FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 11, 2012
Chris Komai - firstname.lastname@example.org - 213-830-5648
'A DIVIDED COMMUNITY' DOCUMENTARY ABOUT JA WW II RESISTERS TO BE SCREENED AT JANM ON JULY 21
A new documentary by Momo Yashima, "A Divided Community: 3 Personal Stories of Resistance", which highlights the struggles of three Japanese American World War II resisters, will be screened on Saturday, July 21, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, with a panel discussion to follow.
This documentary, presented in collaboration with the George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, and the National Museum, tells the stories of Yosh Kuromiya, Frank Emi, and Mits Koshiyama, who challenged the United States government’s decision to draft Japanese Americans while they and their families were being held in America’s concentration camps.
Koshiyama was born in Mountain View, California, Kuromiya in Sierra Madre, California, and Emi in Los Angeles before World War II. All three were incarcerated in the government-run Heart Mountain, Wyoming concentration camp beginning in 1942. All refused induction into the military on the grounds that the incarceration violated their Constitutional rights as American citizens and all three were sent to prison. The trio was part of a larger group called the Fair Play Committee. Some of the resisters had their convictions overturned or were pardoned by President Truman after the war.
Yashima, a veteran actress who has appeared in motion pictures, television and on stage, is the daughter of Taro Yashima, a Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of children books. Her mother Mitsu was active in the anti-war movement, which influenced Momo and led to her desire to create a documentary on the three subjects of her film.
A panel discussion with Professor Emeritus Art Hansen, attorney Deborah Lim (who authored a 1990 report for the Japanese American Citizens League on its WW II activities in regards to the resisters), Kuromiya, and Yashima will follow the screening. A representative from the JACL has been invited to participate as well.