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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

242 articles

MIS: Human Secret Weapon (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Role of men, Vulnerability of the strong, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Feature length documentary film on the history of Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II. Written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Junichiro Suzuki, MIS: Human Secret Weapon is the third film in Suzuki's trilogy of documentaries on Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Rabbit in the Moon (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Convention and rebellion, Injustice, Power of the past, Role of women
  • Widely available

Documentary film written and directed by Emiko Omori and produced by Omori with her sister Chizuko on Japanese Americans in American concentration camps during World War II that highlights resistance and other lesser told stories. Winner of many awards and screened nationally on public television in 1999, Rabbit in Moon has become one of the most acclaimed and widely viewed feature length documentaries on this topic.

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Snow Falling on Cedars (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Fear of other, Lost love, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Film based on the popular novel by David Guterson set in a small island village in Washington state about a young white newspaper publisher covering the postwar murder trial of a Japanese American fisherman. Flashback scenes depict the forced removal of Japanese Americans and their wartime incarceration. Directed by Scott Hicks from a screenplay by Hicks and Ronald Bass, Snow Falling on Cedars garnered an academy award nomination for its cinematographer, Robert Richardson.

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Arnold Knows Me: The Tommy Kono Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Role of men
  • Widely available

Documentary film that charts Nisei Tommy Kono's unlikely rise from a World War II concentration camp to becoming one of America's greatest Olympic style weightlifters.

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In Time of War (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Circle of life, Displacement, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Documentary film on the Japanese American experience in the Pacific Northwest including "voluntary evacuation," forced removal and confinement, and the debate over military service. Produced by North By Northwest Entertainment for Whitworth College, the project was funded by a grant from the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

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

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real and perceived, Role of men, Injustice, Evils of racism
  • Limited availability

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.

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Seed: The Life of the Rice King and His Kin (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Circle of life, Immigrant experience, Individual versus society, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Japanese produced documentary film on Issei rice farming pioneer Keisaburo Koda and the family business he founded in Dos Palos, California.

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One-Two-One-Seven (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Documentary film by Brett Kodama about the experiences of his grandmother, Sharon Shizuko Okazaki Kodama, at Manzanar. Just three years old when she and her family were forcibly removed from their Southern California home and sent to Manzanar, Okazaki Kodama's Issei father killed her Kibei mother in September 1942. She and her older sister spent the rest of the war at the Manzanar Children's Village, the camp orphanage. They were raised after the war by an aunt and uncle in Washington state. Okazaki Kodama recalls her memories of the camp and the orphanage, talks about her parents' deaths and reflects on the impact on the incarceration over visuals that include archival photographs and footage, photographs from her own family album, and images of the Manzanar National Historic Site today. The title refers to the Okazaki's family number at Manzanar.

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Most Honorable Son (film)

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

Documentary film that profiles Nisei war hero Ben Kuroki, tracing his life from his Nebraska childhood, his fight to be allowed to serve in the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, his bombing missions over Europe and Japan, and his visits to American concentration camps in which Japanese Americans were held. Kuroki tells much of the story in his own words, which are augmented by many interviews with crew members who flew with him in both Europe and Japan. In addition to archival footage and photographs, the filmmakers also film reenactments of a few key episodes. Among the incidents highlighted are the dramatic raid on the Ploesti oilfields in what is now Romania, one of Kuroki's last missions in Europe; his speech before the Commonweath Club in San Francisco upon his return; and his visit to the Heart Mountain concentration camp of which inmates Eiichi Sakauye, Jack Tono, and ...

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Come See the Paradise (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, History, Romance
  • Everlasting love, Family – blessing or curse, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

The content in this article is still under development. A completed version will appear soon!

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On the Go: Little Tokyo (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Power of the past
  • Widely available

Segment of Jack Linkletter's On the Go television show set in Little Tokyo that focuses on the wartime incarceration and its aftermath. Linkletter interviews three Japanese Americans on the sidewalks of Little Tokyo: Eiji Tanabe (referred to only as "Mr. Tanabe"), a Nisei businessman who had been active in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) before and after the war; Mr. Shimizu, the Issei owner of Asahi Shoe Store; and John Aiso, then a municipal court judge. In Tanabe's segment, the longest, he describes his work for the JACL (which is not referred to by name), the loss of his hotel businesses—for which he received token compensation through the Evacuation Claims Act—and his "voluntary evacuation" to his hometown of Spokane, before returning to Los Angeles and starting a travel business. Shimizu describes in halting English his arrest on the night of December 7 and subsequent internment in San Pedro and ...

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Yankee Samurai (film)

  • Films and Video

Israeli produced film on the exploits of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team told through archival footage, interviews, and contemporary footage of battle locations, including scenes of veterans returning to the Vosges Mountains in France for the unveiling of a monument. The 50-minute film was written and directed by Katriel Schory. Film historian Glen M. Mimura refers to it as one of "the two most prominent internment documentaries of the 1980s," along with Loni Ding's The Color of Honor.[1]

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Winter in My Soul (film)

  • Films and Video

Documentary film about Heart Mountain produced by KTWO, a commercial TV station based in Casper, Wyoming. Produced in 1986, it was one of the first to focus on a specific camp and was notable for including the story of the draft resistance movement at Heart Mountain. The title comes from a poem written by Heart Mountain inmate Miyuki Aoyama and published in the camp newspaper, the Heart Mountain Sentinel.

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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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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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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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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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Our American Family: The Furutas (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Injustice, Importance of community
  • Available

Episode of the television series Our American Family that focuses on a Japanese American family from Southern California. The episode premiered in February 2015.

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Dear Miss Breed (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, importance of community
  • Limited availability

A 2000 short documentary film by Veronica Ko about San Diego children's librarian Clara Breed, whose wartime correspondence with Japanese American youth she had befriended before the war became an unlikely source of hope and courage when the children were sent to American concentration camps. The film, which is hosted by actor Marcus Toji, includes excerpts from some of the 250 letters Miss Breed received from the Japanese American children. The film was created and produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum of the same title. The film was recognized with numerous awards including the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media, Council on Foundations, 2002; the 34th Annual Worldfest Houston, Grand Prize nomination, Special Gold Jury Award, Historical, 2001; and the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention, 2000.

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Pilgrimage (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Power of the past, Fear of other
  • Widely available

Documentary film that traces the origins of the first Manzanar pilgrimage in 1969 and links it to the 2005 pilgrimage and to efforts to uphold the rights of Arab and Muslim Americans after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The film includes interviews with many of the organizers of the 1969 pilgrimage and archival footage and photographs of that event and of related events from that time. Directed and edited by Tadashi Nakamura, the film was a production of the Center for EthnoCommunications of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in 2008. The film is dedicated to the memory of Sue Kunitomi Embrey, who passed away in 2006. It was funded in part by grants from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, the UCLA in LA Center for Community Partnerships, the California Wellness Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media.

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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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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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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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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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