'Citizen Tanouye" Documentary to Screen June 17 at Japanese American National Museum

  • en

Jun 200617

Japanese American National Museum
369 E. First Street
Los Angeles, California, 90012
United States

‘CITIZEN TANOUYE’ DOCUMENTARY THAT FOLLOWS STUDENTS
AS THEY UNCOVER STORY OF JA MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDEE
TO BE SCREENED AT NATIONAL MUSEUM ON SATURDAY, JUNE 17

LOS ANGELES.—“Citizen Tanouye”, the award-winning documentary about a group of high school students discovering the story of a Japanese American soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor over 50 years after his death, will be screened on Saturday, June 17, beginning at 2 p.m., in the Democracy Forum of the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, adjacent to the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.

The students and Ted Tanouye both attended Torrance High School, but over six decades apart. Tanouye and his family, along with 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry, were unconstitutionally incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II. The Tanouye family was imprisoned in the government-run Jerome, Arkansas camp. Ted and his brother Isao “Easy” Inouye both wound up joining the famed Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and fighting in Europe.

Technical Sergeant Inouye’s heroic actions on Hill 140 in Italy cost him his life and his story was little remembered except by his family and his comrades. However, in 2000, upon review by the Department of Defense of the war records of Asian Pacific American soldiers, President Clinton presented over 20 Medals of Honor, mostly to Japanese American soldiers and their families, for actions “above and beyond the call of duty.”

In 2004, the Ted Tanouye Memorial was dedicated in Torrance. This inspired eight Torrance High School students, part of the graduating class of 2005, to find out more about the Medal of Honor winner who attended their high school so many years ago. The students, Nicole Adachi, Alex Begovich, Kathy Choi, Tim Froehlig, Talayeh Haghighi, Billy Kim, Heather McIlvaine, and Katie Webb, set out uncover the story of Ted Tanouye. By researching school yearbooks from Jerome and interviewing his brother Isao, his former classmates and fellow soldiers, the students begin to piece together the story of a young Japanese American who earned his nation’s highest military honor.

The documentary, created by Robert Horsting and Craig Yahata, follows the journey of the students. “Citizen Tanouye” was named Best Feature Documentary by the 2005 International Family Film Festival and received the Chris Award from the 2005 Columbus International Film & Video Festival. It also earned Audience Awards from the 2005 San Diego International Children’s Film Festival and the 2005 Zion Independent Film Festival. More information on the film is available at www.citizentanouye.com.

The screening is free to National Museum members or with admission to the Museum. A discussion will follow the screening. For more information, call the Japanese American National Museum at (213) 625-0414.

 

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ckomai . Last modified Jul 09 2010 12:11 p.m.


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