Although filmed more than a year ago and having premiered at the end of 2016, the short film The Orange Story starring Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) senior instructor Joe Takehara Sensei continues its journey to educate the public and a new generation about the World War II Japanese American internment.
In September, the film was shown as part of a session on the internment in the intro to Asian American studies course taught by Dr. Corinne Kodama of the Global Asian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Takehara Sensei was in attendance along with representatives of the filmmaking team. At one point, the students were polled of their previous knowledge of the internment, and only four of 30 students said the topic had been covered in high school. Three more such sessions at UIC are planned for October.
Then on September 30, Takehara Sensei accompanied the filmmakers to Los Angeles for a screening and panel at the Japanese American National Museum.
Thank you again to Takehara Sensei, producer Jason Matsumoto, and the team at Full Spectrum Features for keeping this important part of American history (and Takehara Sensei’s own life) alive and in the minds of people today.
On a side note, although not directly connected to Takehara Sensei, The Orange Story or Chicago Aikido Club, Alphawood Gallery in Chicago has been hosting an in-depth and informative exhibit on the internment. Titled Then They Came for Me, the exhibit includes extensive photos, artifacts, film footage and video testimonials. If interested, you have until November 19 to catch it.