Edmonds CC to host film screening to honor Japanese American WWII Veterans

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Edmonds Community College will host a film screening and discussion to honor Japanese American World War II veterans on Feb 20. The screening will include the films “Honor & Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story” and “Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai’i.” Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers, who directed and produced the two movies, will speak on a panel alongside Joyce Yamane and Karen Matsumoto, daughters of the veterans featured in the films. The event will be held one day after the national Day of Remembrance, which commemorates the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. 

“Despite losing many of their rights, despite having family members incarcerated at home, Japanese Americans still chose to fight for their country,” said Chris Szarek, director of Edmonds CC’s Veterans Resource Center. “We owe them a tremendous debt for the freedom we enjoy today.”

Roy Matsumoto
Roy Matsumoto (far right) is the subject of “Honor and Sacrifice.” He became a hero when he used his Japanese language skills and military training to save his surrounded, starving battalion deep in the Burmese jungle. Credit: Roy Matsumoto family

“The stories of Roy Matsumoto and Kazuo Yamane remind us of the strength, courage, and resilience that are within us and needed to address injustices and impact change in our work, communities, and society,” said Dr. Yvonne Terrell-Powell, vice-president of the college’s Equity and Inclusion Division. “Their legacies remind us all that we must lead from where we sit, lay, or stand in order to ensure freedom, liberty, and justice for all.” 

Kazuo Yamane
Kazuo Yamane, the subject of “Proof of Loyalty,” at the Military Intelligence Service Language School, Camp Savage, Minnesota. Credit: Courtesy of Joyce Yamane

“Honor & Sacrifice” documents a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by World War II. The Matsumoto family included five sons, two who fought for the U.S. and three who fought for Japan. The story is told by Roy’s daughter, Karen, as she discovers her father’s work in military intelligence, kept secret for 50 years. 

“Proof of Loyalty” tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial strategic role in World War II. He and his fellow Nisei — second-generation Japanese Americans — combatted discrimination to serve their country. They would go on to change the course of U.S. history. The film won the Audience Choice Award, Documentary at the 2017 Asian American International Film Festival and was awarded the Legacy Award at the 2018 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. It has been shown at numerous film festivals and has been broadcast nationally on PBS.

The screening and discussion are sponsored by the Northwest Veterans Museum and Edmonds CC’s Veterans Resource Center, Equity and Inclusion Division, and Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement program.

Nisei Veterans Day of Remembrance: Community Film Screening and Discussion

3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20

Black Box Theatre, Edmonds Community College

20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood

Free and open to the public. Reserve tickets at BlackBoxEdCC.org/Tickets

For directions and a campus map, go to edcc.edu/campus.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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