Japanese American Resource Library
50 Years After Nuremberg — Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Executive Order 9066: 50 Years On: A Panel Presentation, Yuri Kochiyama, moderator. Univ. of Connecticut – Dodd Center, Fall 1995, approx. 90 min. VHS
In 1941, Mas Inoshita watched as his father was taken away by the FBI on the suspicion that he was a Japanese spy. Weeks later, Mas and his family were forced into a Japanese American concentration in Arizona. Now more than 50 years later, through a letter to his brother, Mas reconciles his guilt for leaving his family in the camp and his need to fight in the war as an American. 9066 captures this reconciliation with a humanistic look at Mas’ life post WWII anti-Japanese sentiment. Anthony Escobar, assoc. prod. 14 min. VHS
Civil Rights and the Japanese American Interment During World War II. Based on the Personal story of Dr. Frank Kitamoto of Bainbridge, Washington, where the first of 110,000 West Coast Japanese Americans were forced from their homes. “As a child, Dr. Frank Kitamoto and his family lived on Bainbridge Island, the first place where the U.S. Government ordered Japanese Americans to leave their homes. For decades, the Japanese American community rarely spoke of the disturbing experiences of their exclusion and incarceration. After the silence of many years, the story began to be told. Here, Frank tells it to high school students as they help him develop archival photographs in the school dark room. Together Frank and the students discuss the need to safeguard constitutional rights for all. Frank’s firsthand account brings the past to life by capturing history through the eyes of an individual who has spent his life coming to terms with the injustices suffered by his family and community during WW II.” Presented by The Bainbridge Island Historical Society and the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program. 30 min. VHS (multiple copies)
Beyond Barbed Wire
This exceptional documentary outlines the WWII battlefield accomplishments of the 100th Infantry Battallion/442 Regimental Combat Team by featuring stories recounted by Japanese Americans who fought in these segregated units to prove their loyalty to their country. The ironies are not lost as the revelations unfold. As their civil liberties and rights were being stripped away and their families imprisoned in internment camps in the U.S., they faced further prejudice from the upper ranks of the military, in the trenches of Europe and in the Pacific Theater. Steve Rosen, dir.; Terri DeBono, prod. 57min. VHS
The Brighter Side of Dark Toyo, Miyatake, 1895-1979.
Black and white. Robert A. Nakamura and Karen L. Ishizuka. 28 min. VHS
NEWLY ADDED The Cats of Mirikitani
“Make art not war” was Jimmy Mirikitani’s motto. He was born in Sacramento and raised in Hiroshima, but by 2001 he is living on the streets of New York with the twin towers of the World Trade Center still ominously anchoring the horizon behind him. What begins as a simple verite portrait of one homeless man will become a rare document of daily life in NYC in the months leading up to 9/11. How deeply these two stories will be intertwined cannot yet be imagined. A story of losing home on many levels, it is also one that tackles the rarely discussed connection between the wartime internment of Japanese Americans and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended the war. Directed by Linda Hattendorf and produced with Masa Yoshikawa. 2006, 53:30 min. Documentary / in English and Japanese with English subtitles. DVD
Caught in Between – What to call home in times of War
This documentary captures Muslim and Japanese American communities revisiting the dark days of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Interviews with former internees, their children, religious leaders, citizens and immigrants from Muslim and Japanese American communities are woven together to make crucial connections between then and the post-9/11 “War on Terrorism.” It tells a story about people who have been made the enemy, questions “freedom” in the USA, and captures the power of people standing together to fight for civil liberties and Human Rights. Premiered at the San Francisco Day of Remembrance 2004. Lina Hoshino, prod. 25 min. English with Japanese subtitles. DVD
Children of the Camps
A powerful documentary which shares the experiences, cultural and familial issues, and the long internalized grief and shame felt by six Japanese Americans who were only children when incarcerated in concentration camps during WWII. Subsequent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, on February 19, 1942. This led to the mass evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent, more than half of whom were children. They were interned in 10 camps scattered throughout remote and desolate areas of the U.S. Stephen Holsapple, dir.; Satsuki Ina, prod. 57 min. VHS
The Color of Honor
A vivid, collective portrayal of Japanese Americans during WWII. Three distinct stories are told: the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated military unit in US history; Military Intelligence Service, linguists who decoded Japanese military plans; and the thousands of draft resisters and army protesters who challenged the constitutionality of the internment camps. Loni Ding, dir. 90 min. VHS
NEWLY ADDED Come See the Paradise
