You might not expect a culture to thrive under the prison conditions of 10 incarceration camps and 18 temporary assembly centers during World War II for Japanese Americans, but that’s exactly what happened.
A new documentary produced by UC Berkeley public affairs staffer Shirley Muramoto Wong explores this issue.
“I asked my mom where she learned how to play the koto,” said Muramoto Wong to the UC Berkeley News Center. “And she’d say, ‘Oh, I learned in camp.’ And I said, ‘Wow, what a progressive summer camp you went to, to be teaching a Japanese instrument like this.’ I really didn’t hear what that camp was until I was in high school.”
A rough cut of her film Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the WWII Internment Camps will be shown Saturday at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is underway to complete it.
A Bay Area PBS station has already expressed an interest in helping to complete the production and broadcasting it.
You can read more about the film at the UC Berkeley News Center and watch the clip below.