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Marlene Shigekawa

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Now, 75 years later after World War II, For the Sake of the Children, explores the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration, its impact on current generations who are descendants of families who were incarcerated and the complex interplay of culture, racial prejudice, history, and intergenerational differences.

For the Sake of the Children captures the diverse voices of women who surmounted imprisonment, racial prejudice and displacement and resettlement. Mothers who gave birth to or raised children while incarcerated include: Misako Shigekawa, Kiyo Yoshida and Kitako Izumizaki. They speak of putting aside their frustration and fear to provide for their children. Daughters and sons of this generation speak of their struggle to assimilate in a postwar society while unknowingly dealing with both parental shame triggered by the incarceration experience and silent suffering. Each person tells of how he/she has searched for an outlet to express and validate their Japanese American identity. The next generation, whose grandmothers or great grandmothers were incarcerated, explains their attempts to uncover, comprehend and integrate their ancestor’s experiences into their lives.

For the Sake of the Children follows the journeys of a variety of Japanese Americans from four generations in searching for their identity as Americans with a unique Japanese American heritage. These individuals reflect a cross section of society such as artists, politicians, preservationists, journalists, activists and young students. Notable individuals include: Former U.S. Congressman and Secretary of Transportation, Norm Mineta; and actor, George Takei. Many of these stories have, until now, never been told.

All proceeds made from DVD sales and donations from film screenings will go to the Poston Community Alliance for presenting future film screenings, for preserving Poston’s historic structures, and to design and create a Poston Visitor Center.

"For the Sake of the Children" trailer

Film screening on Feb. 19, 2017 at Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles

Producer, Marlene Shigekawa, collaborates with Joe Fox and James Nubile


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