In 1936 California, interracial marriage is illegal. Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid) and Lily Kawamura (Tamlyn Tomita) must elope to Seattle, where they soon have a daughter. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, Lily, like thousands of Japanese Americans are “relocated” to internment camps. As Jack tries desperately to keep his family together, the grim specter of war threathens to tear them apart. Written and Directed by Alan Parker, 1990, Color, 133 minutes. DVD
Conscience and the Constitution
In World War II a handful of young Americans refused to be drafted from an American concentration camp. They were ready to fight for their country, but not before the government restored their families from camp. It was the largest organized resistance to incarceration, leading to the largest trial for draft resistance in U.S. history. The dissidents served two years in prison, and for the next 50 years were written out of history … until now. This powerful film has moved audiences nationwide and changed the way we look at this period of American history. This film includes the voices of Japanese American actors George Takei and Mako. Produced in association with the Independent Television Service, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. Color with Black and White portions. Running time 56 min. 2000 copyright Frank Abe. VHS
Conversations: Before the War/After the War
This moving film features three fictional characters who discuss their personal
experiences and feelings as they explore the profound effects of the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII. Even now, many Japanese Americans are still coming to grips with this past. Robert A. Nakamura, dir./prod.; Karen Ishizuka, prod. 1986 29 min. VHS
Annual Day of Remembrance Public Lectures and Dialogues on the Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II at UCONN, February. Nobu Hibino and Jack Hasegawa — Inaugural Program (1998); Motoko Ikeda-Spiegel and Glenn Ryozo Kumekawa on Children of the camps (1999); Norman Ikari on the 442nd (2000); Roger Shimomura on Visual Representation and Performance (2001); Reading and Discussion of Philip Kan Gotanda’s play Sisters Matsumoto (2002 – not videotaped); Greg Robinson on FDR’s Executive Order 9066 (2003); George Yoshida on the Swing Bands of the camps (2004); Monika Kin Gagnon on the Japanese Canadian Internment (2005); Grace Shimizu on the Japanese Latin American / Peruvian Internment and Human Rights claims (2006); Elena Tajima-Creef on the WRA Archival Photographs of Internment. VHS
Days of Waiting
A poignant documentary about an extraordinary woman, artist Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with 110,000 Japanese Americans in 1942. When internment came she refused to be separated from her Japanese Americans husband and lived with him for four years behind barbed wire in the desolate Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. During her internment the artist recorded the rigors and deprivations of camp life with unusual insight, her sketches and water colors forming a moving portrait of the lives of the internees, the struggle to keep their health, dignity and hope alive. Steven Okazaki 1990 28 min. VHS
A personal documentary that uses the motif of games to look at how the Japanese American internment during WWII may have affected the lives of two “ordinary” people, the filmmaker’s father and uncle, Norm and Stan Ohama. In the course of navigating the maze of her father’s and uncle’s pursuits while simultaneously trying to inquire about their past, the filmmaker is able to find connections between their lives now and the history that was left behind. Corey Ohama, dir./prod. 20 min. VHS
A Family Gathering
Silence, the stuff of assumptions and confusion–is a legacy inherited by many grandchildren of Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor Masuo Yasui, a respected figure of Hood River Valley, OR, was arrested by FBI as a “potentially dangerous enemy alien.” In this documentary Lise Yasui, a granddaughter that Masuo never knew, shows that courageous journeys into the past can bring greater understanding of family and personal history to the present. Lise Yasui, dir/prod.; Ann Tegnell, co-prod. 1989 30 min. VHS
This documentary delves into the little known history of California’s Japanese American farmers before, during and after they were forced into U.S. internment camps, in the wake of Pearl Harbor and Executive Order 9066. Refusing to let their grim camp environment destroy their spirits, these farmers instead turned their prison yards into gardens, creating small patches of beauty and hope to get them through the desolate times. Forsaken Fields captures the emotional complexity and resiliency of a community determined to survive one of the darker chapters in our nation’s history. KVIE-TV Production, 2001. Midori Sperandeo, prod. 26 minutes. VHS
From Hawaii to the Holocaust: A Shared Moment in History
The moving and powerful story of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a fighting force comprised of Asian American soldiers that helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp and was part of the most highly decorated unit of its size in US military history. It is also the story of 2 very different peoples–Jews and Americans of Japanese ancestry–who shared common experiences as victims of government sanctioned oppression, racism and prejudice during WWII. Judy and Wayne Weightman, prod.; Judy Weightman and Ryan Sexton, dir. 1993. 53 min. VHS
