Segments in this Video

Japanese-American Expatriate (01:48)


Animator Jimmy Murakami was born in 1933 in San Jose, California. Adversity during World War II caused him to leave the U.S. for Ireland.

"Where the Wind Blows" (02:36)

Murakami chats with a bartender in Dingle about his painting and animation. View a clip from "Where the Wind Blows," inspired by Hiroshima, about the nuclear bomb being dropped on England

Japanese-American Internment (03:01)

Murakami settle in Dublin 40 years ago, married an Irish woman, and started a family. He's begun painting childhood memories of being shipped to Tule Lake after Pearl Harbor; he was eight years old.

Japanese-American Loyalty Tests (02:16)

Murakami enjoyed relative freedom until residents were required to swear allegiance to the U.S. Tule Lake was designated for those who refused, including Murakami's father. Soldiers and tanks upheld martial law; the population increased to 18,000.

Tule Lake Camp (03:08)

Murakami paints his family's barrack room, where he spent four years, and shows photos of his family before they were interned. His father wanted to return to Japan after the war and his sister died of leukemia.

Return to California (03:55)

On the journey to Tule Lake, Murakami visits the Los Angeles temple where he was married and where his parent’s ashes remain. A Japanese American National Museum exhibit shows how the U.S. government called citizens “non-aliens” to circumvent their rights.

Becoming the Enemy (02:25)

After Pearl Harbor, politicians used existing anti-Japanese sentiment to pass internment legislation. The ACLU and Quakers were among the few protesting the unconstitutional action.

Preserving Painful Memories (02:45)

The Japanese American National Museum was built to document internment during World War II. Murakami's family members were recorded in the National Archive.

Life After Internment (02:53)

After leaving Tule Lake, Murakami associated with other young people of color to cope with racism. He visits his former high school in Venice; an art scholarship saved him from pursuing crime.

Search for Home (02:22)

After art school, Murakami became an animation studio director, but didn't feel he belonged in America. He worked in Japan, London, and Milan, and married a French woman, who convinced him to move back to the U.S.

Path to Happiness (01:51)

Murakami became partners in a film company, but was unhappy in the U.S. He married Edna and started a family in Ireland—helping him to cope with childhood internment memories.

Sibling Reunion (03:06)

Murakami visits his brother James and sister Judi in Los Angeles. James recalls his impressions of Tule Lake. On one hand, the family had lost their rights but on the other hand, they were protected from wartime aggression towards Japanese-Americans.

Internment Psychological Impact (03:25)

Judi recalls her sister's illness and death; she was too young to understand why they were in a concentration camp. She hopes visiting Tule Lake will help Murakami let go of anger towards the U.S. government.

Pilgrimage to Tule Lake (03:53)

Murakami hopes visiting the internment camp will bring him peace. He expresses anger towards the U.S. government for violating his constitutional rights.

Facing the Past (03:58)

Murakami boards a bus taking former Japanese-American interns and their descendants to visit Tule Lake. Passengers share their hopes for the experience. Students first traveled there in 1967 to protest the lack of internment documentation.

Standing up for Citizenship Rights (04:05)

Murakami stays at the same motel that his parents did on their way to Tule Lake. He talks to a fellow survivor who was jailed for protesting the loyalty test.

Japanese-American Community (03:33)

Murakami feels at home among fellow internment survivors. At the former Tule Lake Camp site, they recall experiences in the communal bathrooms.

Tule Lake Souvenirs (03:58)

Murakami gathers shells at the internment camp site and visits a former jail. A survivor recalls her father being arrested at their block.

Tule Lake Commemoration (02:38)

A Japanese representative and a U.S. authority address internment survivors about imprisonment and the struggle for civil rights during World War II.

Tule Lake Memorial Ceremony (02:57)

A Buddhist priest addresses internment survivors about healing from their experience. They offer a prayer to deceased family members. Murakami is glad that the U.S. government has officially apologized to the Japanese-American community, but he's not ready to forget.

Imprisoned Childhood (03:53)

Murakami visits the Tule Lake site. Barracks have been converted into homes. He recalls painting seagull wings with red circles to represent Japanese planes.

Ingrained Patriotism (02:40)

Murakami says he would have died for Japan, as a child imprisoned at Tule Lake. He reads a plaque about Japanese-American internment.

Leaving Tule Lake (04:01)

After Hiroshima, Murakami's father wanted to go to Japan but his mother convinced him to stay. Murakami recalls racism on the train journey to Los Angeles. He’s accepted living without a homeland, and wants his ashes scattered in Ireland and at Tule Lake.

Credits: Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien (01:54)

Credits: Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien

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Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 violated the Constitution by imprisoning 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in camps throughout the West for the duration of World War II. This documentary follows acclaimed animator Jimmy T. Murakami’s emotional return to Tule Lake, where he spent part of his childhood along with 18,000 Japanese-American citizens who refused to swear allegiance to the U.S. Along the journey, we learn how the experience affected his development and outlook on life. Despite a successful film career, he felt betrayed by the American government and searched for a new home in Japan and Europe before settling permanently in Ireland. The film includes archival footage and Murakami’s own paintings of life in Tule Lake.

Length: 74 minutes

Item#: BVL94706

ISBN: 978-1-68272-152-0

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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