Check out the movie Tadaima

Check out the movie Tadaima

When World War II began, Japanese-Americans and immigrants found the discrimination and prejudice they had long experienced escalated with hatred against them displayed on all fronts. Immediately after the Imperial Japanese Navy bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, leaders from the Japanese and Japanese American communities were arrested by the FBI. It was a time of great uncertainty and fear.

Then Executive Order 9066 was issued and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. This gave military commanders in certain areas the right to evacuate all people from their homes. Although the order could be used against others, it was only passed with people of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast of the United States. Not used in Hawaii.

People were taken from their homes without warning and taken to temporary collection centers where they were housed at racetracks or fairs. Most lived in horse stalls recently vacated by the previous occupants. Ten camps were then built in remote and desolate areas of the United States. People were taken by train to these places, where most had to live as prisoners until the end of the war in 1945.

At the end of the war, people were released from the camps. Most received a token sum of $25 plus train or bus fare to the location of their choice. Many tried to return to their former homes in California, Washington or Oregon. It was extremely difficult for them to start over with nothing.

The story of one such family who tried to return to their former home in California is told in a film called “The Tadaima Movie”. It premiered at CAAMFest 2015 in San Francisco. It has received several awards including: Best Drama at the New York Downtown Short Film Festival and Best Short Narrative at the DisOrient Film Festival in Oregon. Several screenings are planned. Information is available on the Internet. The meaning of the Japanese word “tadaima” is: I am at home.

The film follows a Japanese-American family who must find the strength to rebuild their house and family after suffering the emotional and physical destruction caused by their experiences in prison during the war. The film stars Toshi Toda, Vivian, Umino, Makenyu Maeda and Jordin Kanaya.

Tadaima The Movie is written and directed by Robin Takao D’Oench. The film honors the legacy of his grandfather, Paul Takagi, who was a UC Berkeley professor emeritus and recently passed away. The story is based on the experiences of his family and other Japanese Americans after the end of World War II. It’s part of Japanese-American history.

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