Kimochi San Mateo Project to Sponsor A Benefit Movie – Issei: The First Generation

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Kimochi Japanese American Senior Services is presenting a benefit movie showing of “Issei: The First Generation” at the Sturge Presbyterian Church, 25 South Humbolt St., in San Mateo, California on February 9, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Mike Inouye, NBC Bay Area traffic anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

Proceeds from the benefit showing will go towards the capital campaign for the organization’s efforts to renovate a board and care facility in San Mateo to serve the senior community there. Currently, Kimochi is endeavoring to raise funds for a $100,000 grant offered to Kimochi by the Mary Ishisaki Challenge Match. Suggested donation to attend the film and Q&A is $10.

“Issei: The First Generation” is a documentary film about the Japanese who, at the turn of the century, immigrated to the West Coast of the United States. Filmed in 1983, in and around Walnut Grove, CA, “Issei: The First Generation” was shown only twice in 1984 on local television. Buried in the vaults for thirty years, this unique film was produced by poet and film maker Toshi Washizu. It revolves around original oral history interviews with Walnut Grove’s Issei, ranging in age from their 80s into their 100s, recounting their lives and experiences in their own words.

With the support of the University of California, Los Angeles Aratani Endowed Chair (the “George & Sakaye Aratani Chair in Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community”) Professor Lane Hirabayashi and film maker Washizu have generated a newly restored, wide-screen, digital version of the film, with English narration by Amy Hill. “Issei” is one of the few films that documents Japanese Americans in rural settings making it a valuable contribution to the history of the first-generation Japanese experience before, during, and after World War II.

For advance reservations contact: Candace Takahashi (650-344-6803, letitaka@aol.com) or Victor Iwamura (650-342-2541, smbt@sanmateobuddhisttemple.org) or Kimochi Inc. (415-931-2294).

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