A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution
This online exhibition examines the stories of Japanese Americans whose rights were violated as they were interned following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
During World War II, approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes and placed in detention camps established by the U.S. government. A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution, a Web site for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, explores a period in U.S. history when racial prejudice and fear upset the delicate balance between the rights of citizens and the power of the state. It tells the story of Japanese Americans who suffered a great injustice at the hands of the government, and who have struggled ever since to correct this violation of civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Site visitors experience the story through interactive galleries comprised of photographs, artifacts, and oral histories from the Smithsonian collection. In addition, visitors can search an online database of more than 800 artifacts from the collection, submit memories and responses to the site, and link to more resources and classroom materials. The heart of this online exhibition is the Story Experience, which features hundreds of items from the Smithsonian’s collection along 30 “gallery walls” within the site. The presentation borrows on traditional exhibit design principles, as opposed to print page-based or linear broadcast designs. Visitors scroll across panels filled with photographs, paintings, objects, artifacts, documents, first-person audio accounts, and interpretive text panels. Each of the six sections of the experience features a distinctive look and sound: visual design elements were derived from traditional Japanese fabrics, and an original score was inspired by the Japanese Gagaku style of music.
Press & Awards“Second Story,” w.e.b., July 2004“Sound Advice,” HOW, Megan Lane, February 2003
[S]ome of the most stunning images and sounds on the internet were created in Portland, OR at Second Story.“13th Annual Muse Awards,” AAM Museum News, Deborah Seid Howes, November 2002“A More Perfect Union,” Create Magazine, Michael Burns, February 2002“Hot & Cool: Websites Closeup,” Web Designing (Japan), February 2002 (Mainichi Communications)American Association of Museums Muse Awards, Gold, History, 2002
An in-depth site that does not overwhelm you despite the vast amount of information available. Design is very clean and sound is particularly impressive. One of the best exhibitions, online or otherwise, I have seen in a long time.HOW, Interactive Design Annual, Merit Award, 2002Macromedia, Site of the Day, November 21, 2001“Second Story Mounts Exhibit,” Oregon Business Journal, Aliza Earnshaw, November 16, 2001Yahoo!, Daily Pick, November 9, 2001
- Aleen Adams
- Brad Johnson, Martin Linde
- Seb Chevrel, Sam Ward
- Aleen Adams
- Sound Design
- Brad Purkey
- Production Assistant
- David Waingarten
© 2016 Second Story, Inc.