Nibei’s Japan Study Club: Screening “Toyo’s Camera” with film director/writer Junichi Suzuki, Apr 6, 2010

Toyo's Camera Poster

Nibei Foundation Japan Study Club

April 6, 6:00 pm, Reception and dinner

7:00 pm, screening of  Toyo’s Camera, followed by a presentation of film director/writer Junichi Suzuki

(This month’s program will start 30 minutes earlier due to the film screening)

Nibei Foundation is located at Terasaki Foundation Laboratory Building, 11570 West Olympic Blvd, West Los Angeles, CA 90064      (310) 479-6101

Film: Toyo’s Camera: Japanese American History during WWII (98 mins)

Directed by Junichi Suzuki

Produced by United Television Broadcasting (UTB), Film Voice Inc, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, and Day-Lee Foods Inc.

Using archival photographs which late Toyo Miyatake took at the World War II internment camp in Mojabe desert of California, veteran filmmaker Junichi Suzuki creates the documentary film of daily lives of the Japanese and Japanese American internees of the Manzanar.

Toyo Miyatake was born in Zentsuji, Kagawa Prefecture, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1909 to join his father. He became an established photographer in Los Angeles, associating with photographers such as Edward Westson and winning prizes in exhibitions including the 1926 London International Photography Exhibition.

He smuggled a camera lens into the camp and constructed a camera body from wood. He took pictures secretly but eventually became the official photographer of the Manzanar War Relocation Center.

The pictures he took at the camp are historical records that show the plight of Japanese Americans’ war experiences. In Toyo’s Camera, close to 500 riveting photographs of the Japanese Americans internment come to life on the big screen.

The thirty individuals who were interviewed each share their deep, intimate stories, which brings more life to the photographs and archived footage. 20th century’s famed photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, are also uncovered in this film.

Accompanied music with the film were written and played by Kitaro, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning artist.

Suzuki Junici

Film director Junichi Suzuki

Junichi Suzuki, film director

Jnichi Suzuki was born near Tokyo and graduated from The University of Tokyo in Ethics major. Upon graduation, Suzuki began working for Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan.

He gained experiences on many productions as an assistant director. As a director, he has directed large-budget studio produced pictures as well as critically acclaimed masterpiece films.

His credits include The Lonely Affair of the Heat (2002), Shoot in the Blue Sky (2001), Remembering the Cosmos Flower (1997), Sukiyaka (1995), Island Honeymoon (1991), and Shiro and Marilyn (1988).

Junichi Susuki and his wife, actress Rumi Sakakibara have lived in Los Angeles since 2001.