Hidden Legacy

Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps
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Koto artist Shirley Muramoto’s documentary Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps (2014, 57min.) will be screened for Asian Heritage Month. This film unveils Japanese traditional performing arts that continued while Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Through historical footage and interviews with artists who were incarcerated comes the story of how Japanese cultural arts were maintained at a time when the War Relocation Authority pushed for assimilation and Americanization. Come hear from the director herself as she explains how she researched and collected information over a 20-year period to make this documentary, the first major presentation of the existence of traditional music, dance and drama in the camps. 

Also presenting will be Brynn Saito, author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press, and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award. This event is co-sponsored by the Topaz Museum and also includes a koto performance by Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and a presentation by Kimi Kodani Hill about the new Topaz Museum in Delta, Utah.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Kozu Tsutsumoto. Yone Somekawa and her Japanese music group at Minidoka, Idaho.

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