An Interview with Lewis Kawahara
On the College of San Mateo
Asian Pacific American Film Festival
Interviewed by Leonard D. Chan
Lewis Kawahara is an instructor at the College of San Mateo (CSM) and creator of the San Mateo Asian Pacific American Film Festival. The film festival will take place on Saturday, March 20, starting at 1pm for the afternoon matinee and 7pm for the feature film portion of the program.
The matinee is FREE for the public and the feature film viewing is $5 for general admission, $3 for students and seniors. Parking is FREE!
Go to the College of San Mateo website (collegeofsanmateo.edu) for more information.
Tell us about the San Mateo Asian Pacific American Film Festival - why and how did you start it?
I teach an Ethnic Studies course called "Ethnicity in Cinema" at CSM. From this experience I thought that the college as well as our student population would be interested viewing films that had an Asian Pacific American viewpoint to them.
After discussing the possibilities of holding a film festival with Frederick Gaines, Chair of Ethnic Studies, we expanded our conservation with other faculty and staff persons on campus. Everyone felt that it was a good idea and we should move beyond the idea and make it happen.
I met with CSM president, Michael Claire, who was immediately on board with the film festival idea. With his backing and direction we were able to establish a time and date, and he willingly agreed to give a short welcome address to the audience for both the afternoon matinee and the evening program.
I should also give credit to Ms. Linda Springer, CCLPEP staff member, who was very helpful in locating California Civil Liberties Public Education Programs (CCLPEP) films and their filmmakers. And special credit to all the filmmakers who are attending.
Many may want to know if this festival is connected with the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival being held around the same time as your event. Tell us about any possible connections, similarity, differences, and things that they may see at the San Mateo festival that they may not see in San Francisco.
Unfortunately for us, we are NOT connected with the Center for Asian American Media's (CAAM) 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival which runs from March 11-21, 2010. CAAM staff is very supportive of our efforts and has given us ideas and suggestions on how to organize a film festival event.
It is my hope, in the future, that we can join forces with CAAM because they have a great reputation with their film festival. This will be their 28th year of producing their film festival.
Differences….CSM is offering a FREE afternoon matinee of California Civil Liberties Public Education Program's (CCLPEP) films.
Similarities…."Colma: The Musical" premiered at the CAAM Film Festival as did there "sing-a-long" version which we will be presenting. It's a sing-a-long - get your singing voices ready!
Please tell us about the movies that will be shown at your festival.
Our APA Film Festival is divided into two sections. (See the section at the end of this article for complete descriptions)
The movies that you are showing for the matinee were created with the support of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund (CCLPEP). For our readers that are not familiar with CCLPEP, tell us a little bit about this state grant program and it's connection with your festival.
CCLPEP was created with the passage of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Act (AB1915) in 1998. The legislation was authored by Assemblyman Mike Honda and was renewed in 2000 (AB1914) by Assemblyman George Nakano. In 2003, Assemblywoman Wilma Chan and others led the way for the Legislature to continue the program by removing the termination date and making CCLPEP subject to annual budget authorizations, making it a permanent state program. The purpose of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program is to sponsor public educational activities and development of educational materials to ensure that the Japanese American Concentration Camp Experience during World War II will be remembered.
For me personally, I like all these films a lot and I am sorry that we could not show ALL the other CCLPEP-funded films (hopefully with CCLPEP help we will be able to show more films at next year's CSM Asian Pacific American Film Festival). The films being screened at our festival are only a few of the CCLPEP films available. We are offering the viewing public a chance to see film that are not seen often or FREE.
The CSM APA Film Festival will bring former students and the general public to the College of San Mateo and they will see the many changes to our campus - from the new construction of buildings, to the beautification of the campus landscape. Everyone is welcome and we have FREE parking.
Thank you very much Lewis.
Afternoon Matinee with CCLPEP Films
Opening remarks and welcomes start at 1pm.
NOTE: The California State Librarian, Ms. Stacey Aldrich, will be in attendance.
This is the first year for the CSM Asian Pacific American Film Festival and CCLPEP has granted us with funds to show their funded movies. We hope to make this a continuing joint venture.
Piecing Memories: Recollections of Internment
Starting time: 1:20PM
Directed by Dianne Fukami.
The Japanese American Services of the East Bay (JASEB) provide services to seniors living in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. JASEB's Quilt Making class is the subject of this film which shows how the art of quilt making can tell a beautiful story of a group of people working together.
After screening, a Q&A session with Filmmaker Dianne Fukami with facilitator Lorrita Ford, CSM Librarian, Director.
