SAN FERNANDO VALLEY JACL MEDIA LIBRARY
Our chapter boasts a comprehensive media library that contains various books, DVDs, and other media relating to the Japanese American/Asian American experience. They are available to check out for personal or educational purposes. For more information, please contact Nancy Gohata at yaiko16 <at> verizon.net.
A catalog of titles and short synopses of films are available below and as a pdf. file to the left.
AMERICAN SONS – Four Asian American men give their perspective of being an Asian American males in American society. (VT)
AMERICAN PASTIME – American Pastime is a 2007 film set in the Topaz War Relocation Center. While the film is a dramatic narrative, it is based on true events and depicts life inside the internment camps, where baseball was one of the major diversions from the reality of the internees’ lives.
BLOSSOMS & THORNS – Only skeletal outlines remain of the greenhouses that once formed the nucleus of a cohesive Japanese American flower growing community in Richmond. Uprooted by the federal government and forcibly removed fro their homes and businesses, these growers spent the duration of World War II in barren desert incarceration camps. Picking up the pieces, Ruby Adachi Hiramoto, Flora Ninomiya, and Tom Oishi recount the struggle, dismay, and resiliency of the families who returned to reclaim their place in the floral industry and in the changing Richmond neighborhood. (DVD)
THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI – Eighty-years-old Jimmy Mirikitani survived the trauma of WWII Internment camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by crating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past. An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendshi0p and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. DVD of this film aired on PBS. (DVD)
CAUGHT IN BETWEEN – What to Call Home in Tmes of War – This documentary captures Muslim and Japanese American communities revisitig the dark days of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Interviews with former internees, their children, religiuos leaders, citizens and immigrants fron Muslim and Japanese American communites are woven together to make crucial connections between then and the post-9/11 “War on Terrorism.” It tells a story about people who have been made the enemy, questions “freedeom”in the USA, and captures the power of people standing together to fight for civil liberties and human rights. Premiered at 2004 San Francisco Day of Remembrance. A Video Documentary by Lina Hoshino (DVD)
CITIZEN TANOUYE – This documentary tells the story of Ted Tanouye, a young man from Torrance, California, who volunteered to fight the Axis forces in WWII. Tech/Sergeant Tanouye joined the 442nd combat unit while his parents were incarcerated in an Arkansas Wartime Internment Camp. At age 24, Tanouye’s bravery at the Arno River led to his death. His story is revealed as students from his old alma mater, Torrance High School, research local history and learn how Tanouye, awarded a medal of honor, influenced their lives as they uncovered the injustices served upon U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. Production by Robert Horsting and Craig Yahata, Citizen Tanouye won several film awards. (DVD)
COLOR OF THE SEA – A novel by John Hamamura. Growing up in a time between wars, Sam Hamada finds that the culture of his native Japan is never far from his heart. Sam is rapidly learning the code of the samurai in the late 1930s on the lush Hawaiian Islands, where he is slowly coming into his own as a son and a man. – a haunting, beautiful story of love, honor, and dedication. (BOOK)
COMFORTING THE AFFLICTED – Hear the stories of four men whose lives, faith and ministries were impacted and shaped by the internment experience. (VT)
CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION – In World War II a handful of yuoung 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 incarceration, leading to the larges trial for draft resistance in U.Sl. history. The resisters served two years in prison, and for the next 50 years were written out of history …until now. This powerful film has moved audiences nationwide and changed the way we look at this period of Ameican history. With the voices of George Takei and Mako. (DVD)
DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON – A Comfort Woman’s Story by William Andrews.