Heart Mountain-Three Years in a Relocation Center
Documents the WWII incarceration in Wyoming of more than 10,000 Pacific Coast Japanese and Japanese Americans for “military necessity.” The hastily-built barracks which housed them were surrounded by barbed wire. Winter temperatures reached 28 degrees below zero and summer brought dust storms. Adding to the ordeal were questions about their loyalty to the United States, even though the majority were American citizens. David Hosley, exec. Prod. 27min. VHS
Heart to Heart: Connections with Cuban Nikkei
In August of 2005, Tsukimi Kai, a community group from the Bay Area of Northern California, traveled to Cuba to meet and exchange cultural information through taiko drumming, interviews, singing and dancing, with people of Japanese ancestry. This unique documentary contains one of a kind interviews with Issei, first generation Japanese Cubans, including one with a 97 year old pensionado. Also included are interviews with second, third and fourth generation Cubans of Japanese ancestry. Also includes footage of the camp on the Isla de Juventud where the Japanese men were incarcerated during World War II, through an agreement between Batista and the U.S. government. Narrated by Grace Shimizu. approx. 30 min. DVD
HERE IN AMERICA?
The Assembly on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a public testimonial event held at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA that documented the wartime experiences of people of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry, who were deemed “enemy aliens” during the Second World War. These powerful and poignant testimonies that juxtapose the past with the current experiences of Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and South Asians call for a more nuanced examination of the treatment of immigrants and greater vigilance over the erosion of Human Rights. This video is part of an ongoing effort by The Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans with support from the JACL, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, and the German American Internee Coalition. Produced by AWRIC, 2005. approx. 25 minutes. DVD
Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story
During World War II, the U.S. government kidnapped and interned over 2,000 Japanese Latin Americans to be used for hostage exchange with Japan. Hidden Internment reveals the lesser-known history of the Japanese Latin American internment through the life story of Art Shibayama, who was taken from Peru on March 22, 1944, and interned in a Department of Justice camp in Crystal City, Texas. He was only 13 years old. Despite his incarceration, Art was denied the redress that had been provided to Japanese Americans in the United States. After years of struggle, Art is still fighting for reparations and a full disclosure of this egregious violation of Human Rights. Produced by Peek Media in association with the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, with funding from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program. 2004. approx. 27 min. VHS
History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige
This moving exploration of personal and cultural memory juxtaposes Hollywood images of Japanese Americans and World War II propaganda with stories from the videomaker’s family. Ruminating on the difficult nature of representing the past, the artist blends interviews, memorabilia, a pilgrimage to the camp where her mother was interned, and the story of her father, who had been drafted pre-Pearl Harbor and returned to find his family’s house removed from its site. A haunting testament to the Japanese American experience. A video by Rea Tajiri (1991), 32 min. Color/BW, distributed by Women Make Movies. VHS
Honor Bound: A Personal Journey
The 100/442nd Regiment, a unit of second generation Japanese Americans who fought in Europe, suffered the highest casualty rates and became the most decorated unit in American history. This film, made by the daughter of one of the soldiers, tells their story through remembrances and archival footage. The veterans recall how they rescued the “Lost Battallion” of 211 Texans about to be annihilated by the enemy. 800 soldiers were wounded or killed in this operation which the US Army has called one of the top 10 battles of all time. The veterans also remember the friendly rivalry between the exuberant Hawaiian-Japanese, who had never faced discrimination, and the reserved American Nisei who had the double burden of fighting prejudice at home as well as the enemy abroad. Wendy Hanamura, prod. 55 min. VHS
I Told You So
An intimate documentary on Japanese American poet Lawson Inada, this work weaves downtown scenes of Fresno, CA with his words. Using a Nisei barbershop, urban graffiti and local bars as a background, Inada’s piece, “Nightsong in Asian America,” expresses his search for identity and his active resistance to World War II internment. Alan Kondo, dir. 1974, 18 min. VHS
Interview with Sylvia Kobayashi
Channel 11 KTVA Norma Goodman Show 7/15/97, 30 min. VHS
Interview with Harry Ueno
Kimiko Ego, Civil Liberties Public Educ. Fund Project, Nov. 1996, in both VHS and DVD, 30 min.
