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Browse > Theme > Power of tradition

12 articles

Beacon Hill Boys (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Convention and rebellion, Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Identity crisis, Power of tradition
  • Available

Novel for young adults by Ken Mochizuki about a Sansei teenager's quest for identity and meaning in 1972 Seattle.

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Nikkei Style (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Change versus tradition, Importance of community, Power of tradition, Quest for discovery
  • Limited availability

Personal essay on being Japanese American by Sansei filmmaker Steven Okazaki, narrated in his first person voice. Beginning his journey at a family mochizuki event in Oxnard, California, he explores his family history, taking us to the house he grew up in in Venice, California, and telling us what he knows of his mother's and father's families, including their World War II incarceration (his mother went to Santa Anita, then Amache, his father to Heart Mountain) and featuring a brief interview with his mother. In search of more information about his father's side, he goes to Japan to visit a distant cousin and to Hawai'i to visit one of his father's old army buddies, from whom he learns much. The film ends with footage from various bon dances in Hawai'i and the continental U.S, which Okazaki cites as a living symbol of being Japanese American. Along the way, Okazaki muses ...

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Looking After Minidoka: An American Memoir (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Change versus tradition, Coming of age, Displacement, Female roles, Growing up - pain or pleasure, Immigrant experience, Love and sacrifice, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice, Power of tradition, Will to survive
  • Available

A third-generation Japanese American shares the multi-generational story of both sides of his family, from immigration to the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and wartime incarceration, to resettlement and his own childhood.

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Seki-nin (Duty Bound) (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Convention and rebellion, Displacement, Facing darkness, Family – blessing or curse, Power of tradition
  • Available

Novel by George Nakagawa about a Nisei stranded in Japan during World War II.

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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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The Red Pines: Japanese-Americans on Bainbridge Island (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Displacement, Power of tradition, Rebirth
  • Widely available

Short film about the Japanese American community of Bainbridge Island, Washington. The twelve-minute film produced and directed by Lucy Ostrander provides a brief history of the community going back to the late 1800s, covers their wartime eviction and incarceration, and includes scenes from a contemporary mochitsuki, the traditional pounding of rice cakes to mark the new year. The story is largely told through Junkoh Harui, a Nisei, who recounts his Japanese immigrant father's arrival on Bainbridge to work in a sawmill before starting a number of businesses, including a store and Bainbridge Gardens. Other interviewees include Fumiko Hayashida, a woman famous for a photograph of her and her young daughter being forcibly removed during World War II; Hayashida later became the subject of another short documentary by Ostrander and her production partner Don Sellers. The title of the film comes from the Japanese red pine trees that Harui's father planted ...

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We the People: The Stage Production (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence, Power of tradition
  • Available

Short film that documents the performance of the elementary school age students of Jan Ken Po Gakko in Sacramento on July 20, 2000. The production is highlighted by a play performed by the students based on Mary Tsukamoto and Elizabeth Pinkerton's book We the People.

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A Brother Is a Stranger (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Change versus tradition, Desire to escape, Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Individual versus society, Nationalism – complications, Power of tradition
  • Available

Memoir of a young Japanese immigrant/refugee Christian about his upbringing and travails in Japan, his journey to the U.S. and his wartime internment, and his postwar observations in Japan. Published in 1946 by the John Day Company, it was among the first books by a Japanese American to appear after the war.

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Great Grandfather's Drum (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Importance of community, Power of the past, Power of tradition
  • Available

Documentary film that tells the story of Japanese Americans in Maui through the story of Maui Taiko and its founder, Kay Fukumoto.

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Good Luck Soup (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Importance of community, Individual versus society, Power of tradition
  • Widely available

Autobiographical documentary film by Matthew Hashiguchi that explores his and his family's experience growing up as mixed-race Japanese Americans in Cleveland, Ohio. Hashiguchi draws inspiration from his Nisei grandmother and family matriarch Eva Hashiguchi, who settled in Cleveland after leaving the Jerome, Arkansas, concentration camp during World War II and chose to remain there. In addition to the feature length film, the Good Luck Soup project also includes an interactive website that serves as an "participatory storytelling" platform.

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Ohakamairi: A Visit to the Graves (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Isolation, Power of tradition, Reunion
  • No availability

Short documentary student film by Janice D. Tanaka that focuses on the annual pilgrimages to Manzanar made by Buddhist Rev. Sentoku Maeda. Shot in 16mm black and white while a student at the University of Southern California (USC), Tanaka's film lets Maeda tell his story in his own voice, accompanied by historical photos and footage of Maeda at the Manzanar site. Incarcerated at Manzanar as a young man, he recalls the Buddhist services held there despite administrative opposition. He talks about the "I-re-to" memorial and his promise to visit the graves at Manzanar once the war is over. For the next twenty plus years, he came back to perform memorial services, sometimes alone. The film ends with his recognition of the "young people" who have turned his lonely pilgrimage into a community event starting in 1969.

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Bend with the Wind: The Life, Family, and Writings of Grace Eto Shibata (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Circle of life, Family – blessing or curse, Female roles, Power of tradition
  • Available

Memoir of a Nisei woman—though written in the third person—that covers a nearly one hundred year history of a prominent San Luis Obispo area farming family and that ends with the author's graduation from college at age seventy-four.

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