On February 19th, 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, a bill which allowed the military to forcibly move people of Japanese ancestry into designated "Relocation Centers" during World War II. Over 100,000 people (citizen and alien alike) were "evacuated" in the name of national security with no legitimate reasoning beyond war time hysteria.
Among the internees was my grandmother, who was only three years old at the time of her incarceration in the spring of 1942. The number "1217" refers to the Family ID Number issued to my grandmother and her family at the Manzanar Concentration Camp.
Her story is just one of many from this forgotten and often ignored part of American History. As we are seeing now, those who fail to learn from their past mistakes are doomed to repeat it.
If you'd like more information, densho.org/ is one of the best resources on what happened to the Japanese Americans during World War 2. Their archives (where I was able to find digital copies of my great-grandparents' death) are full of first-hand accounts and files from the camps, as well as life before and after.
Directed, Shot, & Edited by:
Brett Ryoji Kodama
Sharon Shizuko Okazaki Kodama
July 16, 2016 - March on Washington Film Festival
August 21, 2016:
Revolution Me Film Festival
Brookyln, New York
October 22, 2016:
Resobox Japanese Short Film Festival
Queens, New York
November 29, 2016
JACL NY Chapter and JAJA Community Screening
New York, NY
December 1, 2016 - Canadian Premiere:
Videodrunk Film Festival
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
January 7, 2017:
Friends of Manzanar Community Screening
Los Angeles, CA
January 21, 2017:
Asians on Film Festival of Shorts
Los Angeles, CA
February 25, 2017:
Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Films of Remembrance
San Francisco, CA
March 4, 2017:
Respect Belfast Human Rights Film Festival