Japanese Americans












Japanese American History and Culture
Japanese American Internment

The Movies, Race, Ethnicity (for cinema works by Asian American filmmakers or films with images of Asian Americans
People of Mixed Race - Interracial Marriage/Dating
China, Japan, Korea, & Pacific Islands

Japanese American History and Culture

Aoki.
Chronicles the life of Richard Aoki, a third-generation Japanese American who became one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. Filmed over the last five years of Richard's life, this documentary features extensive footage with Richard and exclusive interviews with his comrades, friends, and former students. A film by Ben Wang & Mike Cheng. 94 min. 2009. DVD X6738

Calling Tokyo: Japanese American Radio Broadcasters During World War II
Documentary about a group of Japanese Americans who were recruited by the British Political Warfare Mission and the U.S. Office of War Information to serve as hosts of Japanese-language radio propaganda broadcasts from Denver during WWII. c2002. 48 min. Video/C MM622

Chrysanthemums and Salt.
Profiles the immigration experience and lives of Japanese Americans in San Mateo, California, focusing in particular on their contributions to the Floriculture industry, the mining of salt and the development of California agriculture. Producer/director, Dianne Fukami. 1994. 30 min. Video/C 4186

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

The Color of Honor: The Japanese-American Soldier in WWII.
Experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II who served in the U.S. armed forces as translators and interpreters in military intelligence. These linguists tell of their experiences in gathering intelligence for the U.S. war effort; yet, at the same time, alien Japanese as well as Japanese Americans were placed in concentration camps. Explains events in the long road to seek redress of this injustice. Shows the reunion of Japanese American veterans and French at Bruyerers, France, in 1984. Producer, director, Loni Ding. c1987. 90 min. Video/C 1959

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Crossroads: Boyle Heights
Documentary compiled from life histories with residents and former residents of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles County, which included immigrants from Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Japan, as well as African-Americans and whites. While many of the Japanese American residents were sent to relocation camps during World War II, deportation was a common fate of Mexican Americans during the 1930s. 2002. 28 min. Video/C MM373

Cruisin' J-town.
The roots of the popular jazz fusion band Hiroshima and the development of the Asian American popular music of the 1960's and 1970's are discussed in this film. Director, Duane Kubo. 1974. 30 min. Video/C 1968

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

The Departure.
Cast: Emily Woo Yamasaki, Moss Fujii, Marc Hayashi, and Suzie Kobuchi Okazaki. Fictional story about Haru, a young Japanese American girl growing up in California's Central Valley during the 30's. Adapted from "The dolls" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Directed and written by Emiko Omori. 1983. 13 min. Video/C 1971

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children.
After World War II, despite orders forbidding it, fraternization between U.S. soldiers and Japanese women resulted in a number of children born in and out of wedlock. This film focuses on interview with American soldiers, Japanese women, and their biracial children thirty years after the Allies occupied Japan. Includes documentary footage of the allied occupation between 1945 and 1952. Producer/director, Regge Life. 59 min. Video/C 4072.

En Ryo Identity: A Reclamation
This experimental documentary addresses the complexities inherent in establishing and asserting a biracial identity. Berges also explores mainstream media constructions and stereotypical images of Asian American identity juxtaposed with Hollywood representations of Asians and interviews with his Japanese American grandmother on her internment camp experiences. Directed by Paul Mayeda Berges. 1991. 23 min. Video/C 3826

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Foresaken Fields
Before World War II, many Japanese-Americans had settled successfully as farmers in California. But when the war came, they were incarcerated under government orders and forced to sell their farms. When the war ended, many did not return to their rural homes, and those who did never recovered from the interruption in their lives. As their children moved away to college or jobs or to be with other families, there was a second forsaking of the fields. Japanese-American farming in California is a mere shadow of what it once was, yet it created the foundation for California agriculture as it is today. 2000. 2000. 27 min. Video/C 8895

The Good Wife of Tokyo.
Kazuko Hohki goes back to Tokyo with her rock band after living in England for 15 years. This film records her re-experiencing of Japan after a long absence, examining traditional attitudes towards women and those of Kuzuko's friends who are trying to expand their roles as Japanese women. Produced by Claire Hunt, Kim Longinotto. 1992. 52 min. DVD X2406; vhs Video/C 3347

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Halving the Bones.
Traces the filmmaker's journey into her own personal identity and the cultural interpretations, as well as those of her deceased Japanese grandmother and her mother, from whom she is estranged. Halving the Bones presents an imaginative look at 100 years of Ruth's maternal family history-- from Japan, to Hawaii, to a suburb in Connecticut. Produced & directed by Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury. 1995. 72 min. DVD X2396; Video/C 4292

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

Erhart, Julia. "Performing memory: compensation and redress in contemporary feminist first-person documentary." Screening the Past, Issue 13 - Uploaded 1 December 2001

Hapa
Marathon runner Midori Sperandeo talks personally about her biracial heritage and reflects on the phenomenon of being biracial, with interviews from a number of ethnically mixed-raced people with additional viewpoints. Midori, her mother (who is also interviewed) and the others offer an overview of the struggle of racially mixed people to be accepted and understood and how that role has changed as the United States becomes a more multicultural society. Midori in describing her own personal struggles likens them to the challenges encountered in learning to be a long-distance runner. 2001. 26 min. Video/C 8897