During World War II, the Japanese forced 200,000 young Korean women to be sex slaves or “Comfort Women” for their soldiers. This is one woman’s riveting story of strength, courage and promises kept. In 1943, the Japanese tear young Ja-hee and her sister from their peaceful family farm to be comfort women for the Imperial Army. Before they leave home, their mother gives them a magnificent antique comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon, saying it will protect them. The sisters suffer terribly at the hands of the Japanese, and by the end of the war, Ja-hee must flee while her sister lies dying. Ja-hee keeps her time as a comfort woman a secret while she struggles to rebuild her life. She meets a man in North Korea who shows her what true love is. But the communists take him away in the middle of the night, and she escapes to the South. There, she finally finds success as the country rebuilds after the Korean War. However, when her terrible secret is revealed, she’s thrown into poverty. In the depths of despair, she’s tempted to sell the comb with th two-headed dragon that she believes has no magic for her. Then one day she discovers its true meaning and her surprising heredity. And now she must find the only person who can carry on the legacy of the two-headed dragon..someone she abandoned years ago. (BK)
DAY OF INDEPENDENCE – Zip, a 17-year-old Nisei baseball pitcher, faces the tragic circumstances of the internment of 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Set in a relocation camp in the summer of 1943, this fact-based story chronicles the journey of an American family torn apart by a forced and unjust incarceration, a father’s decision that challenges his son to find strength, and ultimately
his son’s triumph through courage, sacrifice and the All-American game of baseball. 1st Place Winner of National Council on Family Relations Media Awards (VT)
DAYS OF WAITING – A film by Steven Okazaki, Academy Award Winner, Days of Waiting is a poignant documentary about an extraordinary woman, artist Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with 110,000 Japanese American in 1942. (VT)
A DIVIDED COMMUNITY: 3 Personal Stories of Resistance – Close to 300 Japanese American young men – some were students- some were husbands, some were fathers- All were American, chose to challenge the United States Government in a Court of Law as to the Constitutionality of the interning of 120,000 people of Japanese decent on the West Coast and the drafting of young men out of these camps in 1942. The only journalist who wrote about this was James Matsumoto Omura. For this, he was brought up on charges and tried along with these men. Their story has been kept from us for over 60 years. Why? Hear the personal experience of three of these men - Yosh Kuromiya, Frank Emi and Mits Koshiyama. Listen to their thoughts, hear their logic and feel their passion. Director/Producer: Momo Yashima (DVD)
A FLICKER IN ETERNITY – Based on the diary and letters of Stanley Hayami. The coming-of-age tale of a gifted teenager incarcerated during World War II. (DVD)
FAREWELL TO MANZANAR – Directed by John Korty. Written by Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston. This is the 1976, made-for-TV film, based on the book by Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston. Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar concentration camp – with 10,000 other Japanese Americans amidst barbed wire, searchlight towers and armed guards. The book provided a first-person story of the Wakatsuki family’s experience of incarceration. Although it is the story of only one Japanese American family’s experiences, it has become a modern classic, often compared with The Diary of Anne Frank as an example of poignant literature about the effects of war on youth and the human spirit. (DVD)
FRED T. KOREMATSU “DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP” - A Teacher’s Guide. (BOOK)
FROM A SILK COCOON – A Documentary Film by Satsuki Ina. Woven through letters, diary entries and haiku poetry is the story of a young couple whose shattered dreams and forsaken loyalties lead them to renounce their American citizenship while held in separate prison camps during World War II. They struggle to prove their innocence and fight deportation during a time of wartime hysteria and racial profiling. Among the 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in remote camps in the United States, many were kibei, or second generation Japanese
Americans. Kibei were partially educated in Japan and often held dual citizenship. This documentary delves into the experience of a young kibei couple, Shizuko and Itaru Ina, who responded to the loss of their civil liberties by renouncing their American citizenship during their 4 ½ year internment, and committed their hope for their children for a better life in Japan. It is based on personal documents discovered by Dr Satsuki Ina, the film producer and daughter of Shizuko and Itaru, that detail a daily accounting of life and private emotional upheaval during incarceration, separation and reunification. It is a story of shattered dreams, forsaken loyalties and the precarious balance between democracy and national security. (DVD)
GOING FOR HONOR, GOING FOR BROKE – The 442 Story, The inspiring, true story of America’s most-highly decorated military unit – the 442, which during WWII was a segregated U.S. Army unit that proved loyalty and patriotism were traits all Americans could share, regardless of ancestry or physical appearance. (DVD)
HIDDEN INTERNMENT, The Art Shibayama Story – Hidden Internment reveals the lesser-known history of the Japanese LatinAmerican internment through the life story of Art Shibayama, who was taken from Peru on March 22, 1944, and interned in a Department of Justice camp in Crystal City, Texas. At age 13, Art was just one of over 2,000 Latin Ameicans who were forcibly uprooted and interned. Despite his incarceration, Art was denied the redress that had been provided to Japanese Ameicans. After years of struggle, Art is still fighting for reparation and a full disclosure of this human rights violation. (DVD)
