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Photos of life in a Japanese Internment camp, taken by Ansel Adams

00218vBusiness Insider:

While America celebrates Victory over Japan Day on September 2, let’s not forget the suffering of about 110,000 Japanese Americans who were forced to live in internment camps.

Even at the time, this policy was opposed by many Americans, including renowned photographer Ansel Adams, who in the summer of 1943 made his first visit to Manzanar War Relocation Camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Invited by the warden, Adams sought to document the living conditions of the camp’s inhabitants.

His photos were published in a book titled “Born Free And Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans” in 1944, with an accompanying exhibition at MoMA.

In 1965, when he donated the images to the Library of Congress, Adams shared some thoughts on the project:

“The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair (sic) by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment,” he said.

At the outset of World War II, the American government feared subversive actions by Japanese American citizens and began moving them to relocation camps.

At the outset of World War II, the American government feared subversive actions by Japanese American citizens and began moving them to relocation camps.

Manzanar was one of 10 sites where about 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced to live.

Manzanar was one of 10 sites where about 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced to live.

It was an abandoned agricultural settlement that was repurposed as a relocation center.

It was an abandoned agricultural settlement that was repurposed as a relocation center.

10,000 people would be housed at Manzanar.

10,000 people would be housed at Manzanar.

Adams' works showed the humanity of people living at the camps. Here, Ryie Yoshizawa, center, teaches a class on dressmaking.

Adams’ works showed the humanity of people living at the camps.

Here, Ryie Yoshizawa, center, teaches a class on dressmaking.

Here, from left to right: Louise Tami Nakamura, holding the hand of Mrs. Naguchi, and Joyce Yuki Nakamura.

Here, from left to right: Louise Tami Nakamura, holding the hand of Mrs. Naguchi, and Joyce Yuki Nakamura.

In many instances, Adams took portraits of the people whose daily lives he photographed, like this one of the same little girl, Joyce Yuki Nakamura.

In many instances, Adams took portraits of the people whose daily lives he photographed, like this one of the same little girl, Joyce Yuki Nakamura.

This one is labeled only in the collection as "Mrs. Kay Kageyama."This one is labeled only in the collection as “Mrs. Kay Kageyama.”

 Richard Kobayashi was a farmer.

Richard Kobayashi was a farmer.

Images of the fields at Manzanar are beautiful.

Images of the fields at Manzanar are beautiful.

There's a sense of community in the midst of hardship.

There’s a sense of community in the midst of hardship.

Here, Tsutomu Fuhunago lifts a produce crate.

Here, Tsutomu Fuhunago lifts a produce crate.

Here, a mechanic repairs a broken down tractor while the driver looks on.

Here, a mechanic repairs a broken down tractor while the driver looks on.

The camp was largely self-sufficient, keeping livestock too.

The camp was largely self-sufficient, keeping livestock too.

Here, Mori Nakashima scatters chicken feed in front of a chicken coop.

Here, Mori Nakashima scatters chicken feed in front of a chicken coop.

Adams also captured the recreational time at the camp, like in this image of Dennis Shimizu lying on his bed reading.

Adams also captured the recreational time at the camp, like in this image of Dennis Shimizu lying on his bed reading.

Or these women playing volleyball.

Or these women playing volleyball.

Here, a group of girls perform morning calisthenics.

Here, a group of girls perform morning calisthenics.

Men play American football on a dusty field.

Men play American football on a dusty field.

Baton practice.

Baton practice.

This picture of women playing cards shows the different backgrounds and roles of the camp's inhabitants.

This picture of women playing cards shows the different backgrounds and roles of the camp’s inhabitants.

They were nurses, like Catherine Natsuko Yamaguchi.

They were nurses, like Catherine Natsuko Yamaguchi.

Mechanics, like Henry Hanawa.

Mechanics, like Henry Hanawa.

Sunday school teachers, like May Ichide.

Sunday school teachers, like May Ichide.

Photographers, like Toyo Miyatake.

Photographers, like Toyo Miyatake.

Soldiers, like Corporal Jimmy Shohara.

Soldiers, like Corporal Jimmy Shohara.

It's remarkable to think that people could serve in the military and still be interned.

It’s remarkable to think that people could serve in the military and still be interned.

But it was apparently a common occurrence.

But it was apparently a common occurrence.

For some, it had been the only life they ever knew.

For some, it had been the only life they ever knew.

The inscription reads "Monument for the Pacification of Spirits."

The inscription reads “Monument for the Pacification of Spirits.”

George Takei to donate part of proceeds of his Broadway production “Allegiance” to Japanese American National Museum

AsAm News: 

Actor George Takei is working his social media magic for a good cause and for his legacy project.

He launched an Indie Go Go campaign this weekend to support his Broadway production of Allegiance, the story of a Japanese American family ripped apart by the loyalty questions asked while they were incarcerated in World War II.

Takei’s goal is to raise $250,000 and in just two days, he’s already raised nearly $70,000.

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Allegiance opens on Broadway with previews in October before its official opening on November 8 at the Longacre Theatre.

You can read George’s entire story of Allegiance, see a video which includes highlights from Allegiance’srecord breaking run at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego and give to the campaign at Indie Go Go.

George Takei to star in Broadway musical about interned Japanese-Americans

NY Times: 

Allegiance,” a musical about Japanese-Americans in United States internment camps during World War II, will begin performances on Broadway in October at a Shubert Theater to be announced later, the show’s producers said Thursday. The musical, which will cost a relatively hefty $13 million to mount, will star George Takei, who is best known as Mr. Sulu in the original “Star Trek” television series, and whose personal experiences in internment camps in Arkansas and California inspired “Allegiance.”

Mr. Takei, in a telephone interview, described the show as “very, very personal” and a tribute to his parents as well as the tens of thousands of people of Japanese ancestry – the majority of whom were American citizens – who were forcibly relocated to camps from 1942 to 1946 under an order by President Roosevelt. Mr. Takei said that he had invested a “substantial” amount of his own money in the musical, and that it features characters drawn from his family and life, including a grandfather character that Mr. Takei will portray in his Broadway debut.

I consider this my legacy project,” said Mr. Takei, who is 77 and spent about four years of his childhood in two camps. “This is the first time that this dark chapter of American history will be done on the Broadway stage.”

Mindful that theatergoers often skip Broadway musicals that are tagged (however unfairly) as ruminations on history, like “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” Mr. Takei highlighted the romantic subplots and centrality of baseball in “Allegiance,” as well as the overarching theme of family unity.

The show’s backdrop is the imprisonment of innocent Americans simply because we looked like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor, but the story is universal – people falling in love, getting married, having a family,” Mr. Takei said. “The musical will find an audience because whether you are white, black, Latino, young or old, people can identify with the idea of family and the stresses put on a family, which in this case were enormous.”

Allegiance” had its world premiere in 2012 at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, receiving mixed reviews but drawing large and ethnically diverse audiences. Since then, Mr. Takei said, some scenes and dialogue have been tweaked but the show is essentially the same. The Old Globe cast included the Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon”) and Telly Leung (the 2011 Broadway revival of “Godspell”). Mr. Takei said Ms. Salonga and Mr. Leung were in negotiations to do “Allegiance” on Broadway but no casting beyond his was confirmed at this point.

The musical’s producers, Lorenzo Thione and Andrew Treagus, have been waiting for an available Broadway theater for about two years, but other shows – some more evidently commercial than “Allegiance,” and some flops – landed them first. “Allegiance” will arrive during a period of increasingly steady opportunities for Asian-American theater actors in New York: a Broadway revival of “The King & I” is set to open this spring, while the hit London revival of “Miss Saigon” looks likely to arrive on Broadway at some point, though probably not before the 2016-17 theater season.

Allegiance,” which has a book by Marc Acito and music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, will be directed by Stafford Arima (Off Broadway’s “Carrie,” “Altar Boyz”). Preview performances are scheduled to begin Oct. 6, with an opening night of Nov. 8.

The musical grew out of a chance encounter several years ago that Mr. Takei and his husband, Brad, had with Mr. Thione and Mr. Kuo at back-to-back theater outings in New York, after which Mr. Takei shared his childhood memories of the camps over dinner.

We talked for a long time about my childhood imprisonment, about my father’s anguish at being challenged over his loyalty to America – my dad was born in San Francisco and played baseball, my mother was born in Sacramento,” Mr. Takei said. “I’m a weeper, and when Jay emailed me a song after that, about my father and the idea of allegiance, I just gushed. I knew I had to do this.”

George Takei’s documentary “To Be Takei” now available for digital download


Angry Asian Man: 

The feature documentary To Be Takei is a fun and insightful look at the life and career of celebrated actor, activist and internet personality George Takei. Or, as I like to call him, Uncle George.

If you missed To Be Takei in theaters or have not yet seen it on DVD, it’s now available as a direct digital download. Want a discount on the download?

The film, directed by Jennifer M. Kroot, chronicles Takei’s seven-decade journey from a World War II internment camp, to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband Brad on this star’s playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.

Here’s the trailer:

To Be Takei is now available as a digital download in both a standard edition ($9.99) and deluxe edition ($19.99) with 80 minutes of bonus scenes (including 15 exclusive scenes featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and more hilarity with George and Brad Takei) and the film’s soundtrack.