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Hito Hata: Raise the Banner
Personal reminiscences of experiences in America by Issei men, first generation Japanese American immigrants, who reside in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Directors, Duane Kubo, Robert A. Nakamura. 1980. 92 min. Video/C 3825

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

I Told You So.
Poet, Lawson Inada discusses his non-traditional upbringing in a mostly Chicano and African-American community; how that upbringing influences how he perceives himself and Japanese culture as a Japanese-American through the use of prose and poetry. Director, Alan Kondo. 1974. 18 min. Video/C 1975

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place.
The stereotype of the polite, docile, exotic Asian woman is shattered in this documentary in which a dozen women speak about their experiences as part of the "model minority." A documentary by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, Leita Hagemann. c1991. 28 min. Video/C 3372

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Japanese Americans
Chronicles the role of the nisei soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment in the Italian campaign. 1945. 7 min. Video/C MM177

Japanese Americans (Multicultural Peoples of North America).
One of a 15 part series which celebrates the heritage of fifteen different cultural groups by tracing the history of their emigration to North America, showing the unique traditions they brought with them, and who they are today. Each volume discusses when and why each group emigrated, where they settled, which occupations they engaged in, and who the important leaders are within each community. 30 min. Video/C 3297

Jazz is My Native Language: A Portrait of Toshiko Akiyoshi.
A vibrant, fast-paced documentary which provides an in-depth look at the music and personal life of jazz composer/pianist/bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi. Includes performances of her work by her band and commentary by jazz critic Leonard Feather. Directed by Renée Cho. c1983. 58 min. Video/C 3820

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Juxta.
Observes the deep and complex psychological effects of racially mixed children of Japanese women and American servicemen in the 1950's and mid 1980's. A film by Hiroko Yamazaki. 1989. 29 min. Video/C 2157

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

Looking Like the Enemy
American soldiers of Asian descent who fought in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars share their personal experiences with prejudice and discrimination in the military. By Karen L. Ishizuka and Robert A. Nakamura; directed by Robert A. Nakamura. 199? 52 min. Video/C 7415

Memories From the Department of Amnesia.
In this experimental video about the process of grieving, Tanaka passionately evokes the loss of her mother by visually recreating the ominous and disempowering feeling of isolation and grief. The metaphorical image is that of a dazed and frenzied bicyclist pedaling frantically inside a restaurant with no apparent place to go. The tape then suddenly emerges, out of a state of this denial into one of acceptance, to remember her mother's life. Producer, director, Janice Tanaka. 1991. 13 min. Video/C 3821

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

"Memories from the Department of Amnesia." American Historical Review 1993 98(4): 1181-1184.

Moving Memories.
A journey into the 1920s and 1930s featuring restored and edited home movies taken by Japanese American immigrant pioneers. The footage is mainly taken in California, Oregon and Washington. Produced by Karen L. Ishizuka ; created and edited by Robert A Nakamura. 1993. 31 min. Video/C 7416

My Niagara.
A film by Helen Lee. Cast Melanie Tanaka, William Shin, George Anzai. Probes the emotional undercurrents of a third-generation Japanese American woman who breaks up with her Caucasian boyfriend then meets a young Korean immigrant obsessed with all things American. c1992. 40 min. Video/C 4807

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

Nagasaki Journey (Nagasaki Jani).
A look at the immediate and continuing aftermath after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The film tells personal stories of two Japanese survivors of the bombing and a U.S. marine who was one of the first American troops to occupy the city after the war ended. Features recently discovered film footage shot by Marines during their occupation, as well as striking photos taken the day after the blast by Japanese Army photographer, Yosuke Yamahata. Produced, directed, filmed and edited by Judy Irving and Chris Beaver. 28 min. Video/C 4060.

Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People.
A look at Japanese Americans who fought in the U.S. Army during World War II while their families were imprisoned in internment camps. Director, writer, Loni Ding. 1983. 29 min. Video/C 1190

NY Geisha
Examines the life of a young woman who has left Japan to live independently who becomes a New York geisha working in a piano bar. Film follows her as she entertains Japanese-American businessmen and socializes with other geishas who also work at the bar. A Etsuko Kizawa film. 1994. 28 min. Video/C 4176

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Quiet Passages.
This documentary presents the experiences of Japanese women who married servicemen from the United States after World War II and came to Kansas to live with their husbands. The stories of these women's lives are mainly told through interviews with their children. Director/camera, Tim DePaepe. 1990. 26 min. Video/C 3817

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Rain of Ruin: The Bombing of Nagasaki.
Film presents an examination of the political and military history of the weeks leading up to the atomic bombings of Japan. Top historical scholars present the principal theories which explain why the bombing occurred, revealing it to be a more complex event than normally believed. The program draws on previously unpublished, declassified documents from American, Japanese and Soviet archives, as well as remarkable film footage. Also features interviews with members of the U.S. bomber crew, Nagasaki survivors, and other key participants. Producer/director, Stephen Segaller. Dist.: The Video Project. c1995. 56 min. Video/C 4059

