FIlm poster shows an elderly man standing at the front of the bus. He is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and looks saddened.


February 1942. President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which authorizes the forced “relocation" of 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes and into incarceration camps during WWII.

Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center. His belongings, his business – everything must be sold or left behind, except what he can carry in one large duffel bag.

Up against a wall, Koji receives only one low-ball offer for his store, which he has no choice but to accept. The lone bright spot during this turmoil is the friendship Koji develops with a precocious nine-year-old girl. On the day of his departure, however, Koji is saddened to learn that even this friendship has been tainted by the larger forces of fear and wartime hysteria.

Primary sources

Historical photographs

Audio excerpts of oral histories from 20 Japanese Americans

Broadcast newsreel of the U.S. government from 1942

Images of several newspaper clippings and government documents

Video excerpts of interviews with 5 Japanese Americans



National Council on Public History (2018) - Outstanding Public History Project: Honorable Mention
Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival (2017) - Best Lead Actor
IndieWorks (2017) - Silver Whiskers Award
Tribute Film Festival (2017) - Best Historical Short
Boston Asian American Film Festival (2017) - Best Short Narrative
Chicago Feminist Film Festival (2017) - Audience Choice Award: Best Fiction
HYART Film Festival (2017) - Best Heritage Short Film
Show Me Justice Film Festival (2017) - Audience Favorite: Short Film
Thin Line (2017) - Best Short: Panavision Prize
Riverside International Film Festival (2017) - Audience Favorite: Historical Short

Educators’ Reviews

The Orange Story is a very effective tool and is a reminder that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to teach history. Watching the story evoked student empathy, one of my goals as a teacher.”
Craig Blackman, High School Teacher
The Orange Story is exactly how I want to teach history! I want to use personal stories to help teach about the past and I want to include stories of people that historically have been left out. Thank you so much.”
Melissa Politan, 11th Grade Teacher, U.S. History

Research Team

Jasmine Alinder, PhD

Eric Mamura Belter

Shane A. Haensgen

Patrick Hall

Margaret Louise Spiegel

Christine Munteanu

Advisory Board

Jasmine Alinder, PhD (Lead Advisor)

Megan Asaka, PhD

Rick Morimoto, PhD

Eric Muller, JD

Gary Okihiro, PhD

Ellen Wu, PhD

Bill Yoshino