Major Okinawa TV Story Features Zinn Education Project Teacher July 9, 2014

Misa Kawai Joo, Yonamine's daughter Kaiya, and Yonamine during filming.

Misa Kawai Joo, Yonamine’s daughter Kaiya, and Yonamine during filming.

We are thrilled that Okinawa based television network Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) is filming a story in the U.S. this month, featuring a teacher they read about on the Zinn Education Project website. The story, which will air in October, is about the internment of Latin Americans of Japanese descent in the United States during World War II.

In 2010, Portland teacher Moé Yonamine wrote about the hidden history of Japanese Latin American internment in the United States for Rethinking Schools magazine. In 2012, the Zinn Education Project published a related article she wrote, “Teaching Untold Stories During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” along with her lesson, “The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII.” Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) found these articles by Yonamine while doing an internet search on the topic of Japanese Latin Americans in WWII.

Japanese Peruvians en route to U.S. Internment Camps, 1942.

Japanese Peruvians en route to U.S. Internment Camps, 1942.

This month, RBC will send reporter Yoshikazu Hara and a film crew to interview Yonamine for one of the segments in a series they’re producing on the “hidden histories” of World War II. Yonamine will speak about her lesson, “The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII,” as well as her own history with the subject.

Hara is doing a thorough job with his research. In addition to interviewing Yonamine, he and his film crew are:

  • Filming the lesson in action in Yonamine’s classroom.
  • Speaking with Misa Kawai Joo, the eighth grade teacher who first taught Yonamine about Japanese Internment and whose family was personally affected.
  • Flying to Los Angeles to interview a Peruvian woman of Japanese descent in her 80s. She was forcibly interned in the United States and has remained here.
  • Joining the pilgrimage to Tule Lake Internment Camp in California, the same pilgrimage Yonamine and her teacher went on many years ago that sparked Yonamine’s lesson.

In his interviews with Yonamine, Hara has asked Yonamine to also speak about the Zinn Education Project. He hopes the program will encourage teachers who listen to his station to illuminate “hidden histories” for their own students.

Photos from the Filming
Yonamine facilitating the lesson, “The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII.”

Yonamine facilitating the lesson, “The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII.”

 

Yonamine’s students and Yoshikazu Hara from RBC (with camera).

Yonamine’s students and Yoshikazu Hara from RBC (with camera).

 

Misa Kawai Joo and her students, 1993. Joo (2nd row, second from right), was Yonamine’s 8th grade teacher who first taught Yonamine about the Japanese internment.

Misa Kawai Joo and her students, 1993. Joo (2nd row, second from right), was Yonamine’s 8th grade teacher who first taught Yonamine about the Japanese internment.

 

At Yonamine’s house with her family, Joo (center), and RBC film crew member Yoshikazu Hara (right).

At Yonamine’s house with her family, Joo (center), and Yoshikazu Hara from RBC (right).

 

 

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