Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Tadaima! Week 4 Film Festival: A Question of Loyalty



This video contains three newsreels telling the story of the 442nd RCT. Includes battle footage from the Italy campaign, Rescue of the Lost Battalion, and a medal ceremony.


Dir. Frank Abe | 57 mins | 2000

Long before the civil rights marches of the 1960s, another group of Americans fought for their basic rights as U.S. citizens. In 1944, 63 young men stood trial for resisting the draft at the concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Seven leaders were accused of conspiring to encourage them. Over time the American public has come to understand that the forced expulsion and incarceration was wrong, and in 1988, the government held itself accountable, apologized and awarded token redress to recognize the Constitutional violations. Conscience and the Constitution takes the camp story a step further, by examining two different Japanese American responses to the injustice: compliance and resistance.



Dir. Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers |28 mins | 2013

The complex story of a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by WWII. The Matsumoto family included five sons; two who fought for the Americans and three who fought for the Japanese. The eldest son, Hiroshi (Roy) became a hero, fighting against the Japanese with Merrill’s Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma. He was born near Los Angeles, educated in Japan, and became a hero when he used his Japanese language skills and military training to save his surrounded, starving battalion deep in the Burmese jungle. At the same time his parents and sisters were living in their family’s ancestral home, Hiroshima. The story is told by Roy’s daughter Karen as she discovers her father’s work in military intelligence, kept secret for 50 years. To learn more about Roy Matsumoto visit



Dir. Emiko Omori | 1 hr, 24 mins | 1999

Like many innocent Japanese Americans released from WWII forced incarceration camps, the young Omori sisters did their best to erase the memories and scars of life under confinement. Fifty years later acclaimed filmmaker Emiko Omori asks her older sister and other detainees to reflect on the personal and political consequences of the camps. Visually stunning and emotionally compelling, Rabbit in the Moon uses eye witness accounts to examine issues that created deep rifts within the community, reveals the racist subtext of the loyalty questionnaire, and the absurdity of the military draft within the camps. Omori renders a poetic and illuminating picture of a deeply troubling chapter in American history.


Dir. Bill Kubota and Steve Ozone | 57 mins | 2018

THE REGISTRY, chronicles the efforts of aging veterans to document the crucial work they performed as trans- lators in the Pacific Theater and the focal point that military service played in their identities. THE REGISTRY will be one of the last times that those who Served in WWII will be able to connect with each other, as well as one of the last times we will directly hear the voices of those who served. This documentary is necessary viewing, at a moment when Americans are facing a new collective crisis in national identity. Anti-immigrant sentiment and government actions, such as President Trump’s orders that banned travel to the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries, echo events in America more than half a century ago.


Rescuing the Lost Battalion.jpg

NHK | 49 mins | 2017

Through interviews, reenactments and archival material, this documentary recounts the story behind the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Japanese American soldiers who rescued a battalion of fellow US troops surrounded by German forces in France during the latter part of World War II. These Nisei soldiers became instant heroes – but at a steep cost.

This special video screening is dedicated to the memory of the Nisei veterans we had the honor of interviewing for the program.

Yasunori Deguchi
Takeo Ike Ikeda
Lawson Ichiro Sakai
Junwo Jim Yamashita



Dir. Jeff Adachi | 60  mins | 2009

The film tells Jack Soo’s story through a montage of film and television clips, rare footage, interviews with family members, friends, co-workers, and others who knew him best. From his early appearances on programs such as The Jack Benny Show and Valentines’ Day, Soo’s life is examined both in the historical context of the times, and the grandeur of an earlier Hollywood where stars like Soo succeeded in a multitude of artistic mediums, reminiscent of vaudevillian times. From Soo’s early training as an announcer and stand-up comic, to his singing, acting and dancing career on Broadway, culminating with his signature role as Detective Nick Yemana, Soo’s unique talent and dedication to his craft are fully explored and captured through a dazzling kaleidoscope of images, music, montages, interviews and stories. Featured interview subjects include Nancy Kwan who was Soo’s co-star in the film version of Broadway Flower Drum Song; Soo’s co-stars on Barney Miller, Max Gail and Steve Landesberg; Hal Kanter, the creator and producer of Valentine’s Day and George Takei, Soo’s friend and co-star in The Green Berets. The film will also dig deep into Soo’s past, including interviews with Soo’s daughter and close friends, former Topaz internees, former Motown executive Al Abrams, and others who knew Soo at key points in his life and career.