Honor and Sacrifice - Just Completed!
HONOR AND SACRIFICE is a 28-minute documentary about the Japanese American men who were incarcerated in concentration camps, enlisted in the U.S. military, and volunteered to become linguists in the Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific Theater of WWII. The story will be told by focusing on the experience of one man's personal journey. Born in Los Angeles, Roy Matsumoto was a “Kibei,” raised by his grandparents and educated in Japan. Roy returned to Los Angeles but in 1942, along with all the other Japanese Americans living on the west coast of the U.S., was sent first to the Santa Anita Assembly Center and later to the Jerome, Arkansas, concentration camp, from where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the MIS due to his invaluable Japanese language skills, and emerged a hero from the U.S. military campaign in the Pacific Theater, credited by other members of his battalion with having saved their lives. Roy’s story and those of his Kibei comrades are the more poignant and powerful for the fact that most of their parents and grandparents had been born in Japan, which made itself the enemy of the U.S. with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Roy’s brothers fought with the Japanese Army in China and Guadalcanal, while Roy was an American soldier fighting against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma with Merrill’s Marauders. Matsumoto's parents were living in Hiroshima when that city was destroyed by the historic first use of an atomic bomb. After the Japanese surrender, he was in charge of interrogating his own cousin, who had been a student at UCLA and had been drafted into the Japanese Army while visiting there, and who was a prisoner of war during the American Occupation following the end of the war. Matsumoto is one of the most highly decorated Nisei soldiers in WWII, and has the unique distinction of being honored in both the MIS and Ranger Halls of Fame. Up to now, however, his story, which is both exemplary for its heroism and typical among Japanese American veterans for its message of loyalty and sacrifice, has only been known in military circles.