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

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.

Filmmaker Ono's father, Sam Masami Ono, was one of the broadcasters, recruited out of Amache in 1943. Funding from a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program allowed Ono to interview surviving broadcasters, who are featured in the film. Originally released in a 48 minute version, the film was reissued on DVD in 2013 in a 26 minute version.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like Camp Amache: The Story of an American Tragedy (2006); MIS: Human Secret Weapon (2012); Legacy of the Nisei Veterans: WWII Stories of the 100th/442nd and Military Intelligence Service (2011)

This page is complete and will be published to the production Encyclopedia.

Media Details
Release Date 2002
Runtime 48/26 minutes
Director Gary T. Ono
Producer Janice D. Tanaka
Writer Sreescanda
Cinematography Janice D. Tanaka
Editing Sreescanda
Studio University of California Extension, Center for Media and Independent Learning
For More Information

For More Information

Arneson, Rosemary. Review of Calling Tokyo. Library Journal , June 15, 2014, 58.

Ono, Gary T. "Denver: Ono Family during World War II." Discover Nikkei, Apr. 22, 2010. .

Taniguchi, Marilyn. Review of Calling Tokyo. School Library Journal 60.8 (Aug. 2014): 45.