The Nisei Soldier Congressional Gold Medal


Japanese American soldiers were some of the most decorated in all of American’s military history. Many volunteered and fought while their families were incarcerated behind barbed wire in American concentration camps. This exhibit— developed through a collaboration between the National Veterans Network, the Smithsonian and Night Kitchen interactive—tells their compelling story.

The site features in-depth profiles of 12 individuals who fought in World War II, combining first person accounts, quotes and oral history interviews with a robust array of archival photos shared by institutions, family members and the veterans themselves. There are two stories of specific honors awarded, including the Congressional Gold Medal now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Medal of Honor. Rounding out the exhibit are three stories that explore compelling aspects of the Japanese American experience, including their Legacy of Loyalty, Life in American Concentration Camps and From Exclusion to Representing America.

The site features a robust and ever-growing online resource directory, providing students, educators, and scholars a browsable, filterable trove of websites, videos, documents and more for further learning and exploration of this compelling topic. The resource directory is managed through the Drupal content management system, allowing updates and the addition of new content into the future.

The site was developed in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and hosted by the Asian Pacific American Center.