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Legacy of the Nisei: Stories of Japanese American Internment and World War II Veterans (film)


The second video produced by the San Leandro Public Library built around interviews with Japanese American veterans and former concentration camp inmates from the San Francisco Bay area.

Similar to prior video, Legacy of the Nisei Veterans: WWII Stories of the 100th/442nd and Military Intelligence Service , Legacy of the Nisei consists of interviews with fifteen Japanese Americans, with short segments of the interviews organized by topic in more or less chronological fashion. The interviews are augmented by the insertion of both personal and archival photographs and images of artwork by artists such as Henry Sugimoto and Miné Okubo , as well as frequent excerpts from Japanese Relocation and other OWI/WRA propaganda films . (Despite the title not all interviewed are Nisei , with at least two Sansei children of Nisei included.) Topics include the prewar culture of the Nisei, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the aftermath, Executive Order 9066 and the roundup of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, life in the " assembly centers " and concentration camps, the formation of the 442nd and its exploits in Europe as well as the Military Intelligence Service , stories of resistance (highlighting Jimi Yamaichi), the loyalty questionnaire , and leaving the camps and the aftermath of incarceration. The last fifteen minutes of the film includes brief updates on the lives of the interview subjects.

A project of the San Leandro Public Library, Legacy of the Nisei was funded by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program , with support services provided by the Media Arts Center San Diego.

Might also like Topaz (1987); Chrysanthemums and Salt (1994); Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted (2012)

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho
Media Details
Release Date 2012
Runtime 102 minutes
Producer Nancy Fong
Starring Takako Endo (interviewee), James Hirabayashi (interviewee), Connie Ichiyama (interviewee), Eddie Ichiyama (interviewee), Karen Kato (interviewee), Ken Nihei (interviewee), Esther Oda (interviewee), Art Okuno (interviewee), Akiko Okuno (interviewee), George Shimizu (interviewee), Mary Takai (interviewee), John Takeuchi (interviewee), Eiko Yamaichi (interviewee), Jimi Yamaichi (interviewee), Fusae Yoshida
Studio San Leandro Public Library