Return to the Valley: The Japanese-American Experience After WWII
At the conclusion of World War II, 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry were released after three years of imprisonment in internment camps. Each was given just $25 and a train ticket home. For many, home was California -- the Santa Clara or Salinas Valley or the Central Coast. This poignant documentary tells their stories of struggle, hardship and triumph as they rebuilt their lives. Special features (79 min.): Additional interviews, interactive menus, David Tatsuno interviews with his film Topaz Memories. Director, Scott Gracheff. 2003. 57 min. DVD 3096

Shepherd's Pie & Sushi
As a result of her participation in the film The War Between Us, a CBC production about the Japanese internment during World War II, actress Mieko Ouchi begins to learn about the history of Japanese Canadians and to discover her own family's story. Includes clips from The War between us. Directors, Craig Anderl, Mieko Ouchi, Anne Wheeler. c1996. 45 min. Video/C 7954

The Shot Heard Round the World
An examination of the death of teenaged Japanese exchange student, Yoshi Hattori, who was fatally shot by Rodney Peairs in 1992 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This searing study in the pathology of urban fear, gun violence, criminal justice and cultural miscommunication utilizes news footage, videotape depositions, and interviews with the attorneys to examine the tragedy. Director, Christine Choy. 1997. 67 min. Video/C 5008

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Starting Over: Japanese Americans After the War
Documents the struggle of Japanese Americans as they resettled throughout the U.S. following their incarceration in relocation camps during World War II. For decades after the war, they fought to overcome the stigma of being of Japanese ancestry and the prejudice they encountered as they tried to find housing and employment, and laid the foundation for a better life. Producer/director, Dianne Fukami. 1996. 57 min. Video/C MM1019

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Susumu: A Tone Poem in Three Movements
Composer performs her composition with small ensemble, intercut with her explanation of the work, her musical interpretation of the feelings of three generations of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. about the internment of Japanese residents at the outbreak of World War II. Also intercut are descriptions by her mother, Emiko, of the start of the internment. Sections: The arrest, Issei poem by Sojin Takei; Out from the silence, Nisei prose by Emiko Tonooka; Susumu, Sansei poem by Russell Endo. Based on Sumi Tomooka's 'Out of the Silence.' Producer/director, Gei Zantzinger. 1990. Video/C 2369

Wataridori: Birds of Passage.
History of Japanese immigration to the United States through the accounts of three surviving Issei. Directed by Robert A. Nakamura. 1974. 38 min. Video/C 1962

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

We Came to Grow: Japanese Americans in the Central Valley, 1869-1941
A documentary chronicling the first Japanese to settle in California's Central Valley and their impact on the state's agricultural industry. Covered are the establishment of the Wakamatsu Colony near Coloma in 1869, the development of the Yamato Colony during the early 1900's in Merced County, the formation of families and attempts to limit immigration, citizenship and ownership of property for Japanese new to California. Director, Heather Searles. 1999. 27 min. Video/C 6616

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

When You're Smiling.
The first comprehensive account of the resettlement of the Japanese American community after internment during WWII, told through the filmmakers own family's struggle during the harsh post-camp years. The community seemed to put their unjust incarceraton behind them but in reality, class, race, religion, stereotyping, lack of ethnic values, emotional and familial distance caused a serious identity crisis. A Janice D. Tanaka film. 1999. 60 min. Video/C 6934

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Who's Going to Pay for These Donuts Anyway?
Provides clear evidence of the profound effect of the Japanese American internment on generations of individuals. Chronicles the director Janice Tanaka's search for her father. She finds him in a half-way house in Los Angeles' Skid Row. As a young man, he had been arrested by the FBI for opposing the internment and diagnosed as a schizophrenic with paranoid tendencies. Producer/director, Janice Tanaka. 1992. 58 min. Video/C 2835

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

"Who's Going to Pay for These Donuts Anyway?" American Historical Review 1993 98(4): 1181-1184

Japanese American Internment

50th year Commemoration of Japanese American Internment
The chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, Chang-Lin Tien, and Jessie Jackson expound upon the Japanese-American internment experience and the need to eradicate such prejudices from our society which spawned the enactment of "Executive order 9066". This forum reviews the internment experience, draws upon the lessons learned by the nation and seeks to promote better racial harmony in the present day. This event took place on February 18, 1992, at Pauley Ballroom, University of California, Berkeley. 103 min. DVD X697; vhs Video/C 2573

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9066 to 9/11
Looks at the World War II-era treatment of Japanese Americans as seen through the contemporary lens of the post-9/11 world. As the U.S. government fights a "war on terrorism" its tactics and policies have caused concern for some Americans of Japanese descent, who were interned in concentration camps during WWII. No new concentration camps have materialized, but mass deportations and detentions, particularly of Arab and Muslim immigrants in America, have forced a comparison of the two experiences, revealing striking similarities. Special feature: Something strong within / directed by Robert A. Nakamura ; produced by Karen L. Ishizuka (1994, 40 min.). 2004. 20 min. DVD 3097

After Silence: Civil Rights and the Japanese American Experience
Frank Kitamoto of Bainbridge Island, Washington was among the first of 110,000 west coast Japanese Americans forced to leave their homes during World War II. As Frank relates his three years of internment, students from Bainbridge High School develop archival photographs of his internment experiences. Together, Frank and the students discuss the need to safeguard civil rights. Directors, Lois Shelton, Susan Buster Thomas. 2002. 30 min. Video/C 9852

Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

American Justice Denied: The Reopening of "Korematsu vs U.S."
Conference sponsored by the Earl Warren Legal Institute, Asian American Studies Dept., Asian American Law Students Association and the Pacific Islander Law Students Association, UCB. DVD 9824; vhs Video/C 2216

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Beyond Barbed Wire.
Recounts the personal sacrifices and untold stories of heroism displayed by the Japanese American soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service who fought for America while their families were held in American internment camps. Directed by Steve Rosen. c1997. 88 min. Video/C 6297

Bitter Memories: Tule Lake.
A documentary about the Tule Lake Japanese Relocation Camp. DVD 1189; also VHS Video/C 2302

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Camp Amache: The Story of an American Tragedy
The story of the internment of 7,000 Japanese-Americans at Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado during World War II. Includes interviews with some of those encamped and their family members. Produced and directed by Don Dexter. c2006. 57 min. DVD X1211

Caught in Between: What to Call Home in Times of War
Film documents Japanese American communities revisiting the time period of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. It compares that time period to the time period post-9/11 "War on Terrorism," when Muslims were detained and many immigrants were deported. Directed and produced by Lina Hoshino. c2004. 25 min. DVD 6013

Challenge to Democracy(ca. 1944)
Producer: U.S. War Relocation Authority Sponsor: U.S. War Relocation Authority with the cooperation of the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services Government-produced film attempting to defend the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II.(1990) DVD 2253 and DVD 3724

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Children of the Camps.
During World War II more than half of the 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were "evacuated" to American concentration camps were children. In this documentary six Japanese Americans who were incarcerated as children in the camps reveal their experiences, cultural and familial issues during incarceration, the long internalized grief and shame they felt and how this early trauma manifested itself in their adult lives. Director/editor, Stephen Holsapple. 1999. 57 min. Video/C 6087

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Citizen Tanouye
Eight ethnically diverse high school students from Torrance, California bring history to life as they research Technical Sergeant Ted Tanouye, a graduate of their high school who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in WWII. Through their research of Citizen Tanouye, the students not only discover the impact of the war on their city, but also draw attention to the civil rights abuses of WWII-era America. Produced and directed by Robert Horsting and Craig Yahata. 2005. 58 min. DVD X725

The Color of Honor: The Japanese-American Soldier in WWII.
Experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II who served in the U.S. armed forces as translators and interpreters in military intelligence. Producer, director, Loni Ding. 1987. 90 min. Video/C 1959

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Conscience and the Constitution(1990)
In World War II a handful of young Japanese Americans refused to be drafted from an American concentration camp. They were ready to fight for their country, but not before the government restored their rights as U.S. citizens and released their families from camp. It was the largest organized resistance to incarceraton, leading to the largest trial for draft resistance in U.S. history. The dissidents served two years in prison and for the next 50 years were written out of history ... until now. Directed and written by Frank Abe. 2000. 57 min. Video/C 1266

Information about this video from PBS

Conversations: Before the War, After the War.
A fictionalized account of the facts and feelings of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II. Adapted from the play," Truth of the matter" by Karen L. Ishizuka. Director, Robert A. Nakamura. 1986. 30 min. Video/C 1249

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Day of Remembrance
In 1998, for the first time ever, Japanese Americans from all over the country gathered in our nation's capitol to commemorate February 19th as a "Day of Remembrance"--56 years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which incarcerated 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of them American citizens by birth. Produced and directed by Gayle K. Yamada. 1999. 90 min. Video/C 6045

Days of Waiting: The Life and Art of Estelle Ishigo.
Documentary about artist Estelle Peck Ishigo, a Caucasian woman interned during World War II with her Japanese American husband at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyo. Vivid portrayal through her words and drawings and through photographs of the deprivations and humiliations of camp life, and the difficulties of readjustment at war's end. A film by Steven Okazaki. c1989. 30 min. DVD X1667; vhs Video/C 2177

Awards
Academy Award - Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Bailey, Beth. "Days of Waiting." (movie reviews)Journal of American History v82, n3 (Dec, 1995):1324 (2 pages).
Creef, Elena Tajima. "The gendering of historical trauma in internment-camp documentary : the case of Steven Okazaki's Days of waiting." In: In: Countervisions : Asian American film criticism / edited by Darrell Y. Hamamoto and Sandra Liu. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2000. (Main Stack PN1995.9.A78.C68 2000; Asian Amer PN1995.9.A78.C68 2000; PFA PN1995.9.A78.C68 2000)
Herrick, Roxanna. "Days of Waiting." (movie reviews) Library Journal v117, n3 (Feb 15, 1992):205 (2 pages).
Higashi, Suniko. "Days of Waiting." (movie reviews) American Historical Review v98, n4 (Oct, 1993):1181 (4 pages).
Tajima, Elena. "The gendering of historical trauma in internment-camp documentary : the case of Steven Okazaki's Days of waiting." In: Countervisions : Asian American film criticism / edited by Darrell Y. Hamamoto and Sandra Liu. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2000. (Main Stack PN1995.9.A78.C68 2000; Asian Amer PN1995.9.A78.C68 2000)

Double Solitaire.
This documentary looks at how the Japanese American internment during World War II affected the lives of two "ordinary" people. Third generation Japanese Americans Norm and Stan are "all American" guys who were placed in the Amache internment camp as children. They don't feel the experience affected them much, but the film reveals connections between their lives now and the history that was left behind. A film by Corey Ohama. 1997. 20 min. Video/C 6091

