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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

242 articles

Streams of Light: Shin Buddhism in America (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Power of tradition, Role of Religion – virtue or hypocrisy
  • Widely available

Documentary film on shin Buddhism in the United States focuses on the Japanese American temples of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) from 1898 to the present. The sixty-four minute film was directed by Brazil-based Buddhist priest Rev. Kentaro Sugao with the cooperation of the BCA and the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

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Tsuru (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Desire to escape, Evils of racism, Individual versus society, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Short dramatic film about an elderly Issei couple whose attempt to avoid the mass roundup of Japanese Americans during World War II is aided by a white nurse. Tsuru was a senior year project at Chapman University by Chris K. T. Bright.

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Mission in Manila: The Sakakida Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Facing darkness, Forgiveness, Heroism – real and perceived, Will to survive
  • Limited availability

Documentary film that tells the story of Richard Sakakida , a Nisei intelligence agent in the Philippines who is captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II and who confronts—and forgives—his torturers after the war. The film is based almost entirely on an interview with Sakakida, augmented by narrator Jerry Kay, archival footage and family photographs, and illustrations by Roberta Twidwell. The 28-minute film was produced by the Military Intelligence Service and the National Japanese American Historical Society for the Military Intelligence Service Fellowship Program.

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The Color of Honor: The Japanese American Soldier in WWII (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Available

A 1987 documentary film by Loni Ding that largely focuses on Japanese Americans who served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II. A sequel to Ding's 1983 film Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People , the two films were among the first and most influential films on the Nisei soldiers and both were critically acclaimed and widely viewed.

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Old Man River (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, History
  • Family – blessing or curse, Power of the past, Power of silence, Quest for discovery
  • Available

Filmed version of Cynthia Gates Fujikawa's one-woman play of the same name about her search to unearth the secrets in the life of her father, actor Jerry Fujikawa. The play premiered in New York in 1997. Gates and documentary film director Allan Holzman filmed her performances during the run of the play in Los Angeles in early 1998. To try to recapture the effect of Fujikawa talking directly to the audience, Holzman positioned cameras on stage that she could talk into and added additional historic photographs and video. Premiering later in 1998, the film version went to play in various film festivals, community screenings and Days of Remembrance in succeeding years. The DVD version of the film also includes Fujikawa's 2003 documentary, Day of Remembrance .

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Tanforan: From Race Track to Assembly Center (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Displacement
  • Available

Documentary film on Tanforan , a former horse racing track that became the site of a wartime " assembly center " for incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. The film includes interviews with many former inmates of Tanforan, some of whom lived in what were once horse stalls, including Maya Nagata Aikawa, George and Michiko Uchida, Tomoye Takahashi, Hid Kashima, Sox Kitashima, Dave Tatsuno , Yoneo Kawakita, Hiro Katayama, Sachi Kajiwara, Sugar Hirabayashi, Hiro Fujii, Yo Kasai, Chizu Togasaki, Tomoko Kashiwagi, Toru Saito, and Jan Matsuoka. Tanforan was produced by KCSM, a San Mateo, California based public television station as part of The New Americans series and was directed by Dianne Fukami. Funders for the film included the Chevron Corporation and the Ray and Peggy Daba Fund.

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Farewell to Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Available

Made-for-television movie about a Japanese American family in Manzanar during World War II. Based on the book of the same name by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar aired nationally on NBC stations on March 11, 1976, and remains one of the few mainstream dramatic films centered on the Japanese American concentration camp experience.

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An American Story: World War II Stories of the Tragedy and Triumph of Our Japanese-American Community During Wartime (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Importance of community
  • Widely available

Video on the World War II odyssey of Japanese Americans from the Watsonville area based on interviews with survivors of that time. The video was part of a larger project that also included a curriculum guide/lesson plan kit for teachers and an interactive video kiosk available for display by community organizations. The project was sponsored by the Watsonville Public Library and Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and funded by a $14,000 grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program . The film's premiere screening took place on August 27, 2011. [1]

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Guilty by Reason of Race (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Evils of racism, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film produced by NBC and shown nationally on September 19, 1972, as part of the NBC Reports series. It was the second major network documentary on the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans after The Nisei: The Pride and the Shame , which aired on CBS in 1965.

