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Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories of O'ahu (film)


Short film that tells the story of Japanese Americans on O'ahu who were interned during World War II using a combination of contemporary interviews, historical photographs and footage, and historical reenactments. It is one of a series of four films produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i about the internment experience in each of the four counties of Hawai'i as a follow up to the 2012 film The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i .

Stories of O'ahu focuses on three prominent Japanese American families: the Otanis, the Iidas, and the Moris, whose stories are told by the children of internees Matsujiro Otani , Koiichi Iida, and Motokazu Mori and augmented by reenactments of these men's arrest and detention after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa also talks about the internment of both of her grandparents. Also incorporated into the story is that of Japanese Americans in the 100th Infantry Battalion , 442nd Regimental Combat Team , and Military Intelligence Service . The last third of the film looks at the Redress Movement , contemporary efforts to identify and preserve the confinement sites on O'ahu, and the significance of this story in the current political environment.

Ryan Kawamoto wrote and directed Stories of O'ahu , which was largely funded by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, as well as the other three films which focus on Maui, Kaua'i and Hawai'i island. Stories of O'ahu premiered on March 10, 2018, at the Honolulu Festival.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like Justice Betrayed (1992); The First Battle: The Battle for Equality in War-Time Hawaii (2006); Ganbare Don't Give Up! (1994)

Media Details
Release Date 2012
Runtime 29 minutes
Director Ryan Kawamoto
Writer Ryan Kawamoto
Narrator Colleen Fujioka
Starring Akira Otani (interviewee), Laura (Iida) Miho (interviewee), Victor Mori (interviewee), Colleen Hanabusa (interviewee), Alan Rosenfeld (interviewee), Amy Nishimura (interviewee), Mary Farrell (interviewee), George Takei (interviewee), Allan Okubo (Matsujiro Otani), Saxon Sawai (Akira Otani), Shiro Kawai (Dr. Motokazu Mori), Yuko O'Leary (Mrs. Ishiko Mori), Evan Oda (Victor Mori), Keiji Kukino (Iga Mori), Mike Misaka (Koichi Iida), Kim Taratko (Mrs. Nobu Iida), Aaron Densley (John Burns)
Music Aron Nelson
Editing Ryan Kawamoto
Studio Kinetic Productions