Invisible Citizens: Japanese Americans
This documentary examines the lives of six Japanese Americans and explores how they have been affected by the internment. It is the first in-depth look at a group of people whose pride has kept their pain and suffering hidden from the general public. Keiko Tsuno, 1983, 58 min. VHS
Looking Like the Enemy
A bold and daring exploration into the often horrifying yet always ironic predicaments faced by American soldiers of Asian descent who fought in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Breaking a legacy of silence, 18 veterans share tears, laughter and gut- wrenching experiences that help fill in the gaps that official history has left out. Robert A. Nakamura, dir., Karen L. Ishizuka, prod/writer, 52 min. VHS
60 Minutes A Look at Children’s Village at Manzanar CBS, 1997. 18 min. VHS
A lyrical, pensive documentary which captures Nakamura’s emotions upon visiting the Manzanar internment camp. As a Nisei (second generation Japanese American), he recalls his many childhood experiences in the concentration camp. Robert Nakamura, dir. Visual Communications, prod. 1971. 16 min. VHS
Meeting at Tule Lake
Among the 10 internment camps that imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, Tule Lake Segregation Center was the site for over 18,000 “disloyals.” Fifty years later, seven former internees discuss their past and how they came to terms with their identity, politically and socially, both during and after the camp experience. The viewer is challenged to reconsider what loyalty and citizenship really mean in a country deeply rooted in a history of racism. Created to be shown during a pilgrimage to Tule Lake in August 1994, Meeting at Tule Lake is the product of a community studies approach to research and teaching. Not only does this video attempt to historically contextualize the lives of these former internees, illustrating the regional and generational diversity within the Japanese American community; it also reflects Tsuchitani’s personal journey to come to terms with his past as a Sansei (third generation) whose parents were sent there in 1942 as teens. Screened at various Asian Pacific American community events, it has served as an important catalyst for collective dialogue and understanding across generations about the impact of internment on the development of a communal and individual Japanese
American identity. Scott T. Tsuchitani, prod/dir., 1994, 33 min. VHS
Minoru: Memory of Exile
Minoru Fukushima was a 9-year old boy living in Vancouver, Canada, when Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor thrust him into a world of racism. He and his family were forced from their home, dispatched to internment camps in the interior of British Columbia, and finally deported to Japan. Directed by Michael Fukushima, Minoru’s son, the film artfully combines striking with archival material. The father’s memories, interspersed with the son’s voice, weave a tale of suffering and survival, of a birthright lost and recovered. Michael Fukushima, dir.; Bill Pettigrew, prod., 1992, 19 min. VHS (animation)
Momiji: Japanese Maple
The filmmaker offers an intimate, moving and often joyously fun documentary about 3 generations of her Japanese Canadian family–from her grandparents’ immigration to Canada, internment during WWII, through the prosperous but intolerant ’50’s and ’60’s, to the present as a multi-cultural family. Nancy Tatebe, dir., Kathryn Presner, co-prod. 1994, 26 min. VHS
A More Perfect Union
Traveling Smithsonian WWII Exhibit with Channel 11 Norma Goodman Show 6/02/97, Channel 2 KTUU 6:00 PM News 5/15/97, Channel 11 KTVA 5:30 PM News 5/15/97. 17 min.
