Alum Toshi Washizu's Documentary of Early Japanese Immigrants Available on DVD

Friday, September 12, 2014
NIKKEI WEST -- Washizu, who has also made five to six other films, left Japan for the United States as a young man and completed his Master of Fine Arts in film at San Francisco State University in 1979. While he was working as a new filmmaker at Fuji Television, the network was approached by the Japanese Speaking Society of America with a proposal to produce a documentary about the Issei in California for archival purposes. Even though it was an extremely small-scale production, Washizu jumped at the opportunity to make a documentary about a quickly vanishing group of pioneers who shared his Japanese heritage and who, like him, had found a home in the United States. “The Issei were my ancestors who spoke the language of my home country; they were like my family,” said Washizu, “I wanted to hear their stories and learn of their lives.”