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

En Ryo Identity: A Reclamation
This experimental documentary addresses the complexities inherent in establishing and asserting a biracial identity. Berges also explores mainstream media constructions and stereotypical images of Asian American identity juxtaposed with Hollywood representations of Asians and interviews with his Japanese American grandmother on her internment camp experiences. A film by Paul Mayeda Berges. 1991. 23 min. Video/C 3826

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Family Gathering.
A granddaughter in reconstructing her family's history in the United States, runs into reluctance to talk about the years of World War II, a time when most of her family was interned in camps as West Coast first and second generation Japanese. The picture she gains gives her a fuller idea of her heritage, previously based on her father reminiscences and home movies. Directed by Lise Yasui and Anne Tegnell. 1990. 60 min. DVD 8545; DVD 9372 (30 minute version); vhs Video/C 3073
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Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

American Anthropologist v91, n2 (June, 1989):525 (3 pages).
Journal of American History v77, n3 (Dec, 1990):1120.

Fighting For Justice: The Coram Nobis Cases.
Panel moderator: Karen Narasaki. Panel: Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, Dale Minami (attorney), Rod Kawakami (attorney), Peggy Nagae (attorney). In 1942, three courageous men defied military orders that culminated in the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. In three separate cases, Minoru Yasui, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Fred Korematsu were convicted of violating curfew and internment orders and their convictions were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly forty years later this film traces the history of the young third-generation Japanese American legal teams that, in the 1980's, fought to right this injustice by invoking a rarely used legal procedure--a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, which asks that a trial court correct a fundamental error and injustice committed at the time of the trial. Concludes with a panel discussion featuring Korematsu, Hirabayashi and the lead attorneys for their cases. Produced and directed by Dianne Fukami and Gayle K. Yamada. 1999. 105 min. Video/C 6044

The First Battle: The Battle for Equality in War-time Hawaii
With war fears rising, a Council for Inter-racial Unity was organized in Honolulu in 1939 in support of Hawaii's large Japanese-ancestry community. On December 7, 1941(the attack on Pearl Harbor), they sprang into action. Where 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were relocated from the West Coast and interned, a behind-the-scenes battle for justice and equality--reaching as far as the White House--set Hawaii on a different course. Writer, producer, & director , Tom Coffman. 2006. 60 min. DVD X1212

Description from Center for Asian American Media catalog

Foresaken Fields
Before World War II, many Japanese-Americans had settled successfully as farmers in California. But when the war came, they were incarcerated under government orders and forced to sell their farms. When the war ended, many did not return to their rural homes, and those who did never recovered from the interruption in their lives. As their children moved away to college or jobs or to be with other families, there was a second forsaking of the fields. Japanese-American farming in California is a mere shadow of what it once was, yet it created the foundation for California agriculture as it is today. 2000. 27 min. Video/C 8895

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

From a Silk Cocoon
Tells the story of a young couple, Shizuko and Itaru Ina, who responded to the loss of their civil liberties by renouncing their American citizenship during their 4 1/2 year internment during World War II, who committed their hopes for their children's future to a better life in Japan. Based on personal documents that detail a daily accounting of life and private emotional upheaval during incarceration, separation and reunification. Interviews with other Japanese speaking former internees who ultimately sought refuge from their imprisonment by declaring their loyalty to Japan present disturbing disclosures of unjustified treatment and suffering. Directors, Satsuki Ina, Stephen Holsapple, Emery Clay III. 2005. 57 min. DVD 5232

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Guilty By Reason of Race.
Examines conditions leading to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. 60 min. DVD 1257 [preservation copy]; also VHS Video/C 74

Harsh Canvas: The Art and Life of Henry Sugimoto
From Japan to California, on to Paris, then to concentration camps in Arkansas during WWII that transformed his art forever, and finally to New York, Henry Sugimoto pursued what he called "the path of an artist." Features Sugimoto's paintings and sketches, rare archival footage, and film of the artist just before his death. Director, John Esaki. 2001. 30 min. Video/C MM370

Heart Mountain: Three Years in a Relocation Center.
Documentary of the World War II incarceration in Wyoming of more than 10,000 Pacific Coast Japanese and Japanese American's for "military necessity." The hastily-built barracks which housed them were surrounded by barbed wire while winter temperatures reached 28 below zero and summer brought dust storms. These interviews with those interned reveal additional ordeals such as questions about their loyalty to the U.S. and the imprisonment of 63 who resisted the draft after their military status was changed. 1997. 27 min. Video/C 6086

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Hidden Internment: the Art Shibayama Story
Reveals the lesser-known history of the Japanese Latin American Internment through the life story of Art Shibayama, who was taken from Peru in 1944 and interned in a Dept. of Justice camp in Crystal City, Texas. He was just one of over 2,000 Latin Americans who were forcibly uprooted and interned. Despite his incarceration, Art and other Latin Americans have been denied the redress that has been provided to Japanese Americans. Written, directed and edited by Casey Peek. 2004. 27 min. Video/C MM232

History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige
After the Pearl Harbor Attack in 1941, 100,000 Japanese living in the United States were forced to move to concentration camps. With family stories and some documentaries, videomaker Rea Tajiri describes the haunting impacts of this ordeal on American Japanese for generations thereafter. A film by by Rea Tajiri. Dist.: Women Make Movies. 1991. 32 min. DVD X2408; vhs Video/C 3178

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

"History and Memory." (review) American Historical Review 1993 98(4): 1181-1184.