National Archives Footage: Japanese Relocation produced by the Office of War Information, 1942. Includes Dec. 7, 1941 Hawaii Bombing
National Japanese American Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony, 52 min. VHS
The New Americans: CHRYSANTHEMUMS & SALT
This program looks at the lives of Issei and Nisei (first and second generation Japanese Americans) from 1972 to 1942 in northern California. It examines the little known but significant contributions that they made to California’s floral, farming, and salt industries, and how communities were built around them. Hosted by Jan Yanehiro. Dir. and prod. by Dianne Fukami for KCSM, San Mateo, CA, 1994. 26 min. color footage. VHS
The story of the moral dilemma facing Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII. Leaving their families imprisoned in “relocation centers,” many young Nisei enlisted in the US army. Stigmatized as “enemy aliens” at the beginning of the war, these young sons of immigrants born and raised in America were called on to prove their loyalty in the all-Japanese American 442nd Infantry Regiment, which became the “most decorated unit in US military history.” VOX Productions/Loni Ding 1984 30 min. VHS
In 1923, Asayo Murakami left Hiroshima and settled in a fishing village in Steveston, British Columbia. Her family has memories of a happy woman who sang, danced and nurtured a colourful flower garden, but underneath, the memory of what she left in Japan haunted her deeply. Delicately peeling back the layers of her grandmother’s life, filmmaker Linda Ohama discovers a painful, buried past. In poignant interviews, Asayo, now 103 years old, recalls life in Japan, her arrival in Canada as a “picture bride,” her determination to marry a man of her choice, the bombing of Hiroshima and the forced relocation of her family during World War II. Beautifully rendered dramatic sequences are merged with an exquisite collection of memories, feelings, images and voices. Culminating in an emotional reunion with a long-lost daughter, this film is an intensely personal reflection of Japanese-Canadian history and a testament to one woman’s incredible endurance and spirit. Linda Ohama, dir.; Selwyn Jacob & Linda Ohama, prod. with the National Film Board of Canada. 94 mins. VHS
NEWLY ADDED Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story — One Ordinary Man’s Extraordinary Fight for Justice
“In the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls: Plessy, Brown, and Parks. To that distinguished list today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.” [Remarks by Pres. Clinton in honoring Fred with the Presidential Medal of Freedom] In 1942, Fred was a 23 year old California shipyard welder, when he refused to obey Executive Order 9066, which sent 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry into “internment” camps. Award-winning director Eric Paul Fournier follows Korematsu’s story from the moment he first resisted confinement to the hard-won victory he finally achieved 39 years later, with the help of a new generation of Japanese American activists seeking vindication and the assurance that such a terrible injustice would never occur again. 2000, Color, approx. 70 min. DVD
Pacific Americans Medal of Honor Presentation
Speech, President Clinton recalled the heroics of Asian-American soldiers in WWII. He also presented 22 Asian WWII veterans with the Medal of Honor. Among the recipients was Senator Daniel Inouye. 63 min. VHS
Performing Arts Workshop: Roger Shimomura February 16, 2001.
A Personal Matter: Gordon Hirabayashi vs. the United States During WWII
Gordon Hirabayashi refused to be interned on the grounds that Executive Order 9066 violated his Constitutional rights. This acclaimed documentary shows a personal look at basic protections of the Constitution such as due process of law and individual rights. John de Graff, prod., with The Constitution Project, 1992, 30 min. VHS
Hawaii, 1918. Inspired by the true stories of Hawaii’s picture brides, this unforgettable story is set amidst the breathtaking scenery of a tropical paradise. With only a picture in hand, a spirited young woman leaves behind all she knows for the far-off islands of Hawaii- and an arranged marriage with a man she has known only through photographs and letters. Though stunned by the reality she encounters upon her arrival, in time her new life is filled with unexpected discovery and joy. Featuring Youki Kudoh (Snow Falling on Cedars), Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck Club) and Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai) Directed by Kayo Hatta, produced by Diane Mei Lin Mark and Lisa Onodera. Approx. running time: 95 minutes. DVD
NEWLY ADDED Pilgrimage
A film by Tad Nakamura, that according to Jeff Chang (author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop) is “a powerfully moving piece on the dehumanization and dislocations of war, and the community and hope that can be found in resistance.” This DVD features a hip music track and never before seen archival footage that tells how an abandoned WWII concentration camp on U.S. soil for Japanese Americans was transformed into a symbol of restrospection and solidarity for people of all ages, races and nationalities in our post 9/11 world. 2006, Color, 22 min.
