View the Book Trailer HERE!

Setsuko's Secret: Transformational Stories @JANM in Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 21, 2021

Shirley was joined by Bacon Sakatani and Sam Mihara for a lively conversation about Heart Mountain. Click image to watch the program!

Utah's first ever Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration May 22, 2021

On Saturday, May 22, Utah celebrated AA & PI Heritage Month at the Coty And County Bldg. Mayor Mendenhall, City Councilman Darin Mano, State Legislators Jani Iwamoto and Karen Kwan, author Shirley Higuchi, Mike Mower the Sr Advisor to the Governor and other addressed the crowd. Several performances from various Asian cultures were enjoyed by all. Thank you to Janice Ly, Floyd Mori and Stephanie Sato Sueoka for the invitation and for organizing this amazing event.

Red Lodge Book Club at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

Thank you, Red Lodge Book Club!

"We really enjoyed our book club discussion with [Shirley and Julie] today. We learned far more than just facts about the Japanese-American internment during WWII. Shirley and Julie opened up their personal stories to us and that meant a lot! Thank you!"

Cathy Ritter, Red Lodge Book Club, MT

The Red Lodge Book Club read Setsuko's Secret, then came out and toured the museum and the site. The day was capped off with a Zoom session with Shirley!

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.


Choose your favorite regional independent bookseller:

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


Sign up for Setsuko's Book Club!

Buy the book and register below. You'll get a signed book plate, a magnet and other swag. We'll also invite you to Setsuko's Secret events. Join now!


"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

May 19, 2021

Host: the Japanese American Citizens League

May 20, 2021


Host: the Bar Association of the District of Columbia

May 27, 2021

Host: US Japan Council

June 12, 2021


August 26, 2021

Host: JH Center for the Arts

August 31, 2021

Host: Tadaima! Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages