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Browse > Media Type > Films and Video

261 articles

The 442nd: Duty, Honor and Loyalty (film)

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

Documentary film on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team . The 442nd: Duty, Honor & Loyalty is a English language version of a 1996 Japanese language documentary produced by Bungei Shunju, Ltd. titled Amerika Dai-442 Hohei Rentai: Nikkei Niseitachi no Dainijin Seikai Taisen . The English language script was by John Dobovan, who also narrated.

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Remembering Manzanar (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Power of the past
  • Limited availability

Introductory video at the Manzanar National Historic Site's Visitor Center. Commissioned by the National Park Service and produced by Signature Communications of Huntingtown, Maryland, in 2004, Remembering Manzanar provides a broad overview of the Japanese American wartime forced removal and incarceration based on interviews with a dozen former inmates, along with residents of the area around Manzanar and a teacher at Manzanar. None of the narrators are identified as they talk and none are pictured onscreen. Visuals consists entirely of archival still and moving images, including clips from newsreels and War Relocation Authority films along with home movies shot by inmates; period cartoons and caricatures; period artifacts; and contemporary footage of the Manzanar site. The 22-minute video is shown every half-hour at the Manzanar Visitor Center. No director, editor, or cinematographer is credited.

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Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray (film)

  • Films and Video

Documentary film on photographer Toyo Miyatake , directed by Robert A. Nakamura for the Japanese American National Museum in 2001. Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray traces Miyatake's various identities as Little Tokyo studio photographer of portraits, weddings, and other events before and after the war; prewar art photographer; and surreptitious chronicler of incarceration during World War II. The film is an expansion of Nakamura's earlier documentary on Miyatake, The Brighter Side of Dark: Toyo Miyatake, 1895–1979 . Among its awards are a CINE Gold Eagle and the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the Florida Film Festival; it was also an official selection of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

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All We Could Carry (film)

  • Films and Video

Short documentary film by Steven Okazaki on Heart Mountain that serves as the introductory video to the exhibits at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center . The fifteen minute film draws on interviews with twelve former Heart Mountain inmates and features photographs by Yoshio Okumoto and Bill Manbo, 8-mm home movie footage by Naokichi Hashizume and Eiichi Edward Sakauye, and drawings by Estelle Ishigo , all of whom where were also incarcerated there. The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation commissioned and funded the film. It premiered at the grand opening of the interpretive center on August 20, 2011.

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Crossroads: Boyle Heights (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Importance of community, Immigrant experience, Working class struggles, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Widely available

A documentary film compiled from life histories of past and present residents of Boyle Heights, a working-class neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles. From the 1920s-1950s, Boyle Heights was a racially and ethnically diverse home to immigrants from Mexico, Japan, England, Germany, Russia and Armenia as well as people from the east, the south and the southwest portions of the United States who lived, worked and worshiped in the area. The film also explores how the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and their postwar return affected businesses and friendships. While many Japanese Americans faced hostility in other parts of Los Angeles, residents of Boyle Heights share stories of a deeper empathy with the plight of those incarcerated. Crossroads: Boyle Heights was originally produced to accompany the exhibition Boyle Heights: The Power of Place (2002) at the Japanese American National Museum .

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Going for Honor, Going for Broke (film)

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

Short 2006 documentary film that gives an overview of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team . Produced, written, directed, narrated & edited by George Toshio Johnston, he film was funded by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program .

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Day of Independence (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Drama
  • Coming of age, Family - blessing or curse, Self-reliance
  • Available

A 2003 short dramatic film about one Japanese American family's World War II experience in an American concentration camp, told through the narration of a young baseball player, whose life is traumatically altered by the forced removal and his father's decision to expatriate back to Japan. The screenplay is based on the real-life experiences of playwright and executive producer Tim Toyama's family and adapted from a play Toyama wrote entitled "Independence Day".

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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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An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Biography, History
  • Empowerment, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Quest for power, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Documentary film that profiles Nisei politician Norman Mineta with a particular focus on his childhood years in an American concentration camp and his role forty years later in the Redress movement .

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The Bracelet (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 3-5, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Limited availability

Short educational film that demonstrates the use of a popular children's book in an elementary school classroom. Patty Nagano, a teacher at Bret Harte Elementary School in the Alhambra, California, School District, begins by asking the class—which appears to consist of second or third graders—if they have experienced someone close to them moving away and listens as several children talk about their memories of such an experience. She then briefly explains what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II and reads the Yoshiko Uchida book The Bracelet to the class. As she reads, images of the class and Joanna Yardley's illustrations are augmented by archival photographs of the mass removal and incarceration, along with sound effects. After finishing the book, Nagano engages the class in a series of activities: asking them for their initial reactions to the book and answering questions about her and her family's experience; showing the …

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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, …

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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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442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity (film)

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

A 2010 documentary film directed by Japanese filmmaker Junichiro Suzuki that tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and other Japanese Americans in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. It is the second film in Suzuki's trilogy of films on the Japanese American World War II experience.

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Day of Remembrance: The First National Ceremony (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Power of the past
  • Limited availability

Documentary film of the first national Day of Remembrance commemoration, held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1998. The national ceremony was hosted by George Takei and Tamlyn Tomita and included guest speakers Gordon Hirabayashi , Fred Korematsu , Norman Mineta , Joan Bernstein , Mitsuye Yamada , Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga , and Robert Matsui .

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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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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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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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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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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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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 …

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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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The Bitter Memory: America's Concentration Camps (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice
  • Widely available

Early film that provides an overview of the wartime forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast produced by the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. Bitter Memory tells the story through narration and interviews with former inmates accompanied by archival footage from Office of War Information/War Relocation Authority (WRA) films and WRA still photos. All footage—even contemporary interview footage and footage shot at Tule Lake —is in black and white. Identified inmate narrators include poet and playwright Hiroshi Kashiwagi , Mary Otani, Michi Mukai, and Kumito Ishida. The bulk of the film deals with living conditions in the concentration camps—the lack of privacy, the breaking up of the family unit, employment, food and so forth—along with the loyalty questionnaire and segregation . The film is also known as Bitter Memories: Tule Lake , even though only the last few minutes of the film focus on Tule …

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From Bullets to Ballots (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Quest for power, Role of men, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Working class struggles
  • Widely available

Documentary film on Japanese Americans from Hawai'i as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and their role in the political realignment of Hawai'i after the war. From Bullets to Ballots was one of three short films directed by Robert A. Nakamura and produced by Karen L. Ishizuka in conjunction with From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawai'i, an exhibition produced by the Japanese American National Museum in 1997.

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You Don't Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

Feature-length documentary film on singer and actor Jack Soo . Based on interviews with friends and colleagues along with many clips from his film and television appearances, You Don't Know Jack also covers his time at Tanforan and Topaz during World War II.

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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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