Guest: Ms. Bess Kawachi-Chin, Quilt Teacher. We will also be exhibiting the quilt that is shown in Piecing Memories: Recollections of Internment.
Ruth Asawa: Community Artist
Starting time: 2PM
Produced by Dianne Fukami, Bridge Media, Inc., with the San Francisco State University Journalism Department.
The project is a short, web-based video documentary honoring the career of Ruth Asawa, a prominent California artist and the designer of the sculpture in the Garden of Remembrance at San Francisco State University. The SFSU Garden of Remembrance designers/gardeners was Isao Ogura and Shigeru Namba who also created the Tanforan Memorial Garden at Tanforan Shopping Center in San Bruno. Known worldwide for her intricate wire sculptures and other artworks, Asawa was a 16-year-old student when she was incarcerated in the Rowher, Ark., internment camp with other Japanese Americans during World War II. Ruth Asawa: Community Artist chronicles her development as an artist, the numerous public art projects that she has designed and her contributions to the community as an activist and advocate for arts education.
After screening Q&A with Filmmaker Diane Fukami and Jon Funabiki, SFSU Professor, Journalism Department, with facilitator Alex Guriba, CSM Program Services.
Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story. Starting time: 2:30PM
Casey Peek, Director. Produced by Peek Media in association with the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project (JPOHP).
Hidden Internment reveals the lesser-known history of the Japanese-Latin American internment through the life story of Art Shibayama who, at age 13, was taken from Peru on March 22, 1944 and interned in Crystal City, Texas for two years. Despite this internment, Art was denied redress equal to that provided to Japanese Americans. Working with the Campaign for Justice, Art continues to seek a just resolution through both the Organization of American States and through the legislative route.
After screening Q&A with filmmaker Casey Peek with facilitator Michele Alaniz, CSM Librarian.
Stand Up For Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story. Starting time: 3:25PM
Stand Up For Justice explores the enduring values of friendship and loyalty between teenagers of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It powerfully addresses the violations of civil liberties that Japanese Americans faced during World War II and reveals the unique, true story of how one person's actions earn the undying gratitude of a community.
The film recreates the chaotic days when tens of thousands of Japanese American families on the West Coast were forced to board trains and buses to unknown destinations. Ralph Lazo, a Mexican American, surprises his friends by appearing at the train station to see them off as they are about to depart for one such place: Manzanar-five hours away in the Owens Valley at the foot of the Eastern Sierras. His subsequent acts of friendship and honor take him on a unique journey as witness--and participant--in the sad chapter of America's concentration camps.
After screening Q&A with filmmakers Amy Kato and John Esaki with facilitator Dr. Kate Motoyama, CSM Speech Professor.
Opening remarks and welcomes start at 7pm.
After Closing Remarks, light refreshments will be served in the Lobby. The Refreshment is being provide by the San Mateo Japanese American Citizens League.
Big Drum: Taiko in the United States
Starting time: 7:15PM
The film contains rare historic footage as well as new documentaries featuring performances and interviews with key figures in the development of taiko drumming in America. It shows the phenomenal growth of taiko in the United States and North America, beginning with three grassroots groups in California and ballooning to an estimated 200 performing ensembles throughout the United States and Canada.
While taiko has been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, ensemble or group performance was born in the years after World War II, with American groups developing their own traditions in the 1960s and 1970s. The film explores the social and political meanings of taiko for many pioneering players; that reflect the significant participation of women; and that reflect the way in which new generations of players continue to transform it.
After screening, a Q&A session with the filmmaker John Esaki, with facilitator Rudy Ramirez, CSM Professor.
Colma: the Musical (sing-a-long)
Starting time: 8PM
Colma the Musical was written and directed by Richard Wong and HP Mendoza. Mr. Wong and Mr. Mendoza met when they were students at CSM.
Ever been to Colma? A town right next to San Francisco where the dead outnumber the living 1500 to 1 (cause of its cemeteries, don't get any crazy ideas). Best friends Rodel, Billy, and Maribel live in Colma and they love it! (not really). After graduating from high school the trio finds themselves in a state of limbo; fresh out of high school, they are just beginning to explore a new unstructured world. Like most kids, they are on the brink of self-discovery, but aren't in much of a rush. They are having too much fun doing nothing or crashing college parties. But when newfound revelations and romances challenge their relationships with one another and their parents, the trio must assess what to hold onto, and how to best follow their dreams.
