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Memories of Place: Clarksburg's Japanese Language School (film)


Short documentary film on the Holland Union Gakuen ( Japanese language school ) in Clarksburg, California.

Using interviews, historical photographs, and titles, filmmakers Donna Graves and Jill Shiraki tell the story of the Japanese school in the context of the Japanese American community of the Sacramento delta area, beginning with the arrival of Japanese immigrant farmers, the birth of Nisei , and the segregated schools of the region. Built in 1927, the Holland Union Gakuen became a community center for the Japanese American farming families in the area. Though noting the mass forced removal and incarceration of the local Japanese American community, the film skips over the wartime experience, picking up the story with the return of Japanese Americans after the war and the reopening of the Japanese school in the 1950s. After noting its continued role in the community after the war, the film ends by describing efforts to preserve the historical building that once housed the school.

An outgrown of the "Preserving California's Japantowns" project, the film was funded by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program . Full versions of many of the interviews used to make the film can be found in the Densho Digital Repository.

Authored by Brian Niiya

Might also like Leap of Faith: How Enmanji Temple Was Saved (2010); Island Roots (2007); Our American Family: The Furutas (2015)

Media Details
Release Date 2013
Runtime 14 minutes
Director Donna Graves
Starring George Masao Hiromoto (interviewee), Sachi (Tokunaga) Hiromoto (interviewee), Steve Hiromoto (interviewee), Toshiko (Shimada) Sakata (interviewee), Hideko "Heidi" Sakazaki (interviewee), Kiyoshi "Kay" Shimada
Cinematography David Washburn
Editing David Washburn
Studio Preserving California's Japantowns, a project of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council
For More Information

For More Information

Vimeo streaming link: https://vimeo.com/63969138 .

Preserving California's Japantowns Collection , Densho Digital Repository.