Japanese American Internment.[sound recording]
Alex Yamoto and Paul and Marianne Takabe are interviewed on the exprience of the Japanese Americans who were sent to special detention camps for refusing to cooperate with U.S. authorities in the camps set up during World War II. Yamoto and Takabe claim the camps were set up to provide the government with hostages in the event that reprisals would be made against the Japanese. 1977. 40 min. Sound/C 71

Japanese Relocation. Tale of Two Cities.
Contents: Japanese relocation (1943, 11 min.) -- Tale of two cities (1949, 12 min.)

Japanese Relocation is the official government whitewash documentary about the removal of 110,000 Japanese (two thirds of them U.S. citizens) from the potential "combat zone" of the West coast to "relocation camps" in the American interior. Tale of Two Cities shows the destructive results of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with close-ups of effects on buildings and materials. 23 min. Contained in DVD 2253 and DVD 3724; also VHS Video/C 5118 and Video/C 7628

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Manzanar.
A lyrical and pensive film expressing the recollections of a Nisei regarding his experiences in the Manzanar camp. A film by Bob Nakamura. 1971. 16 min. Video/C 1976

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Meeting at Tule Lake.
A group of surviving Japanese Americans who were interned at the Tule Lake (Calif.) Relocation Center during World War II travel back to the site of the relocation center and dedicate a memorial to the 50th anniversary of their internment there. Some of them also tell of their memories of being interned there. Also included are historic black-and- white footage and photographs of various aspects of life there. Director, Scott T. Tsuchitani. 1994. 34 min. Video/C 5104

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Minoru: Memory of Exile.
Minoru Fukushima was a nine-year-old boy living in Vancouver, Canada, when Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor thrust him into a world of racism. He and his family were forced from their home, dispatched to internment camps in the interior of British Columbia, and finally deported to Japan. Directed by Minoru's son, the film artfully combines striking animation with archival material. Director/animator, Michael Fukushima. 1992. 19 min. Video/C3816

Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People.
A look at Japanese Americans who fought in the U.S. Army during World War II while their families were imprisoned in internment camps. Director, writer, Loni Ding. 1983. 29 min. Video/C 1190

Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story
Fred Korematsu was probably never more American than when he resisted, and then challenged in court, the forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Korematsu lost his landmark Supreme Court case in 1944, but never his indignation and resolve. This is the untold history of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Korematsu -- one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory. Written, directed & produced by Eric Paul Fournier. c2000. Originally broadcast on the television program P.O.V. in July 2001. 60 min. DVD 7580; vhs Video/C 8281

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

On Shima Center
Documentary about life on George Shima Farm in the San Joaquin Valley; harvesting by East Indian laborers and other farm work are presented. The Shima family home in Berkeley is also shown. Original film made in 1914 by a film crew from Japan. 20 min. DVD X1290; Video/C 78

Passing Poston: An American Story
Personal stories and moving archival footage tell the untold story of how Japanese internees were used by the US government to help develop a Native American reservation during World War II. Extra features include three short American propaganda films produced by the U.S. War Relocation Authority and the U.S. Office of War Information. Directed by Joe Fox and James Nubile. Special features: Making-of featurette (3 min.) ; Challenge to democracy (produced by The War Relocation Authority) (18 min.) ; Japanese relocation (produced by U.S. Office of War Information) (10 min.) ; Way ahead (produced by The War Relocation Authority) (14 min.) ; United News (Newsreel) (2 min.) ; deleted scenes ; filmmaker biography ; trailer. 2008. 60 min. DVD X1214

A Personal Matter: Gordon Hirabayashi vs. the United States.
Documents the 43 year struggle to overturn the conviction of Gordon Hirabayashi which resulted when he defied internment in a Japanese-American concentration camp during World War II on the grounds that the order violated his Constitutional freedoms. Producer/editor, John de Graaf. 1992. 30 min. Video/C 2524

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Project J, Justice: Barbed Wire and Hip-hop[Sound Recording]
In order to increase teens' awareness of the injustices Japanese Americans faced during the wartime hysteria of WWII, this disc incorporates audio excerpts from the Los Angeles hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) with hip-hop, rap, and jazz music. Contents: 2004. Sound/D 195

Rabbit in the Moon.
A documentary/memoir about the lingering effects of the World War II internment of the Japanese American community. Visually stunning and emotionally compelling, the film examines issues that ultimately created deep rifts within the Japanese American community, reveals the racist subtext of the loyalty questionnaire and exposes the absurdity of the military draft within the camps. These testimonies are linked by the filmmakers' own experiences in the camps and placed in a larger historical context by the director. A film by Emiko Omori. 1999. 85 min. Video/C 6310

Dreifus, Claudia. "Examining scars from a wartime American trauma: a documentary explores the emotional toll of Japanese-American internment camps." New York Times, sec2 (Sun, July 4, 1999):AR23(N), AR23(L), col 1, 5 col in.
Kelleher, Terry. "Rabbit in the Moon." People Weekly, Jul 5, 1999; Vol. 51, Iss. 25; pg. 27, 1 pgs
Thomson, Patricia. "Rabbit in the Moon" (review) The Independent Film & Video Monthly, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 22-27, June 1999

