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Browse > Theme > Heroism - real or perceived

10 articles

Go for Broke! (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama, War
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived, Hazards of passing judgment
  • Widely available

1951 feature film that tells the story of 442nd Regimental Combat Team and that climaxes with the rescue of the "Lost Battalion." A popular and critical success, Go For Broke! represents a landmark in the representation of Japanese Americans in Hollywood films. The film focuses on the transformation of the initially bigoted Lt. Michael Grayson (played by Van Johnson), who is assigned to command the all-Japanese American unit. The members of the 442nd were mostly played by Nisei veterans. Producer and MGM studio head Dore Schary would produce another film centered around bigotry aimed at Japanese Americans four years later, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955).

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Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story (film)

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

A 2013 documentary film about Japanese American Kibei war hero Roy Matsumoto and his family during World War II, as told through the eyes of his daughter Karen. A decorated linguist with the Military Intelligence Service who was a part of Merrill's Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma, Matsumoto served even though his parents and sisters were living in Hiroshima and three of his Nisei brothers were ultimately conscripted into the Japanese army.

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Prejudice and Patriotism: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in the Military Intelligence Service of WWII (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived
  • No availability

Documentary video that tells the story of Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II, juxtaposing that story against the backdrop of the Japanese American wartime incarceration, highlighting the difficulties brought on by the loyalty questionnaire and its aftermath. Colin Powell introduces and closes the video, which is narrated by Ken Kashiwahara. The story is told using archival footage and photographs and interviews with many MIS veterans and others. No director is identified. The film was produced and funded by the Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California and the National Japanese American Historical Society.

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Citizen Tanouye (film)

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

A 2005 documentary film that tells the story of eight high school students from Torrance High School in California, and their discovery of a school alumnus named Ted Tanouye and his experiences during World War II. A Japanese American soldier of the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team who was killed in action and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Technical Sergeant Tanouye and his family were nonetheless incarcerated at the Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas, concentration camps from 1942–45, without due process. By researching Tanouye's personal history through school yearbooks, newspapers, internet sites and by conducting interviews with Japanese American veterans, the relevance of history and importance of civil liberties becomes tangible for the students, who come to see the parallels between the Japanese American experience during World War II and their own lives and the impact war had on their city.

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Forgotten Valor (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Heroism - real or perceived
  • No availability

Dramatic film about a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who was among those awarded the Medal of Honor in 2000, but who refuses to attend the ceremony and subsequently disappears.

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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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Hell to Eternity (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • War, Drama
  • Evils of racism, Heroism - real or perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

Hell to Eternity, directed by Phil Karlson and released in 1960, is a Hollywood war film that dramatizes the real-life story of Guy Gabaldon (played by Jeffrey Hunter), an American Marine who singlehandedly captured over 1,500 Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Island of Saipan during the fighting there in mid-1944. In addition to its portrait of Gabaldon's wartime heroism, Hell to Eternity is notable as the first Hollywood film to portray the wartime confinement of Japanese Americans.

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Honor Bound: A Personal Journey (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, Power of the past
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team through the story of one soldier, Haruo Howard "Howe" Hanamura, and his daughter, television reporter Wendy Hanamura, who travel to Europe in October 1944 for 50th anniversary ceremonies of the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine by the 442nd. The film was produced by the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) and KPIX, San Francisco, where Wendy Hanamura was a news reporter. After debuting on KPIX on March 5, 1995, it went on to be shown on over 100 PBS stations.

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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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Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People (film)

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

Influential documentary film by Loni Ding that was the first of many to specifically focus on the story of Japanese Americans who served in the armed forces during World War II.

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