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First to Go: Story of the Kataoka Family (film)

Documentary film by Myles Matsuno built around an interview with his grandmother Mary "Hisako" Matsuno, a Nisei from San Francisco, about her wartime incarceration experience at Tanforan and Topaz . Additional interview footage from a 1996 interview with Toshi Handa, Mary's sister-in-law, adds additional information. Family home movies and photographs augment the production. The title refers to Mary's father, Issei hotelier Ichiro Kataoka, who was reportedly the first Issei in San Francisco to be arrested and interned on December 7, 1941.

Filmmaker Matsuno was inspired by a photo of Kataoka's arrest by the FBI that appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on Dec. 8 that his father had framed and displayed. "'Growing up I would always see it, but I never really dug into it much until I got older and started asking my grandma questions,' he told journalist J.K. Yamamoto. "I came to find out the story was incredible and something that should be told." Born and raised in Los Angeles, Matsuno graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and subsequently worked at ABC and later was the technical director for Prospect Studios. [1]

Authored by Brian Niiya

Might also like From a Silk Cocoon (2005); Family Gathering (1988); Who's Going to Pay for These Donuts, Anyway? (1992)


  1. J.K Yamamoto, "The First of Too Many," Rafu Shimpo, Feb. 24, 2017, , accessed on Mar. 15,2021.
Media Details
Release Date 2017
Runtime 20 minutes
Director Myles Matsuno
Producer Myles Matsuno
Writer Mary Matsuno
Starring Mary "Hisako" Matsuno, Margaret Takemoto, Joe Kataoka, Toshi Handa
Music Immanuel James Davis
Cinematography Jonathan Smith and Myles Matsuno
Editing Myles Matsuno
Studio Matsuno Media
For More Information

For More Information

Filmmaker website:

Yamamoto, J.K. " The First of Too Many. " Rafu Shimpo , Feb. 24, 2017.