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Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Convention and rebellion, Heroism – real and perceived, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

Feature length documentary film that traces the basketball exploits of Wat Misaka, a Nisei from Utah who starred on two college basketball national championship teams and played briefly for the New York Knicks in the 1940s.

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Ruth Asawa: A Community Artist (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Short documentary film on artist Ruth Asawa by Dianne Fukami. Produced as part of a follow-up project to the creation of the "Garden of Remembrance" at San Francisco State University, the documentary highlights Asawa's role in the garden and documents some of her other public art in San Francisco.

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Ralph Story's Los Angeles: Little Tokyo (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Optimism – power or folly, Self-reliance, Social mobility
  • No availability

Episode of the popular 1960s weekly television show featuring the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. Filmed largely in Little Tokyo, the program covers both the history of the neighborhood and its then current status and includes a discussion of the wartime incarceration of its population.

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Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • Available

A 2004 documentary film about the life of Art Shibayama, a Japanese Peruvian who was forcibly taken from his home in Peru in 1944 when he was thirteen years old, and interned in a Department of Justice camp in Crystal City , Texas, for the duration of World War II. This film explores the lesser-known history of the Japanese Latin American detention, where over 2,000 Latin Americans were essentially kidnapped from their countries and interned in American government camps, to be used as political pawns between countries. Using first-person narrative and archival footage, the film shows how despite their traumatic experiences and wrongful treatment, Shibayama and other Latin Americans have been denied redress that was awarded to Japanese Americans in 1988 for their loss of civil liberties and forced wartime incarceration. Directed by Casey Peek and produced by Irum Shiekh.

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The Idaho Homefront: Of Camps and Combat (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Widely available

Documentary video written and produced by Jim Peck for Idaho Public Television that tells the story of the Minidoka camp in Idaho and of Japanese Americans who served in World War II from Idaho, both those in Minidoka and those born and raised in Idaho. The show was a follow up to an earlier documentary by Peck titled The Idaho Homefront: World War II that had included a mention of Minidoka and of the 442nd . Narrated by Sue Galligan, and featuring interviews with Hero Shiosaki, Roy Gikui, Robert Sims, Bethine Church, Fumiko Hayashida, and Toshi Ito. Funding for the show came in part from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WETA Public Broadcasting, and from Wal-Mart. The half-hour show premiered on Idaho public television stations on September 20, 2007.

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Harsh Canvas: The Art and Life of Henry Sugimoto (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • No availability

A 2001 biographical documentary film on the life and work of Issei artist Henry Sugimoto , based on the artist's memoirs and testimony before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians . The film highlights Sugimoto's art through archival and contemporary footage and follows his life's journey from immigration to his incarceration with his family during World War II in Arkansas, and postwar relocation to New York. Actor Mako narrates the film in the voice of Sugimoto. Interviews with his daughter Madeleine Sugimoto and sister-in-law Naomi Tagawa provide additional information on his life, while fellow artist George Mukai and curators Kristine Kim and Stephanie Barron discuss the significance of his work.

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Justice Betrayed (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • No availability

Documentary film on the internment of Japanese Americans from Hawai'i produced in 1992 by the Honolulu Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Justice Betrayed includes interviews with two Japanese Americans whose fathers were interned (Sandra Takahata, the daughter of artist George Hoshida , and Akira Otani, son of businessman Matsujiro Otani ); Tokushige and Mitsue Nakahara, boat builder brothers who were themselves interned; and Violet Ishii Hayashi, a woman from originally from Hawai'i who was on the West Coast at time of the mass expulsion and incarceration and ended up at Poston ; and legal scholar Eric Yamamoto and historian Franklin Odo. In addition to outlining the Hawai'i story, the film also covers Executive Order 9066 and the West Coast story as well as the issues with John DeWitt's Final Report that led to the corm nobis cases in the 1980s.