HONOR THY CHILDREN – One Family’s Journey to Wholeness. Alexander and Jane Nakatani open themselves to all as their family’s story of their 3 sons unfolds before your eyes. (DVD)
IN DEFENSE OF AMERICA – THE NORMAN MINETA STORY (DVD)
JIVE BOMBER: A Sentimental Journey by Bruce T. Kaji with Sharon Yamato – Jive Bomber: A Sentimental Journey traces the life of Bruce Kaji as a Nisei coming of age during a turbulent time. A story of struggle and hope, it is written with an insider’s view of Little Tokyo and spans Kaji’s decades of service to the community. (BOOK)
JOURNEY TO WASHINGTON – On the Trail of Senator Daniel Inouye, Japanese American Pioneer (DVD)
LEAP OF FAITH – How Enmanji Temple Was Saved. The historic Enmanji Buddhist Temple in the rural town of Sebastopol is a place of worship as well as the center of Japanese community in Sonoma County. During WWII, the temple was closed while the Japanese families in the area were forcibly incarcerated. Anti-Japanese sentiment ran high. This inspiring film tells a little-known story of young people who put their bodies on the line to protect Enmanji Temple from being destroyed by hate-motivated arson and vandalism. Director Linda Hoshino (DVD)
LIL TOKYO REPORTER – 1935 Los Angeles, commuity leader Sei Fujii uncovers the corrupt activities of his community’s underground mafia. He must choose between saving the face of his deteriorating community and confronting the issues head on through his newspaper. Based on a true story. (DVD)
LT. WATADA – Lt. Watada in an in-depth look at the case of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned military officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq on the grounds that the war is immoral and illegal and a violation of his oath to the Constitution. (DVD)
MANZANAR PILGRIMAGE 2014
MIGHTY WARRIORS OF COMEDY – Female Circumcision, Dancing Testicles, Chinese Geishas – These subjects are the basis for an average day of side-splitting sketch comedy from the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, an audacious pan-Asian sketch comedy troupe from California. Hailed as one of the most devastatingly funny acts of the past decade, most of America has never heard of them. Mighty Warriors of comedy provides a rousing introduction to the members and is a thoughtful exploration of whether or not after twelve years of performing, the group will break out. The film traces the struggle that fringe artists face and how that battle is complicated further by cultural identification.(DVD)
9066 TO 9/11 – 9066 to 9/11 is a look at the World War II-era treatment of Japanese Americans as seen through the contemporary lens of our post-9/11 world. As the United States government fights a “War on Terrorism” with no end in sight, its tactics and policies have caused a frightening sense of déjà vu for some Americans of Japanese descent-in 1042 they were sent to American concentration camps during World War II as a result of Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Of particular concern has been the treatment of Arab and Muslim immigrants in America; while new concentration camps have not materialized, mass deportations and detentions have forced a comparison of the two experiences, revealing a striking set of similarities.
PLUS SOMETHING STRONG WITHIN – This haunting, award-winning documentary features rarely seen home movies of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Includes footage from Amache, CO; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome, AR: Rohwer, AR; Topaz, UT; Tule Lake, CA; and Minidoka, ID. (A film by Robert A. Nakamura) (DVD)
ONLY THE BRAVE – October 1944, Texans of the 141st Regiment, U.S. Army, were surrounded by Nazis, high in the Vosges Forest of France. They were labeled “lost”, another casualty of war. The all-Nisei 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team were ordered to reach them, no matter the cost. Only the Brave, inspired by this historic rescue, captures the tragedies and sacrifices of these courageous Americans, as they find comfort in the memories of their loved ones back home in Hawaii and in the ten internment camps spread across the country they fought to serve. The 100th/442nd RCT became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. Stars Lane Nishikawa and Tamlyn Tomita. (DVD)
OUR HEROES: BUILDING TOGETHER A NEW HAWAII
OUT OF INFAMY: MICHI NISHIURA WEGLYN – A book that was to set the record straight about the forced incarceration of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. (DVD)
PILGRIMAGE: A Film by Tadashi Nakamura – With a hip music track and never-before-seen archival footage, Pilgrimage tells how an abandoned WWII concentration camp for Japanese Americans was transformed into a symbol of retrospection and solidarity for people of all ages, races, and nationality in our post 9/11 world. (DVD)
RELUCTANT SAMURAI – Memoirs of an Urban Planner by Yukio Kawaratani. Reluctant Samurai: Memoirs of an Urban Planner is an insightful recounting of the eventful life of Yukio Kawaratani. In this autobiography, Kawaratani shares his life growing up on the farm, World War II internment, recovery and training, marriage and family, his central role in the redevelopment of Downtown Los Angeles and his present retirement as a civic volunteer. (Book)
RIGHT OF PASSAGE by Janice Tanaka. A bold, no holds-barred look at the 50-year odyssey of the Civil Liberties Act of 1998, which offered an unprecedented US government apology to Japanese Americans who were imprisoned during WWII. Presented through the Reagan Presidency, it is also an expose of a community known as the model minority.
