Japanese

Special “Lost Battalion” Film Screening for War Veterans

 

CEO Message

Special “Lost Battalion” Film Screening for War Veterans
World War II veterans Robert Kishinami, Henry Ishida and Takeo Ikeda

World War II veterans Robert Kishinami, Henry Ishida and Takeo Ikeda

 

It was a full house, as sons, daughters and other family members and friends came out in force with some of Hawai‘i’s World War II veterans of Japanese ancestry for a special screening of a documentary film, Rescuing the Lost Battalion: The Story Behind the Heroes. The film was made by the international arm of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

 

It’s a painful war story that many people in Hawai‘i know. Many local boys of Japanese ancestry suffered grievously to save Texas soldiers who were pinned down by German gunfire in steep, dense woods in France. The Japanese Americans had volunteered for their country’s wartime infantry, patriotic to a government that distrusted them.

 

This epic battle is only now starting to become known throughout Japan. The film director, 30-something Yoichiro Sasagawa, and several NHK World-Japan executives came to Honolulu last month and gave local veterans an opportunity to view this English-language version of the film in person before it airs on PBS Hawai‘i next month.

 

Left image: Decorated war veteran Yasunori Deguchi told me he’s always mindful of the fallen soldiers. Center image: Film director Yoichiro Sasagawa (right) greets Laura Miho (seated), widow of veteran/lawmaker “Kats” Miho. Right image: Taeko Ishikawa lost her husband George, her brother Kazuo and her cousin Tsugio in WWII.

Left image: Decorated war veteran Yasunori Deguchi told me he’s always mindful of the fallen soldiers. Center image: Film director Yoichiro Sasagawa (right) greets Laura Miho (seated), widow of veteran/lawmaker “Kats” Miho. Right image: Taeko Ishikawa lost her husband George, her brother Kazuo and her cousin Tsugio in WWII.

 

Nine World War II vets in their 90s, including former Gov. George Ariyoshi, attended, as did four widows of veterans. They were among more than 400 attendees. Widow Taeko Ishikawa still makes every effort to represent her husband George, who passed away in 1970.

 

One of the attending vets, Takeo “Ike” Ikeda, opened up about his experiences in the battle for the Lost Battalion for the first time in his life, in an emotional interview that’s part of the film.

 

This hour-long documentary will air on PBS Hawai‘i at 8:00 pm on Saturday, August 4.

 

Aloha nui,

Leslie signature

 

Leslie Wilcox
President and CEO
PBS Hawai‘i

 

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Keola Beamer: Mālama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)

PBS HAWAII PRESENTS: Keola Beamer: Mālama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)

 

This program tells the story of Keola Beamer’s journey through song. The respected composer and slack key guitarist partners with an array of musicians, including Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, American jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer and Hawaiian vocalist Raiatea Helm. These collaborations demonstrate how one can retain cultural identity while openly sharing with others to create something new – a global art form. This multicultural exchange reaches its zenith when Beamer performs a Hawaiian-language version of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” with musicians playing traditional Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Classical European and American Jazz instruments. In another particularly moving segment, Keola accompanies his wife Moanalani Beamer as she performs a hula as a quadriplegic woman who magically regains use of her limbs in a dream.

 

 

WE’LL MEET AGAIN
Children of WWII

 

Join Ann Curry for the dramatic reunions of people separated by WWII. A Japanese American woman sent to an internment camp hopes to find a childhood friend, and a survivor from a Jewish ghetto searches for the child of the couple who befriended him.

 

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
War for Guam

 

War for Guam traces the enduring legacy from World War II in Guam, a U.S. territory since 1898, and how the native people of Guam, the Chamorros, remained loyal to the U.S. under Japanese occupation, only to be later stripped of much of their ancestral lands by the American military. Through rare archival footage, contemporary film, and testimonies of survivors and their descendants, the story is told from various points of view, including from war survivors like Antonio Artero, Jr., whose father was awarded one of the first Medals of Freedom for his heroic deeds in protecting American lives; and two key historical figures, Radioman George Tweed and Father Jesus Baza Duenas.

 

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi

 

In this new film, Professor of Anthropology Christine Yano explains, “If we want to know something of what some of these womenʻs lives were like…we could do no better than to listen to their own words, as expressed through song.” The women that Professor Yano is referring to are Japanese immigrants who worked in Hawai‘i’s sugarcane fields in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through their canefield songs, or holehole bushi, these women sang about their joys and sorrows of trying to start life in a new world. Hosted and narrated by ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, the film tells the story of music teacher Harry Urata, and his efforts to record, preserve and perpetuate these musical oral histories.

 

 

Our American Family:
The Furutas

 

Through hard work, the Furutas, a Japanese American family in Wintersburg, CA established a successful goldfish farm, only to have their business devastated and family separated in the wake of WWII. Following years in an Arizona relocation camp, their indomitable spirit prevails as they return home and band together to pursue the American dream a second time.

 

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the WWII Internment Camps

 

Using historical footage and interviews from artists who were interned, this film tells the story of how traditional Japanese cultural arts were maintained at a time when the War Relocation Authority emphasized the importance of assimilation and Americanization. Included are stories of artists in the fields of music, dance and drama who were interned at Tule Lake, Manzanar, Amache/Granada, Rohwer, Gila River and Topaz.

 

 

Kaneko’s Monumental Risk

 

This documentary explores the life and work of Japanese-American sculptor and artist Jun Kaneko. Kaneko is known for building the largest ceramic art pieces in the world, with some towering more than 13 feet without any interior support. Over the course of his 50-year career, Kaneko has created massive public art installations in plazas, gardens, airports, city parks and convention centers. The film follows Kaneko working around the world in places like San Francisco, Kyoto, New York, Nagoya, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta and his adopted hometown of Omaha. It also looks at the evolution of his work from painting in a realistic style to his abstract sculptures to his risky opera design with the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. The profile culminates with a look at the multi-million dollar creativity center he built in Omaha to encourage people to unleash our risk-taking and creative sides.

 

HIKI NŌ
Episode #903 – Young Pig Farmer

 

TOP STORY

Students from Wai‘anae High School in West O‘ahu tell the story of Matthew Reyes Jr., an enterprising young pig farmer who helps his parent run Reyes’ Hog Farm in Ma‘ili. Matthew is so dedicated to his family’s business that he sacrifices any semblance of a social life. All of his waking hours are taken up by attending high school and working on the pig farm. Through this dedication, he has developed an in- depth knowledge of the pig farming business and a great sense of pride in his profession. He does want to study business once he gets to college because he feels it will give him an edge in this very competitive industry.

 

ALSO FEATURED

–Students from Waīakea High School in the Hilo district of Hawai‘i Island introduce us to a high school track star who, through the friendship and camaraderie she developed with her teammates and coaches, learned to love a sport she once dreaded.

 

–Students from Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Maui, feature a Hawaiian Immersion teacher who connects to her culture by painting words that express its values.

 

–Students from ‘Ilima Intermediate School in ‘Ewa, O‘ahu, tell the story of a young French horn player who learns about herself in the process of learning the music.

 

–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle introduce us to a wheelchair-bound school counselor who sees challenges not as obstacles, but as a way to grow.

 

–Students from Kaua‘i High School in Līhu‘e tell the story of young Thai immigrants who learn the value of hard work in Hawai‘i’s fast food industry.

 

–Students from Pacific Buddhist Academy present a primer on the ancient Japanese martial art of kendo.

 

This program encores Saturday, Oct. 28, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Oct. 29, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.

 

 


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