ...
  • Sue Thornquist
    Didn't do much for me, maybe even more of a 2.5. Visually pretty well done, but a fairly simplistic story even though it's based on real people and events. It felt more appropriate for junior high age group than high schoolers and because that was the lens through which I was reading, it probably affected my judgment of it. In comparison to David Small's graphic novel Stitches or Gene Yang's American Born Chinese, it was disappointing--not nearly...
  • Angie Fehl
    Japanese-American Koji Miyamoto is celebrating his 13th birthday in San Francisco, California on December 7, 1941. That same day, Japanese pilots flew over Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, dropping bombs on an American Naval Station, immediately and forever changing the life of Koji and all Japanese-Americans across the US. Almost overnight, it seems as if everyone Koji formerly interacted with suddenly turns vehemently racist, hatin...
  • Alex Baugh
    Koji Miyamoto, 13, his American mom and Japanese dad have been living a quiet life in San Francisco. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 all that changes immediately. Koji secretly fears his father may have been part of the attack since he was in Japan when it happened taking care of his sick father. At school, he is picked on by a group of bullies, the trolley operator won't let him on the board and the government has t...
  • Joshua
    If I made a list of ten birthday presents to give to Koji Miyamoto, the thirteen-year-old boy from the story; they would be gifts he could use while he was forced to live in the “assembly center” during World War II.Gift One: A Small Radio. He could use it to keep up with what’s happening in the outside world and to listen to his favorite show, The Lone Ranger.Gift Two: Wool Blankets. During the first, night Koji and his mother wake up in t...
  • R K
    Gaijin covers the story of a young 13 yo boy who is half American and half Japanese.The story covers the situation and treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2 when Pearl Harbour was attacked. Spectacular art work, however, the plot was too simplistic. It felt like the artist was checking off a list of requirements: a young angry boy, harassment from cops and civilians, the teacher-old man, etc, etcI guess you could say that this was a book to ...
  • Ms. Yingling
    Koji Miyamoto and his mother, Adeline, live in San Francisco, but Koji's father is in Japan. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, Koji is on the recieving end of a lot of racial slurs and discrimination, even though he is American born. When his mother is told he will be sent to a relocation camp, she goes with him because he is so young. At the camp, he is bullied because he is not Japanese enough, and the other boys push him around and call his mother ...
  • The Styling Librarian
    Gaijin, American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner – Graphic Novel – High School – This is one of the most powerful graphic novels I’ve read in a long while. It introduces a young man, Koji, who just learned that Pearl Harbor has been bombed. His father is away caring for family in Japan. His mother receives notice that Koji who is half Japanese is being sent to an internment camp. His mother joins him on this move losing most of the famil...
  • Patricia Tsune
    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, half Japanese, Koji and his white mom are left with a choice to be separated while Koji is sent to an internment camp or to stay together. Koji's dad is in japan caring for his elderly parents when all this happens. Koji and his mom decide to stay together. Being half-white in the camp proves to be just as difficult as being half Japanese on the streets of San Francisco. This graphic novel is based on the artist...
  • Kazia
    Overall I found GAIJIN a really moving graphic novel that does an excellent job showing the unjust internment system and the parallels between that intense discrimination that Japanese Americans faced and the discriminations faced by other groups during the Holocaust and a post-9/11 America in particular. A few things didn't sit well with me, in particular the protagonist's slut-shaming of his mother, which I COULD read more into to justify it's ...
  • Tightlywound
    This is a beautiful book with stunning pictures but the ending doesn’t feel finished. When I was reading I kept counting down the pages and thinking ‘This can’t be it. There has to be more to this story.’ If it hadn’t been a children’s book, I would have checked the back for where it listed a sequel. I guess that’s the point though, it is a children’s book, so they didn’t have to go in-depth. Still I think it could have been way...
  • Patrick Funge
    Gaijin: American Prisoner of war, is a book about the camps for the Japanese in America during world war 2. In the beginning, Gaijin thinks that the camp is hard to get use to because he can't find his father, but later he gets use to the changes.Gaijin: American prisoner of war was a cool and interesting book. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes comics and history.
  • Jim
    i'd give this this 4.5 stars just because it is a story, quite real and quite true, beautifully illustrated and made me really angry. his use of font size, placement and choice reminded me of virginia lee burton. important reading, should be in every jr. high and high school library in the u.s. should be in their history classrooms.
  • Amanda
    Wonderful graphic novel based on the author's family. Set in San Francisco at the start of the war, the story follows Nissei Koji and his American mother as they are moved to an internment camp. Great art and excellent story.
  • Dominique Mendez
    A graphic novel about the Japanese relocation camps during WWII. One of the few graphic novels about this subject, it gives the reader insight into what life was like for children and teens growing up in this type of environment.
  • Ashley
    Feel free to throw this at anyone that thinks a registry of any type of American is a good idea ever.Reading Helps You Learn.
  • Emily Scheinman
    Amazing story. It opened a discussion at the dinner table tonight about war and peace and our collective humanity.
  • Thomas
    it was very interesting
  • Teresa
    This graphic novel was powered by emotions. The illustrations carried along the narrative. I especially liked the dream sequence color changes which amplified Koji's emotions. Touching story.
  • Indie
    (3.5 stars)
  • Angela
    Koji Miyamoto is the teenage son of a Japanese-American father and white mother living in San Francisco, where he faces scrutiny and prejudice because of his Japanese heritage. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, that scrutiny and prejudice takes on a new rage. He is quickly gathered up to be placed in an internment camp on Alameda Island on the other side of the San Francisco Bay. Since his father is visiting family in Japan and Koji is a minor, his ...
  • Venus
    Book Review originally posted here at Children's Atheneum.Koji Miyamoto has a white mother and a Japanese father. When Pearl Harbor is attacked Koji finds himself being forced into an internment camp. His mother joins him, despite being a white American citizen. Once they are taken to the internment camp, Koji learns that being half white at the camp is just as bad as being half Japanese on the streets of California. Based on true events, Koji's ...