Relocations.
In this exploration of race, gender and sexuality from an Asian American perspective, Japanese American poet David Mura performs four pieces. In scene one, Mura tells the story of this grandfather who immigrated to America, was interned during WWII and later returned to live in Japan. In scene two, Mura portrays a gay Japanese American. In scene three, he relates the eyewitness account of the brutal murder of a Chinese American, Vincent Chin, in Detroit. And in scene four, Mura argues with his video double on whether racism affected his sexuality as a teenager. Producer/director, Mark Tang. 1991. 15 min. Video/C 3815

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Resettlement to Redress: Rebirth of the Japanese American Community
This documentary examines the resettlement of Japanese Americans after World War II through the signing of HR442 by President Reagan in 1988, wherein it was formally acknowledged that internment was based on racism and merited an apology and reparation.The program focuses on the 1950s, 60s and 70s the time of the baby boom families. It begins as Japanese Americans, who had been forcibly removed from their homes faced an uncertain future. Some never went home settling instead in others parts of the United States. Others took advantage of new career choices and educational opportunities. Still, racism was never far away, even as they sought to blend in. Features interviews with Japanese Americans including John Tateishi of The Japanese American Citizen League, Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta, Senator Daniel Inouye and California Congresswoman Doris Matsui. 2005. 56 min. DVD 6996

Return to the Valley: The Japanese-American Experience After WWII
At the conclusion of World War II, 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry were released after three years of imprisonment in internment camps. Each was given just $25 and a train ticket home. For many, home was California -- the Santa Clara or Salinas Valley or the Central Coast. This poignant documentary tells their stories of struggle, hardship and triumph as they rebuilt their lives. Special features (79 min.): Additional interviews, interactive menus, David Tatsuno interviews with his film Topaz Memories. Director, Scott Gracheff. 2003. 57 min. DVD 3096

Something Strong Within: Home Movies from America's Concentration Camps.
Features never-before-seen home movies of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Includes home movies often taken surreptitiously from the relocation centers at Minidoka (Idaho), Rohwer (Arkansas), Heart Mountain (Wyoming), Jerome (Arkansas), Granada (Colorado), and Topaz (Central Utah). Silent with musical accompaniment and excerpts from diaries as intertitles. 40 min. Video/C 4696 (also included as supplement on DVD 3097)

Starting Over: Japanese Americans After the War
Documents the struggle of Japanese Americans as they resettled throughout the U.S. following their incarceration in relocation camps during World War II. For decades after the war, they fought to overcome the stigma of being of Japanese ancestry and the prejudice they encountered as they tried to find housing and employment, and laid the foundation for a better life. Producer/director, Dianne Fukami. 1996. 57 min. Video/C MM1019

Center for Asian American Mediacatalog description

Subversion.
Documentary about life in detention camps. Includes rare film footage and testimony of camp residents. Members of the Japanese Community Youth Council discuss the meaning and ramifications of internment. DVD 7115 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 45

Susumu: A Tone Poem in Three Movements
Composer performs her composition with small ensemble, intercut with her explanation of the work, her musical interpretation of the feelings of three generations of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. about the internment of Japanese residents at the outbreak of World War II. Also intercut are descriptions by her mother, Emiko, of the start of the internment. Sections: The arrest, Issei poem by Sojin Takei; Out from the silence, Nisei prose by Emiko Tonooka; Susumu, Sansei poem by Russell Endo. Based on Sumi Tomooka's 'Out of the Silence.' Producer/director, Gei Zantzinger. 1990. Video/C 2369

Take Me Home
Presents a child's perspective on the incarceration of Japanese Americans in desolate regions of the western United States during World War II. Exploring the physical and psychological upheaval of displacement, the film illuminates life behind barbed wire and the lessons of freedom seen from the perspective of a child. Written, directed, produced and edited by Andrea Palpant. c2005. 15 min. DVD 5225

Tanforan: Race Track to Assembly Center.
The Tanforan Race Track was the site of an assembly center, in 1942, where thousands of Japanese Americans lived for as long as six months, while the more permanent WWII concentration camps were being built inland. This is the first in-depth study of an assembly center and the beginnings of new cultural and social systems, which were developed and then transferred to the permanent camps. Includes examples of propaganda against Japanese-Americans in 1942. Director, Dianne Fukami. 1995. 57 min. Video/C 4179

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Time of Fear
In World War II, more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans were forced into relocation camps across the US. This film traces the lives of the 16,000 people who were sent to two camps in southeast Arkansas, one of the poorest and most racially segregated places in America. It explores the reactions of the native Arkansans who watched in bewilderment as their tiny towns were overwhelmed by this huge influx of outsiders. Through interviews with the internees and local citizens, the program explores how it affected the local communities, and the impact this history had on the issues of civil rights and social justice in America then and now. Written & directed by Sue Williams. 2005. 66 min. DVD 4661

Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray
Having smuggled a lens and film holder into the Manzanar concentration camp during World War II, photographer Toyo Miyatake was the first to photograph them. Yet it was his little-known artistic pursuits before the war that honed his discerning eye. This film presents a penetrating portrait of this photographer's quest to capture the beauty and dignity of everyday life. Director, Robert A. Nakamura. 2001. 28 min. Video/C MM371