Oh, by the way - there is singing - it's a musical! Colma: The Musical boasts 13 musical numbers featuring all original music by HP Mendoza and "Colma" marks Richard Wong's feature directorial debut.
After screening, a Q&A session with TBA, with facilitator Frederick Gaines, CSM Professor, Chair Ethnic Studies.
Up Coming Events
Here are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
|Events that AACP will be Attending or Hosting
||25th Annual Oregon Asian Celebration
||Lane County Convention Center
||Merced Assembly Center Monument Unveiling
||Merced Co. Fairgrounds
||Chinese New Year's Celebration
||Stockton Civic Aud.
525 N. Center St.
||CA Association of Bilingual Education (CABE)
35th Annual Conference
|McEnery Convention Center
San Jose, CA
||San Mateo Asian Pacific American Film Festival
||College of San Mateo (CSM)
San Mateo, CA
||Shinenkai N. CA Japanese American Seniors
||Union City, CA
|Other Event of Interest that AACP May Not Attend
||Chinese New Year
Celebration Events in SF
San Francisco, CA
|Chinese New Year Parade
||San Francisco, CA
||California Council for the Social Studies Conference
||Pasadena Convention Center
||Hiroshi Kashiwagi book reading and signing
||Reading the World XII
2350 Turk Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
||28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
||San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, CA
||130th Bok Kai Festival, Parade, and Bomb Day
||3rd & D St.
||Association for Asian American Studies National Conference
||Omni Austin Hotel
||Nat. Assoc. for Ethnic Studies Conference
||L'Enfant Plaza Hotel
||National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (NAAPAE) Annual Conference
||The Chinese Education Conference 2010
San Francisco, CA
||Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Los Angeles, CA
Give Us Your Feedback
Please feel free to send us your reviews, comments, and book suggestions. You can contact us by going to the following page and sending an email to us through the online form -
San Jose Public Library
Now Has the World Journal on Its Website
Submitted by SJPL Librarian Tony Wong
San Jose Public Library is the first public library in the United States to offer free access to current and archived articles in the World Journal Database. World Journal is one of the leading Chinese daily newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area and this database covers World Journal over a three year period including the current issue, updated daily around 5pm.
The articles in the database can be read in Chinese characters or the transliterated Chinese phonetic alphabet Hanyu Pinying.
Go to the San Jose Public Library Article's and Databases web page and click on the World Journal link. You will need a San Jose Public Library card number and PIN to access the database.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Let me start with the thank yous. Thank you Lewis for the interview and we wish you much success with the film festival.
Thank you Tony Wong for the information on the addition to the San Jose Public Library website.
Thank you Philip and Susan with the help on the book descriptions.
Is this the end?
Okay, this is something I've been dreading to announce for awhile - the AACP newsletter is either going on hiatus or is coming to an end. The next few months will determine its fate.
Due to workload issues and financial circumstances, we may not be able to continue this newsletter in its current form for much longer.
It's hard to believe that we started this newsletter almost eight years ago. Although it's been difficult to get the newsletter to you each month, I found it to be rewarding. Few things in my professional life have given me as much satisfaction as being able to write about things that I care about and having you out there giving us feedback on our work.
I always considered the AACP newsletter as being a defining feature of our organization - something that kept us in touch with our original mission. The newsletter to me was something that made me believe that we were much more than a bookstore.
In truth, the AACP newsletter is unsustainable in its current form. What we earn from book sales and donations are not enough to keep this newsletter going for the amount of time that it takes to produce it. This has been true from day one and has been made even more apparent during our current recession.
So what now? A call to action - we really need your help.
Since the beginning we've always included a message in the newsletter asking for your help in giving us reviews, comments, and book suggestions - your submission of articles was also welcomed. This is more true than ever before. For the next two to three months, I will be busy working on other AACP tasks and projects.
I now turn over the reins of the newsletter to you the readers for this time period. Please give me your articles and book reviews. You educators, writers, and students out there are most especially welcome to contribute to the newsletter. I will have enough time to be able to assemble your works for our March and April newsletters.
If we accept an article, editorial, or book review of yours, we would be glad to sell you any book that you desire at our cost plus shipping and handling.
If you are getting the emailed version of the newsletter, just reply to this email with your interest in contributing to our newsletters and I will write to you with more instructions. If you're reading this on our website, email us through our online form on our contact page.
If you are interested in doing an article or book review, but need some help with ideas and suggestions, do contact us and we may be able to work with you on finding something. I have a big list of books that I'd love to have reviewed.
