The Watada case brings up issues for Japanese Americans that have not been adequately explored by commentators.  --  Perhaps a new film entitled “Watada, Resister,” will help rectify this neglect.  --  Made by independent filmmaker Curtis Choy, it records a January 2007 conversation between Ehren Watada, telephoning from Seattle, WA, to Frank Emi and Yosh Kuromiya, who resisted being drafted from the Japanese internment camps during World War II, as well as to Paul Tsuneishi, an activist who has supported them.  --  The three men take Ehren Watada’s call in San Gabriel, CA, and then engage Watada for about fifteen minutes in conversation about the links between their cases.  --  Frank Emi, who presides over the conversation, was in 1944 one of the leaders of the Fair Play Committee, consisting of Japanese Americans who demanded their rights before they would serve in the U.S. Army, and who served time in prison for standing up for their rights.  --  While Americans have often celebrated the sacrifice of the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team, they have neglected the story of the Fair Play Committee and its important defense of fundamental American values.  --  Lt. Watada speaks about the failure of the national Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) to unequivocally support his resistance to illegal war; the JACL also failed the draft resisters of the Fair Play Committee.  --  In David Yoo's words, "In 1942, the JACL endorsed internment and framed the camps as a chance for Nikkei [i.e. people of Japanese ancestry] to show their loyalty" ("Captivating Memories: Museology, Concentration Camps, and Japanese American History," American Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4 [December 1996]: 680-699).  --  (See here for more background.)  --  Curtis Choy’s film is presented below in two YouTube segments.[1] ...



By Curtis Choy

January 27, 2007

Part I:

Part II:

See also:">