Lawson Iichiro Sakai StoryFile recording

Current Exhibition

The Interactive StoryFile of Lawson Iichiro Sakai

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

(1923-2020)

Lawson Sakai served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), one of the most highly decorated units in U.S. military history. The 442nd RCT was a segregated unit, composed almost entirely of Nisei, second-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry. 

In February 1942, in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government began laying the groundwork for the eventual forced relocation of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent on the west coast and subsequent incarceration in detention camps that operated from 1942 to 1946.

In March 1942, 18-year-old Lawson and his family were forced to leave their home and farm in Montebello, California. The Sakai family relocated to Colorado, which was outside of the exclusionary zone along the west coast. As a result, they were not subjected to incarceration in one of the federal government’s ten detention camps.

In 1943, Lawson enlisted in the U.S. Army. As a part of the 442nd RCT, he fought in major campaigns during WWII, and the rescue of the “Lost Battalion” in France in 1944. He was awarded numerous medals including four Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantryman Badge for his service and heroism during the campaigns in Italy and France, and the French Legion of Honor, among others.

After the war, Lawson returned home, where he married Mineko Hirasaki and started a family. In 2005, Lawson founded the Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV), a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy of Japanese American veterans of the 442nd RCT.

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

Ongoing

Japanese American National Museum

100 North Central Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

A powerful, interactive new exhibition uses groundbreaking storytelling technology to give visitors the experience of “talking” with World War II veteran Lawson Iichiro Sakai.

The exhibition was conceived and sponsored by the nonprofit Japanese American Stories using StoryFile, Inc. technology. The new exhibition is being featured on CBS on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 10 p.m. (PST), in a special hour-long primetime edition of Sunday Morning titled “Forever Young: Searching For The Fountain Of Youth.”

More than 1,000 questions were asked of Sakai over five days of filming. Capturing Sakai’s oral history preserves a remarkable life: Sakai received four Purple Heart Medals and a Bronze Star Medal, having participated in all major campaigns of the 442nd RCT, including the liberation of Bruyeres, France; rescue of the “Lost Battalion” in France; and breaking of the Gothic Line in Italy. 

The interviews were filmed using StoryFile’s “capture technology” of 27 different cameras, positioned around Sakai for a 360-degree view. This special filming technique will allow the video to be eventually projected as a holographic exhibition, once that technology becomes more accessible and affordable. Currently, the Sakai JANM exhibition is presented on a lifesize flatscreen. 

The StoryFile AI storytelling technology gives visitors the ability to engage with someone that is not actually present. It allows a visitor to see the interview subject consider a question, then come up with the answer, and reveal their emotion as they tell their story. 

Ask Lawson Sakai anything you like, but if you don’t know where to start try asking:

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you remember about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
  • What was life like after Pearl Harbor?
  • Were your parents scared after the attack on Pearl Harbor?
  • What camp did you and your family go to?
  • What was it like living in Colorado?
  • When did you enlist or were you drafted?
  • What was it like to lose fellow soldiers?
  • When you were young did you feel American?
  • Tell me about the smells of war.
  • If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

 

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

Ongoing

Japanese American National Museum

100 North Central Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Lawson Iichiro Sakai

A powerful, interactive new exhibition uses groundbreaking storytelling technology to give visitors the experience of “talking” with World War II veteran Lawson Iichiro Sakai.

The exhibition was conceived and sponsored by the nonprofit Japanese American Stories using StoryFile, Inc. technology. The new exhibition is being featured on CBS on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 10 p.m. (PST), in a special hour-long primetime edition of Sunday Morning titled “Forever Young: Searching For The Fountain Of Youth.”

More than 1,000 questions were asked of Sakai over five days of filming. Capturing Sakai’s oral history preserves a remarkable life: Sakai received four Purple Heart Medals and a Bronze Star Medal, having participated in all major campaigns of the 442nd RCT, including the liberation of Bruyeres, France; rescue of the “Lost Battalion” in France; and breaking of the Gothic Line in Italy. 

The interviews were filmed using StoryFile’s “capture technology” of 27 different cameras, positioned around Sakai for a 360-degree view. This special filming technique will allow the video to be eventually projected as a holographic exhibition, once that technology becomes more accessible and affordable. Currently, the Sakai JANM exhibition is presented on a lifesize flatscreen. 

The StoryFile AI storytelling technology gives visitors the ability to engage with someone that is not actually present. It allows a visitor to see the interview subject consider a question, then come up with the answer, and reveal their emotion as they tell their story. 

Ask Lawson Sakai anything you like, but if you don’t know where to start try asking:

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you remember about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
  • What was life like after Pearl Harbor?
  • Were your parents scared after the attack on Pearl Harbor?
  • What camp did you and your family go to?
  • What was it like living in Colorado?
  • When did you enlist or were you drafted?
  • What was it like to lose fellow soldiers?
  • When you were young did you feel American?
  • Tell me about the smells of war.
  • If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

 

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