Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum

16 Episodes

Here's a collection of amazing documentaries by the Japanese American National Museum's Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center.

The mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.

For more information go to, www.janm.org

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Japanese American National Museum
  • Eyewitness Stan Honda

    Episode 1

    Following the devastation of the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, photojournalist Stan Honda’s extraordinary images of dazed, dust-enveloped victims riveted the public's attention to the covers and pages of national magazines and newspapers.

    Mr. Honda relates the aftermath of ...

  • Crossover
    Episode 2


    Episode 2

    Crossover takes you on a fast-breaking journey into the 70-year old phenomenon of the Japanese American basketball leagues.

    Established in the 1930s when opportunities to play competitive sports were limited, today the leagues are stronger than ever with over 20,000 players organized in innum...

  • Barbara Kawakami: A Textured Life

    Episode 3

    An intimate portrait of the woman who – after growing up on a plantation, working for over three decades as a seamstress, and entering college for the first time at age fifty-three – went on to uncover the lost history of Hawaii’s early Japanese picture brides.

    Director: Akira Boch


  • Moving Memories

    Episode 4

    George Takei hosts MOVING MEMORIES, a journey into the 1920s and 1930s featuring restored and edited home movies taken by Japanese American immigrant pioneers as they made America their new home.

    Featuring: George Takei
    Created and Edited by Robert A. Nakamura

    Produced by the Japanese Amer...

  • Something Strong Within

    Episode 5

    An experimental documentary that utilizes home movie footage shot by Japanese Americans living inside America’s concentration camps during WWII, this view from within depicts the struggle of 120,000 souls to overcome betrayal and hardship to reconstruct a community behind barbed wire.


  • Mamo's weeds

    Episode 6

    Written by acclaimed mystery writer Naomi Hirahara, Mamo’s Weeds tells the story of a gardener besieged by a destructive weed epidemic and a series of phone calls from a mysterious woman. Searching for answers, he travels from the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation to a Little Tokyo chop-s...

  • Drawing the Line

    Episode 7

    A series of artist profiles that examine how Japanese American artists determined their particular creative directions in response to a unique set of post World War II social, cultural, and political circumstances.

    Whatever form their creativity took, these artists brought fresh and compellin...

  • 9066 to 9/11

    Episode 8

    9066 to 9/11

    9066 to 9/11 focuses on the parallels between the post-September 11 treatment of Arab Americans and Muslims in this country with treatment of Japanese Americans after the start of World War II. Revealing striking similarities, the film addresses the mistreatment of immigrants in t...

  • Words, Weavings, Songs

    Episode 9

    Wakako Yamauchi, Momo Nagano, and Mary Nomura were innocent teenagers when they were sent to concentration camps during World War II. Behind barbed wire, their creative spirits remained undaunted—their lives fortified by art, music, and literature.

    Featuring: Wakako Yamauchi, Momo Nagano, Mary...

  • Politics of Plate Lunch

    Episode 10

    A penetrating yet tender look beneath the “island paradise” stereotype to explore the inter-ethnic and generational complexities of contemporary Hawai'i.

    Director: Robert A. Nakamura

    Produced by the Japanese American National Museum's Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center

  • Plantation Roots

    Episode 11

    Plantation Roots reveals how so much of Hawaii's current-day community and culture stems from the sugar plantation system of the turn-of-the-century.

    Director: Robert A. Nakamura

    Produced by the Japanese Amerian National's Museum's Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center

  • Looking Like the Enemy

    Episode 12

    They were American born and bred yet they had the face of the enemy.

    Spanning generations and wars, Looking Like the Enemy is a bold and daring exploration into the often horrifying yet always ironic predicaments faced by American soldiers of Asian descent who fought in World War II, the Kore...

  • Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray

    Episode 13

    Having smuggled a lens and film holder into one of America’s concentration camps during World War II, Toyo Miyatake was among the first to photograph this national disgrace. Yet it was his little-known artistic pursuits before the war that honed his discerning eye.

    Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Sha...

  • Harsh Canvas: Henry Sugimoto

    Episode 14

    Henry Sugimoto’s translated memoirs, brought to life by Academy Award nominated actor Mako, reveal the artist’s own journey through his life and art. Features his paintings and sketches, rare archival footage, and film of the artist just before his death.

    Director: John Esaki

    Produced by th...

  • From Bullets to Ballots

    Episode 15

    From Bullets to Ballots tells the sensitive, insightful story of how returning WWII veterans were not about to go back to the plantation and instead fought back to make Hawai'i more equitable for all.

    Featuring: Senator Daniel K. Inouye
    Director: Robert A. Nakamura

    Produced by The Japanese...

  • Crossroads: Boyle Heights

    Episode 16

    Boyle Heights is a Los Angeles neighborhood, located just east of downtown between the Los Angeles River and the city boundary. It has been home to people who have come to Los Angeles from different cities, states, and countries, who have different beliefs and traditions, and who speak different ...