The Untold Story: Interment of Japanese Americans in Hawaiʻi

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Produced by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, The Untold Story is the first full-length documentary to chronicle the internment experience of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i. While the story of mass internment of Japanese Americans in California, Oregon and Washington has been well documented, very little is known about the internees and confinement sites in Hawai‘i.

Shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i authorities arrested several hundred local Japanese on O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i island and Kaua‘i. Within 48 hours those arrested included: Buddhist priests, Japanese language school officials, newspaper editors, business and community leaders. In total, over 2,000 men and women of Japanese ancestry were arrested, detained and interned in Hawai‘i. There was no evidence of espionage or sabotage and no charges were ever filed against them. This film chronicles their story through oral histories, documents, interviews, and reenactments.

This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Additional support was provided by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, Island Insurance Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and the Japanese American Citizens League – Honolulu Chapter.

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