442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity

Here’s a special post for Memorial Day.

“442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity“ is the second installment of the Japanese American trilogy following the previous documentary film; “Toyo’s Camera –Japanese American history during WWII”. The veteran film director Junichi Suzuki and UTB, a bilingual Japanese television station have produced the feature documentary film collaborating with the music of the Grammy and Golden Glove award winner “Kitaro” again.

442 offers a comprehensive overview of the formation, history and legacy of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most highly decorated army unit in U.S. military history. During WWII, soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed mainly of Japanese Americans, fought not only against the enemy, but fought against prejudice, facing severe racial discrimination in their homeland. Many of the veterans volunteered from internment camps to prove their loyalty following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The 442nd RCT is widely credited for restoring the nation’s trust in Japanese Americans post-war and for opening opportunities for all Asian Americans for future generations.

442 is “unprecedented” in providing a comprehensive history of the unit and first-hand, personal view into the lives of the Nisei (second-generation) Japanese American veterans. Many veterans struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following the war and often never spoke of their war experiences, even to their own families. Now facing mortality in their late eighties to early nineties, the famed veterans finally share their war experiences with their families for the first time as they recall pivotal moments in battles that forever changed the course of Japanese American and Asian American history.

Testimonies of former veterans including Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) and interviews with actor George Takei and prominent community leaders tell the largely unknown stories of unprecedented military bravery and valor of the veterans. Important historic battles and events are narrated by actor and filmmaker Lane Nishikawa using footages and photos from the Washington National Archives, enhanced with soul-stirring compositions by Grammy and Golden Globe Award-Winning Kitaro.

Look for the film to hit theaters in July 2010. More details here.

442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity Trailer

More about 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Love for their country and the Japanese values of “duty,” “dignity” and “honor” instilled by their immigrant parents shaped the values of these American-born soldiers, known as the “Purple Heart Battalion.” The 442nd received seven presidential unit citations and produced twenty-one Medal of Honor Recipients for their victories in the French and Italian Battlefronts during WWII.

The 442nd is especially noted for breaking the last German line of defense at the Italian battlefront, the “Gothic Line,” with 2,500 men in only 32 minutes after several U.S. units of 20,000 men failed to break through after six months.

Soldiers of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, many of whom volunteered from internment camps, ironically liberated the last several hundred Jewish prisoners from a concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. This fact is widely unknown since the US Seventh Army (the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division and the 45th Infantry “Thunderbird” Division) is officially credited for their release.

13 thoughts on “442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity

  1. carol hoover

    How can I obtain a DVD of this movie, 442 Live with Honor, Die with Dignity? My father is a veteran of the 442, and I would like to get it for him. Thank you.

  2. Whitney

    I would like to know the same thing. My grandfather received a purple heart and wanted to go to the screening when it was in japantown SF but is on an oxygen tank and cannot travel. I want to buy him a DVD. He doesn’t even have the Internet at home so I mail him printed out info. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Martin

    I would also like to purchase a DVD copy of the movie, 442 Live with Honor, Die with Dignity. I live on the East Coast and was unable to attend the showings. BTW, are there any plans to show it in the DC area?

  4. Bev Matsui

    My father is a 442nd veteran and I would like to purchase the DVD for the “442 Live With Honor, Die with Dignity” movie. Please advise.

    Thank you!

  5. Valerie

    It cracks me up that everyone keeps asking the same question, even though it is apparent that no one is answering 🙂

  6. Daniel

    My daughter and I went to view this moving story yesterday (Saturday 9/18) in Little Tokyo. The theater wasnt packed, but of the many Japanese in attendance – tears flowed. Yours truly included. Next Saturday 9/25 Our family will lay to rest my Uncle Wilson Ogawa who was in the 442nd, he was 89. After watching this film – I was still amazed with the dedication and upbeat attitude that they present themselves even to this day.
    Uncle Willie will be greatly missed and remembered through our life time. GO FOR BROKE !

  7. Marie

    I would also like a copy of this DVD. We live in a rural area and this movie probably won’t be offered in our local cinemas.

    I am a teacher in an elementary school. I would like to feature the 442nd for our upcoming Veterans Day assembly. Does anyone know where I might find DVD’s and other educational materials re: the 442nd that would be suitable for children?

    With sincere thanks…

  8. Russell

    Why is it that main stream movies go to DVD sales so quickly after a release at the theaters & a movie like this that is so limited to the audience that wants to see it is not available?

  9. MJ

    I emailed the director’s website about the sale of the DVD and this is the response that I got:

    Thank you so much for your interest in “442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity-”
    Unfortunately, we are not selling the DVD of the film yet.
    We plan to sell them after the theatrical release is over.
    Please keep eyes on our official film website: http://www.442film.com
    The information how to purchase will be up on the website once we start selling the DVDs.

  10. James Wong

    I too would like to know where I can pick up a copy of the DVD, I have not seen it but it was highly recommended.

  11. kathy

    Interesting to hear about the ptss that the veterans of the 442 suffered. My dad also served and was a medic and witnessed many casualties including friends. He did not talk about the battle or even the internment at Manzanar. I guess the reason is partly because of the ptss. He did suffer signs of depression that I recognize now.

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