Day of Remembrance pt 2

Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans. 73 years ago today President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 paving the way for the “evacuation” of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. Though today is important in Japanese American history, it is also important that every American (regardless of race) understand the effects of that Executive Order and how it can still affect us today. Please take some time to watch the video below because what happened 73 years ago could still happen today…

Korematsu and Civil Liberties

 

 

-Kimiko

“WOW!……I want to know more…”

“WOW!……I want to know more…” This was what I find myself saying over and over again each time Kimiko and I discuss this project. I am Shannon Fortune, a member of the crew and I am contributing to this blog to share a little about my experience.  Kimiko and I became fast friends when we lived in the same city, now that we are over 2,000+ miles apart, we try to speak on the phone regularly to stay in touch and keep eachother updated on our respective lives; the calls frequently end with “Oh What?! Look! We did it again! We’ve been on the phone for two hours already!”

In the early stages of this project, ideas for this documentary sprinkled our conversations occasionally, and over the past year and a half I have seen the ideas develop into real substance. Kimiko has been simultaneously creating an organization and building a team while writing and developing the platform for these stories she’s been collecting. She has hundreds of photos and research files and hours of footage, but the development isn’t limited to the tangible. She has reached out to friends, family and strangers, traveled to new places and in the process she’s truly connecting with people in a way that has been fascinating to observe. I am amazed at the momentum the project has gained, even in these early stages, each time she does more research or meets a new person, more and more history is uncovered, which leads to more research and meeting more people…etc. The plethora of information that one can uncover can be really exhilarating and also overwhelming. Kimiko’s determination and passion is inspiring and her enthusiasm is infectious!

“I can’t possibly fit everything I’ve learned in the documentary”, Kimiko says as she talks about the most recent bout of interviews. Going on almost two years now she has given me snippets of research information or relayed a personal story and each and every time I find myself saying “WOW!……I want to know more”, “Send me a photo!”, “Send me a link!” I know that she has only been able to relay a fraction of her gained knowledge and scratched the surface of the stories out there.  I cannot wait for this documentary to be finished so I can see it for myself…to flesh out the story fully.  I logically understand there is no practical way to see it all in the documentary, but this information, this material, saturated in history and rich with personal stories, is begging to be shared. I am happy to hear her response when I ask her where all of the hours of extra footage and piles of documents will go. “I can make a DVD with ‘Extras’ or post it on the website!”  Whew! OK! Let’s get on this…I want to know more…….

 

-Shannon