Toyo's Camera: Japanese American History During WWII
While bringing cameras into internment camps was prohibited, one photographer smuggled in his own camera lens and built a camera to take photographs of life behind barbed wires. That man was photographer Toyo Miyatake. Through an artistic medium, Miyatake captured the devastating conditions in the Manzanar War Relocation Center during WWII, when Japanese Americans could not belong to Japan or America. Written and directed by Junichi Suzuki. Special features: trailer; short animation, "Japanese-American history of racial discrimination." Directed by Junichi Suzuki. 2008. 98 min. DVD X3041

Topaz
Documents the denial of rights to American citizens of Japanese descent who were forced from their homes to Utah's desert rangeland during World War II. Includes an extensive view of living conditions at the Topaz Relocation Center including clandestine film footage and extensive interviews with detainees and Caucasian Topaz employees, teachers and administrators. c1987. 59 min. Video/C 9924

Unfinished Business.
Tells the stories of three Japanese-Americans, Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui, who resisted the military orders to intern the Japanese-Americans and remove them from the West Coast after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Focuses on the three men's lives and the reasons behind their decisions to take their cases to the Supreme Court. Directed by Steven Okazaki. 1984. 58 min. DVD 4897; also vhs Video/C 834
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Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Views From Within: The Japanese American Wartime Internment Experience, September 19-20, 1987, University of California, Berkeley.
"Sponsored by the Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, and the Asian American Studies program of the Department of Ethnic Studies, UCB"-- Program notes. Part 2. (Individual paper presentations) recorded on 6 sound cassettes with call number: SOUND/C 694 AVMC. Pt. 1. Constitutional issues, Sept. 19, 1987 (Opening remarks, Keynote address, Panel discussions) cassette 1-4 -- Pt. 2. Reassessment of the Japanese American evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS), Sept. 20, 1987 (General panel) cassette 5. 5 cassettes. Video/C 1055

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Opening Remarks by Yuji Ichioka, Conference Director; Keynote address: Dr, Peter Irons (UC San Diego)

View this video online: Panel: Racism in American History: Background to the Mass Internment of Japanese Americans (1)
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Panel: Richard Drinnon, Ron Takaki, John dower, Alexander Saxton (Chair)

View this video online: Panel: Background to Mass Internment (2)
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Panel: Richard Drinnon, Ron Takaki, John dower, Alexander Saxton (Chair)

View this video online: Exhibits
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View this video online: Military Necessity Rationale: The Japanese American Test Cases
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Panel: Dale Minami, Peggy Nagae, Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, Ron Kawakami (Chair)

View this video online: Military Japanese American Class Action Suit and Legislative Redress
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Panel: William Hohri, Ellen Carson, Aiko Herzig, Lene Hirabayashi (Chair)

View this video online: Reassessment of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study: What was JERS
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Panel: Tamotsu Shibutani, Frank S. Miyamoto, James Sakoda, Robert F. Spencer, Yuji Ichioka (Chair)

Visible Target.
Uses historical footage, old photos, and propaganda literature to describe and discuss conditions leading to internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Focuses on life in the Bainbridge Island, Washington camps. 28 min. Video/C 808

When You're Smiling.
The first comprehensive account of the resettlement of the Japanese American community after internment during WWII, told through the filmmakers own family's struggle during the harsh post-camp years. The community seemed to put their unjust incarceraton behind them but in reality, class, race, religion, stereotyping, lack of ethnic values, emotional and familial distance caused a serious identity crisis. A Janice D. Tanaka film. 1999. 60 min. Video/C 6934

Who's Going to Pay for These Donuts Anyway?
Provides clear evidence of the profound effect of the Japanese American internment on generations of individuals. Chronicles the director Janice Tanaka's search for her father. She finds him in a half-way house in Los Angeles' Skid Row. As a young man, he had been arrested by the FBI for opposing the internment and diagnosed as a schizophrenic with paranoid tendencies. Producer/director, Janice Tanaka. 1992. 58 min. Video/C 2835

Words, Weavings & Songs
Three Japanese-American women who were interned at concentration camps in the interior of the United States during World War II, tell of their experiences being confined during their teenage years. They recollect the stories, songs and other creative artistic expressions created by the internees to keep their spirits up during their confinement. Producer, director, John Esaki. 2002. 34 min. Video/C MM372

Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice.
Biography in political and social context of Yuri Kochiyama, an Asian American woman and humanitarian civil rights activist who first became aware of social injustice in the United States during her time in a Japanese-American interment camp during World War II. She stresses the need for members of all races and ethnicities to work together for common goals, and for a fundamental change in political power structures. Includes interviews with Kochiyama and with members of her family. 58 min. Video/C 4542

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Sound Recordings

Japanese American Internment.
Interviews with Alex Yamamoto and Paul and Marianne Takabe, Japanese Americans who were sent to special detention camps for refusing to cooperate with the relocation program. 40 min. Sound/C 71

Views from Within: The Japanese American Wartime Internment Experience.
See description for videocassette of same title. 5 parts. Sound/C 1055

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Miscellaneous and General Works
Chinese Americans
Japanese Americans
Korean Americans
Filipino Americans
South/Southesast Asian/Pacific Island Americans



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