SCOTT FUJITA: THE MAN BEHIND THE NAME (DVD)
A SONG FOR OURSELVES: A personal journey into the life and music of Asian American Movement troubadour Chris Iijima. During the 1970s when Asians in America were invisible to the country—and more importantly even to themselves—the late Chris Iijima’s music provided the voice and identity an entire generation had been in search of. Through animated photographs, intimate home movies, archival footage and Chris’ own songs, A Song For Ourselves show how Chris’ music unleashed the contagious energy of the Asian American Movement with an unrelenting passion for social justice and a life well lived.
SPEAK OUT FOR JUSTICE! – Voices of Japanese Americans Interned in U.S. Concentration Camps. Two months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed ito law Executive Order 9066, which enabled the U.S. government to imprison 110,100 Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Internees spent up to four years behind barbed wire in remote areas of the United States. Thousands of Hawaiians and Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry were also taken from their homes and imprisoned in the U.S. Some Japanese Ameicans on the West Coast fled inland prior to the government’s orders to report to community departure sites Hear and see the dramatic testimony.
The nine-member Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was established by Congress in 1980 to review the facts and circumstances surrounding Executive Order 9066 and its impact on the Japanese American commuity and to recommend appropriate remedies In 1981 Los Angeles, CA, was the site of one of the historic CWRIC hearings. (VT)
STAND UP FOR JUSTICE – A Short Film Inspired By The True Story of Ralph Lazo. Stand Up For Justice tells the story of Ralph Lazo, a 17-year-old Mexican American student at Belmont High School in Los Angeles who devises a remarkable plan to support his Japanese American friends confined at Manzanar concentration camp during World War II. (DVD)
SUGIHARA: CONSPIRACY OF KINDNESS – Produced by Diane Estelle Vicari, Sugihara tells the story of Chiune Sugihara who bravely saves thousands of lives during World War II. As Japan’s consul to Lithuania, Sugihara risked career, disgrace, his life and lives of his family, by defying Tokyo and writing transit visas for desperate Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. Sugihara stamped more than 2000 passports, allowing hundreds of families to flee Europe through Russia to safe havens abroad. (DVD)
TSUKIMI KAI IN CUBA – Heart to Heart: Connections with Cuban Nikkei. (DVD)
THE UNTOLD STORY OF RALPH CARR AND THE JAPANESE – Fate of 3 Japanese-Americans and the internment.
VISAS AND VIRTUE – 1997 Academy Award Winner, Best Live Action Short Film.
Haunted by the sight of hundreds of Jewish refugees outside the consulate gates, a Japanese diplomat and his wife stationed in Kaunas, Lithuania at the beginning of
World War II must decide how much they are willing to risk. Inspired by a true story, Visas and Virtue explores the moral and professional dilemmas that Consul General Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara faced in making a life or death decision: defy his own government’s direct orders and risk his career by issuing life-saving transit visas or obey orders and turn his back on humanity. (VT)
WHEN YOU’RE SMILING: THE DEADLY LEGACY OF INTERNMENT. Janice Tanaka's documentary on the social and psychological effects of internment, with a special focus on the experiences of the Sansei, who grew up in the shadow of the camps. (VT)
YOSHIDA BROTHERS: Frontier, Gales of Wind, Mirage, Lullably of Takeda, Kodo, Indigo, Kagero, Evening Calm, Nikata, Old/new – Modern “Third Movement”, Arigato, Kodo-Inside the Sun Remix (CD)
YO-YO MA – CONCERTOS FROM THE NEW WORLD. Dvorak * Herbert, New York Philharmonic: Kurt Masur (CD)