Fumiko Hayashida Film

Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol


This film was produced for BIJAC by Stourwater Pictures. It was funded in part by Humanities Washington, the Washington Women’s History Consortium, the Bainbridge Community Foundation, the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Fund, Artist Trust, and Celluloid Bainbridge.

View the film. (Total running time: 15 minutes 11 seconds)

In February 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the relocation of 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast in order to incarcerate them in isolated and desolate concentration camps. Exclusion Order No. 1, authorizing the first relocation, targeted the Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island, Washington. One of them was 31–year–old Fumiko Hayashida, a pregnant mother of two. She was one of 227 members of her community who, dressed in their best clothes, assembled at the Eagledale ferry landing on March 30th, 1942. As they waited to be taken off the Island by armed military escorts, Fumiko, holding her 13–month–old daughter Natalie Kayo, was photographed by a Seattle Post–Intelligencer photographer. The photograph has since become a lasting iconic symbol of the internment experience.


Film Review

“Every individual forcibly removed from his or her home in 1942, simply on the basis of wartime racial calculation, became the protagonist of a tragic story. This one, featuring Fumiko Hayashida and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American community is especially poignant and deserves our attention”. Franklin Odo, director of the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program.


(15 minutes 13 seconds)

To order a DVD copy of the film please contact Stourwater Pictures

A “public performance” is any performance of a videocassette, DVD, videodisc or film which occurs outside of the home, or at any place where people are gathered who are not family members, such as in a school or library. In most cases titles sold are restricted to home use only and do not include public performance rights. No admission may be charged for a showing of Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol without written permission from BIJAC or Stourwater Pictures.

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