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.