Rabbit in the Moon / Please Note that this video was loaned out in good faith, but it was not returned. We are hopeful it will find its way back. No questions asked. Our copy carried the license to screen it in public.
A documentary/memoir about the lingering effects of the WWII internment of the Japanese American community. It is also the story of two sisters, both former internees, filmmaker Emiko Omori and writer Chizuko Omori, who revisited the absence of this vital history in their lives while searching for the memory of their mother. Emiko Omori, dir./prod.85 min.
The Silent Glory, Zed Merril and Assoc. 2000. They fought two wars. One against an enemy of tyranny in Europe and one against an enemy of discrimination in America. They were the 100th infantry battalion and 442nd regimental combat team. VHS
Something Strong Within
Video created for the exhibition, “America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience,” featuring never before seen home movies of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Robert Nakamura, dir/ed., Karen Ishizuka, prod/writer 1994, 40 min. VHS
Starting Over: Japanese Americans After the War
Public TV documentary of the struggle of Japanese Americans as they resettled throughout the US following their incarceration in relocation camps. For decades after WWII, they fought to overcome the stigma of Japanese ancestry and the prejudice encountered as they tried to find housing and employment, and laid the foundation for a better life. Among the dozens of people interviewed are former Congressman Norman Mineta who talks of the discrimination he faced as a young man, Bill Taketa whose home was hit by bullets and an arson fire, Army vet Mel Tominaga, and Shig Takahashi who was one of the first Japanese Americans to return to CA from a camp. Dianne Fukami, prod., Jan Yanehiro, host, 1996, 60 min. VHS
Tanforan: Race Track to Assembly Center
The Tanforan Race Track was the site of an assembly center in 1942, where thousands of Japanese Americans lived for as long as 6 months, while the more permanent WWII concentration camps were being built inland. This documentary is the first in-depth study of an assembly center and the beginnings of new cultural and social systems which were developed and then transferred to the permanent camps. Donald Young, dir; Dianne Fukami, prod., 1995 TV, 57 min. VHS
NEWLY ADDED Time of Fear
In World War II more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced to leave their homes and relocate to military-controlled camps dotted across the western United States. Time of Fear tells the story of the 16,000 men, women, and children who were sent to two camps in southeast Arkansas — one of the poorest and most racially segregated places in America. This DVD also explores the reactions of the native Arkansans who watched in bewilderment as their tiny towns (Jerome and Rohwer) were overwhelmed by the influx of outsiders. Using rare home movies of the camp and exclusive interviews, writer and director Sue Williams provides a glimpse of the racism and resilience that still resonates today. 2004, Color and B&W, 60 min.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during WWII, thousands of San Francisco Bay Area Japanese-Americans were separated from their property, livelihoods, and constitutional rights. Removed from their homes, they were shipped to a windswept stretch of Utah’s roughest rangeland. Their crime was their ancestry; their penalty was loss of freedom. KUED documentary filmmaker Ken Verdoia steps into the past to explore TOPAZ, a war relocation camp in Utah which overnight became the fifth largest city in the state. Through archival film and photographs, as well as interviews with surviving internees and Utah camp workers, Verdoia brings the years of wartime imprisonment vividly to life. Ken Verdoia. dir./prod. 58 min. VHS
A Tradition of Honor
This documentary reveals the compelling accounts of the men who risked their lives in a time when America questioned their loyalty and imprisoned their families. For its size and length of service, the 100/442 Regimental Combat Team become the most decorated unit in American military history. Featured are the testimonies of 50 veterans, including the Military Intelligence Service, rare archives images from both sides of the battlefield, and exclusive footage from the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House. A Tradition of Honor is the story of a generation of Americans whose triumph over racial prejudice would forever redefine what it means to be an American. Directed by Craig Yahata, 86 min. VHS
