It was before Kirk Yamaguchi’s time, but the stories passed down to him stayed with him forever.

His father’s family had a farm in California until the height of World War II. In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government allowed racism and xenophobia to seep deeply into its national response, as hundreds of thousands of people of Japanese descent were rounded into internment camps. Yamaguchi’s family was among them, spending three years in a camp in the Arizona desert.