Let’s listen to ‘The Untold Story’

We won’t ask folks to see documentaries very often. We won’t recommend they buy DVDs, either. But in this case, we will.

“The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii, produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and the first full-length documentary to chronicle the internment experience of Japanese Americans in Hawaii is being presented on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m. at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.

And why, you wonder, should you bother to see this production? Aren’t there plenty of movies and TV shows to watch?

Here’s why. This story is more important than most.

Shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii authorities arrested several hundred local Japanese on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island and Kauai.

Within 48 hours those arrested included Buddhist priests, Japanese language school officials, newspaper editors, business, and community leaders.

In total, over 2,000 men and women of Japanese ancestry were arrested, detained and interned at 13 different confinement sites in Hawaii.

Here’s the problem with all that.

 There was no evidence of espionage or sabotage and no charges were ever filed against them. They were arrested for their race. That’s it.

The film chronicles their story through oral histories, documents, interviews, and reenactments.

These are stories you likely have not heard.

“While people are familiar with places like Manzanar, Topaz and Tule Lake, few people are familiar with names of Honouliuli, Kalaheo Stockade or Kilauea Military Camp where Japanese Americans in Hawaii were imprisoned during World War II,” said Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

Hayashino, Betsy Young, and Lloyd Nakamura from the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii will be attending the film showing to discuss efforts to preserve Hawaii’s confinement sites.

General admission is $10. Tickets can purchased at Times Supermarket Lihue Store and all Big Save Markets.

Information: (808) 945-7633 or email info@jcch.com.

This film will be worth your time. And it will help us learn from, not forget about, the history that made this country what it is today.

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