This film tells the compelling story of three men who refused to go. Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui courageously defied the government and were separately convicted and imprisoned for violating Executive Order 9066–which led to the unjust internment of their people. The film interweaves the personal stories of the three men with startling archival footage of wartime anti- Japanese hysteria, the evacuation and incarceration, and life in the camps. It captures them today, now fighting to overturn their original convictions in the final round of a 40 year old battle against the act which shattered the lives of two generations of Japanese Americans. Steven Okazaki, 1985, 58 min. DVD
A powerful, yet intimate reflection on the depth of the human spirit and the ability to transcend cultural differences. George Oiye, one of the Japanese American soldiers who liberated people from Dachau in 1945, and Yanina Cywinska, then a 16-year old prisoner in the death camp, reunite some 40 years after WWII. Nicole Newnham, prod., 1993, 13 min. VHS
Visas and Virtue
Haunted by the sight of hundreds of Jewish refugees outside the consulate gates, a Japanese diplomat and his wife stationed in Kaunas, Lithuania at the beginning of WWII must decide how much they are willing to risk. Inspired by a true story, Visas and Virtue explores the moral and professional dilemmas that Consul General Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara faced in making a life or death decision: defy his own government’s direct orders and risk his career by issuing life-saving transit visas or obey orders and turn his back on humanity. This Academy Award™ winning portrait gracefully captured in period black and white by noted cinematographer Hiro Narita poignantly pays tribute to the rescuer of 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust. Chris Tashima, dir. 26 min. VHS
Visible Target 28 min. & Emiko Tonooka of Bainbridge Island 28 min.
Wataridori: Birds of Passage
This important tribute to the Issei (first generation Japanese Americans) integrates the stories of three people who describe a collective history through their personal memories. In this documentary, Issei pioneers talk about the WWII internment evacuation and later pilgrimage to the Manzanar concentration camp. Robert A. Nakamura, dir., Visual Communications, prod., 1976, 37 min. VHS
Who’s Going to Pay for These Donuts Anyway?
This video provides clear evidence of the profound effect of the Japanese American internment on generations of individuals. It chronicles Tanaka’s personal search for her father, whom she has not seen since age three. She finds him in a half-way house for the chronically mentally ill in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. As a young man, he had been arrested by the FBI for opposing the internment and diagnosed as a schizophrenic with paranoid tendencies. Janice Tanaka, dir., 1992, 58 min. VHS
World War II Remembered
Remembrances by Japanese-American Internees. Presented by Sylvia Kobayashi May 1997, 46 min.
Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice
For the past 40 years, the work of this tireless political activist has touched thousands of lives in diverse communities across the US. Yuri Kochiyama’s story begins with her internment in a concentration camp for Japanese Americans during WWII. She has been involved with worldwide nuclear disarmament, Malcolm X and the Black Liberation movement, the International Political Prisoner Rights Movement, and the Japanese American Redress Movement. Through interviews with Kochiyama, fellow activists, friends and family, and with archival film footage of marches and demonstrations, family photographs, and writings, this documentary gives us an inspirational glimpse at her remarkable life and her continued work for human rights. Pat Sanders and Rea Tajiri, 1993, 57 min. VHS
Through Innocent Eyes Life in Poston, AZ internment camp, 1942-43
Cassette with accompanying book.
Bainbridge Island Transcripts
Written transcripts of audio taped and video taped interviews Bainbridge Islanders of Japanese American descent. A collaborative project between UConn’s Asian American Studies Institute and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Oral History Project, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
The Heart Mountain Relocation Camp Story by Antoinette Chambers Noble, 1998.
Slide Presentation and audiotapes of the Japanese American Community. From the private collection of Gary Okihiro.
Curriculum Development / Teaching Aids
Japanese American Internment: The Bill of Rights in Crisis
Broadsheet essays, timeline (1800-1992), documents, study guide by Leona HIraoka and Ken Masugi
A Lesson in American History: The Japanese American Experience
Curriculum and resource guide by the Japanese American Citizens League, National Education Committee, 1996
Teacher’s Guide: The Bill of Rights and the Japanese American World War II Experience
Recommended for Grades 4-12, National Japanese American Historical Society, 1992