The deadline for letting me know that you are interested in contributing for the next newsletter is March 7th and the deadline for actual submissions is March 14.
If I don't hear from any of you, I'll at least continue to send out our schedule and an editor's message for the next few months. My apologies in advance to all the new subscribers that may have been expecting the type of content that they may have seen in our newsletter archive.
Please stick with us as we attempt to transition into a more participatory format. Thank you.
ADDITIONS TO OUR WEBSITE
The following books are discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discounts on these books end March 8, 2010.
The East-West House
By Christy Hale
Noguchi's Childhood in Japan
2009, 30 pages, Hardback.
The East-West House is based on the early life of Asian American artist Isamu Noguchi. Noguchi's early years growing up in Japan were not ideal. He was a bi-racial Japanese-American child whose father abandoned him. With his mother's encouragement, he developed his own distinctive style. At the age of eight, he drew up plans for a small house incorporating eastern and western cultures and supervised its construction.
The book includes additional bio information on Noguchi that is targeted towards parents and children as they get older and become more interested in the life of Isamu Noguchi.
View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3594, Price $17.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $14.36
Secret Asian Man
By Tak Toyoshima
The Daily Days
2009, 231 pages, Paperback.
In 2006, United Features Syndicate (UFS) picked Secret Asian Man, a longtime underground comic strip by Tak Toyoshima, to feature in syndication in newspapers across the United States. This breakthrough represented the first time a comic strip drawn by an Asian American had ever been so honored. The innovation was even more startling in that it featured life and humor from the perspective of an Asian American. Sam, the main protagonist, exists in a world that is happening today in urban America that hasn't been featured at all in most comics. In this setting, whites, Asian Americans, African Americans, and all the other colors interact, marry, and conflict with each other in everyday life.
It isn't special to have "minorities" appear in walk on roles in day to day life as it is in more mainstream comics. Of course many readers across the United States failed to "get" the humor involved. In one comic, Toyoshima could mock the belief that all Asian Americans know martial arts. In the next he could talk about the intricacies of interracial relationships and marriages. UFS eventually ended the effort and Toyoshima says there are no hard feelings on his part.
Secret Asian Man has now reverted back to the occasional comic strip that it had started out as. The results of the daily syndication have now been collected and published and are well worth the effort of reading for their insights into life, humor, and identity in American cities where no one racial group holds an overwhelming majority.
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ORDER -- Item #3595, Price $20.00 ... for newsletter subscribers $16.00
By John Christgau
World War II Alien Internment
New Edition 2009, 204 pages, Paperback.
2 to 3 weeks for delivery
It's December of 1941 and Eddie Friedman, a German Jew, finds himself in a World War II concentration camp. But he's not in Germany, he's in a camp near Bismarck, North Dakota. Eddie Friedman was one of the few German Jews that was able to make his way out of a German World War II concentration camp, immigrate to the United States, and then eventually ends up in a US camp for "enemy aliens."
He along with thousands of other Germans, Italians, and Japanese aliens living in the US were placed in special camps that differed from the better know Japanese internment camps run by the War Relocation Authority. This book is a reissue of author John Christgau's riveting accounts of real life stories from Ft. Lincoln, a government installation just south of Bismarck, North Dakota. The accounts in this book help to sheds light on the lesser known Enemy Alien Internment Program. This revised edition contains a new section that adds more accounts and draws parallels to recent US government actions taking place after September 11, 2001.
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ORDER -- Item #3597, Price $14.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $11.96
By Tokie Ching
Japanese New Year
Illustrated by Kerina Salazar
2003, 36 pages, Hardback.
2 to 3 weeks for delivery
A young adopted girl from Japan named Yuki learns the traditional Japanese Hawaiian ways of celebrating the New Year from her new family in Hawaii.
A Hawai'i Japanese New Year with Yuki-chan includes a glossary of Japanese words and recipes for four traditional New Year's dishes described in the story.
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ORDER -- Item #3596, Price $13.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $11.16
The Year of the Tiger
By Oliver Chin
Tales from the Chinese Zodiac
Illustrate by Justin Roth
2010, 32 pages, Hardback.
The Year of the Tiger is Oliver Chin's 6th and perhaps best book so far in his Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series.
When young Teddy Tiger befriends Su, a local human girl, can their friendship persevere the traditional fears between humans and wild animals? Will Teddy and Su's youthful boldness and courageousness be enough to ford the physical and prejudicial gorges that separate their families?
Get The Year of the Tiger to find out.
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ORDER -- Item #3593, Price $15.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $12.76
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