The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles:Special screening of the documentary film TOYO'S CAMERA

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

On January 29, 2009, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles held a special screening and press conference of the documentary film TOYO'S CAMERA. This film was the grant recipient of the Japan Foundation's 2008 Support Program for Film and TV Productions.

Japanese Americans are descendants of Japanese immigrants who first crossed the Pacific Ocean in the early 19th century. Currently, about 1.2 million Japanese Americans live in the United States. During World War II, most Japanese Americans living on the west coast were detained and forced to live in interment camps where life was difficult.

This documentary details the hardships, which many Japanese Americans endured during their time at the interment camp, through photographs taken by Toyo Miyatake. He was an Issei (first generation Japanese American) who worked as a photographer, and was able to smuggle a camera lens into the camp to capture the life of Japanese Americans who were forced into confinement behind barbed wired fences. The film was directed by Los Angeles-based director Junichi Suzuki, produced by Los Angeles-based Japanese TV station UTB, with music by Grammy Award winner Kitaro.

Director Junichi Suzuki, Archie Miyatake (Toyo Miyatake's oldest son) and musician Kitaro attended the press conference. Guest included the Honorable Consul General Mr. Junichi Ihara of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, various leaders in the Japanese American community, and about 50 journalists. This documentary about Japanese Americans directed by a native Japanese director drew great interest among the guests. The Japan Foundation also promoted its various projects and activities at this event.

TOYO'S CAMERA will be screened in March of 2009 at select theatres in Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles, Tokyo and Yokohama.

From left: Koki Kanno (director of The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles) Kitaro, Archie Miyatake, Rumi Sakakibara, Suzuki Junichi (director), Shigeto Terasaka (producer)
(c) The Japan Foundation

Press conference
(c) The Japan Foundation

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