View the Book Trailer HERE!

Setsuko's Secret with the National World War II Museum will air on C-SPAN Saturday, March 27 4:55pm Eastern Time.

The program will be available at this link after it's televised.


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Praise for Setsuko's Secret

“An encyclopedic narrative on the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and its haunting sway still on the conscience of the nation. Interwoven throughout is a moving personal family history of pain, loss, and resilience. This is an essential American story.”

—George Takei, Actor


“As a former incarceree of Heart Mountain, reading this was tremendously gratifying. In this deeply researched and compellingly written history, Higuchi captures the tragedy and triumph of the Japanese American experience and incarceration.”

—Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Transportation

“Only Shirley Ann Higuchi could tell so powerfully a story so needed to be told. This is the culmination of her vision and mission—to honestly share the deep passion of a proud family heritage forged in the saddest of times.”

—Alan Simpson, U.S. Senator, Wyoming, ret.

“Poignant. How the power of an untold secret can affect how one lives and, with its revelation, can spark others to tell their own. With a good story, we can change ourselves, our country, our world for the better. Setsuko’s Secret is one of the good stories.”

Tamlyn Tomita, Actress

Higuchi captures the essence of the Nisei generation's reluctance to discuss the trauma and tragedy that shaped their lives and those of their children. This is the book I wish I had written about my own family's experience with the wrongful incarceration of the Japanese American community during WWII."

Lance Ito, former L.A. County Superior Court Judge

“A rich and original story. Shirley Higuchi captures the sweeping narrative of incarceration through the lens of a single camp and ties it to our present reality. Her resolve as a daughter of the camps is Setsuko's real legacy.”

—Frank Abe, director of Conscience and the Constitution


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"What my 20-year-old self could have used at that time is Shirley Ann Higuchi’s recently published book, Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration. Exhaustively researched while remaining personal and frank, Setsuko’s Secret is both an informative summary of Japanese American history and an autobiography. One rough comparison is if you had merged Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s groundbreaking Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps with Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s landmark Farewell to Manzanar, two pillars of Japanese American history from the 1970s." ---Chris Komai, Discover Nikkei

  • Read the full review here.

"There are stories we choose to pass on to our children, and there are stories we can only share with our peers—whether because we doubt our children’s capacity for empathy, or fear it. What is a family secret, but a space where a family may gather? Sometimes, when we say, “You don’t know what it was like,” it is only wishful thinking."--- Vince Schleitwiler, The International Examiner

Read the full review here.

"...[A] well-informed and deeply moving study of the long-term effects of a dark chapter in American history." ---Publisher's Weekly

  • Read the full review here.

“Setsuko’s Secret is an intense, personal chronicle of the unconscionable internment of Japanese Americans during World War II…

Setsuko Higuchi may have kept her internment memories private, but her unique spirit inspired the founding of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and this extraordinary testament to a sorrowful episode in American history.

---Foreword Reviews.

  • Read the full review here.

View the Setsuko's Secret Playlist on YouTube here. Shirley reads excerpts from her book.

View the Josai International University video here.

Missed Out? See Past Events Here!

Click on the image

September 26

Host: Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

Cody, WY

October 7


Washington, DC

November 4

Host: Tattered Cover, Denver, CO

November 5

Host: History Camp

November 12

Host: Boswell Book Company

November 22

Host: Seattle Public Library

December 5

Host: JACL National

February 5, 2021


February 13, 2021

Host: Japanese American Museum of San Jose

February 19, 2021
Host: The National World War II Museum