A Nisei’s Fight for Freedom

From the series Stories of Service at the Digital Clubhouse, I found the story A Nisei’s Fight for Freedom compelling and well told. It was produced and narrated by the subject of the story, a Japanese American named Rudy Tokiwa. In a scant 4:46 minutes, mostly against a simple piano background, Rudy tells the story of his life after Pearl Harbor, to the internment camp, volunteering for a segregated¬† Japanese unit in the US military. The 442nd was ultimately the most highly decorated unit in US history, though the decorations were not all realized in a timely manner.

The format of the story is very simple and linear. The images move in a linear manner, closely matched to the details of the narrative. The style of the story is spare, yet smooth and powerful. There is nothing extraneous or gimmicky. Even the images are unvaried landscapes rather than close-ups or varied-angled shots. The power of the narrative to reveal its significance–heroism against a background of discrimination and mistrust–and takes its emotional impact from the direct way in which it is told. The digital storyteller did nothing to enhance the emotional impact. The voice of the narrator–the main character in the story himself–takes its power from its clarity, its maturity and unwavering tone.

Category: W2: Digital Story
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One Response
  1. jhubai says:

    I enjoyed this digital story, as well. I like the varied pictures he uses and the fact that he uses video. It breaks up the sometimes monotony of still images. Most of the time I like his special effects when using still photos, expecially when the foreground images are transalucent. There was a split or two that I did not like but I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey. I was a bit confused about why they did not want to associate with the Japanese from Hawaii as this must be something that is unknown to me. It amazes me that Japanese-Americans wanted to fight for the US despite the internment camps. And there is an interesting history the way German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were treated during WWII. I would like to findout more if Japanese POWs were in America during WWII and, if so, how there treatment was different from the German POWs.