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American Pastime (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History, Sport
  • Widely available

A 2007 feature film directed by Desmond Nakano that is based on true events that occurred at Topaz , an American concentration camp in Utah which held thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. The film's story focuses on the Nomura family, whose mother and father are both Issei , and their two Nisei children, Lane and Lyle. Following the signing of Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, the Nomuras, along with over 120,000 other Japanese living on the West Coast, are forced into desolate government camps across the country. To boost the morale of the younger inmates and help build a sense of community, Mr. Nomura, who was once a professional baseball player, forms an in-camp league within the concentration camp, in an attempt to to instill some sense of normality into their lives.

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Kash: The Legend and Legacy of Shiro Kashino (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Available

Feature length documentary film by Vince Matsudaira that tells the story of Shiro "Kash" Kashino (1922–97), a decorated combat veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team , whose legacy had been tarnished by a court-martial stemming from a fight while in France.

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Ganbare Don't Give Up! (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Immigrant experience, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Documentary film that provides an overview of what happened to Japanese Americans in Hawai'i during World War II, focusing on the limited internment of Issei community leaders and the exploits of Japanese American men in the armed forces. Ganbare Don't Give Up! was produced as a part of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i's core exhibition, Okage Sama De: I am what I am because of you , which remains the only place where it can be viewed.

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Calling Tokyo: Japanese American Radio Broadcasters During World War II (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Documentary
  • Patriotism - complications, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Limited availability

Documentary film directed by Gary T. Ono that tells the story of a small group of Japanese Americans recruited out of the concentration camps to work for the British Political Warfare Mission (BPWM) and Office of War Information (OWI) as translators and broadcasters of propaganda aimed at Japan. The small group—eight who worked for the OWI and four for the BPWM—were mostly Kibei and worked out of a Denver studio. Both groups translated American news reports that were made into radio scripts and broadcasts transmitted by shortwave radio. The operation later moved to San Francisco in February 1945, when Japanese Americans were allowed to return to the West Coast.

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Eagle Against the Sun (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Loss of innocence, Coming of age, Evils of racism
  • Limited availability

A dramatic short film by John Akahoshi centering on a 17-year-old Japanese American high school girl and the impact the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has on her life.

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Visible Target (film)

  • Films and Video

Documentary film on the forced removal of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island , Washington. Cris Anderson and John de Graaf produced Visible Target in 1985 for Seattle public television station KCTS, making it one of the earliest documentaries to tackle the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film also profiles Walt and Milly Woodward of the Bainbridge Review , among the only West Coast journalists who opposed the treatment of Japanese Americans and features interviews with them.

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Passing Poston (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of Poston through the lives of four former inmates, Mary Higashi, Ruth Okimoto, Kiyo Sato, and Leon Uyeda. The four—who ranged in age from young adulthood to young childhood at the time of their incarceration—talk about their wartime experiences and also the continuing postwar impacts over footage of government propaganda films and archival and personal photographs.

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Fifty Years of Silence: The Untold Story of Japanese American Soldiers in the Pacific Theater, 1941-1952 (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Limited availability

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II and during the occupation of Japan through archival footage and interviews. Produced by the Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California and the National Japanese American Historical Society, the 60-minute documentary was directed by Sheryl K. Narahara and released in 1992. In addition to providing an overview of the MIS story from training to the battlefield and occupation of Japan, Fifty Years of Silence also includes a section on Richard Sakakida , a Nisei who did intelligence work in the Philippines as part of the Counter Intelligence Corps.

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Discoveries... America National Parks: Japanese American Incarceration, 1942-1945 (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, power of the past
  • Available

Installment of the popular video series America National Parks produced by Bennett-Watt HD Productions that provides an overview of the Japanese American wartime incarceration and looks at contemporary efforts by the National Park Service and state and local organizations to preserve the former camp sites. In his review in Video Librarian , T. Keogh wrote, "Full of personal testimonies, this eye-opening travelogue is highly recommended." [1]

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