Kash: The Legend and Legacy of Shiro Kashino (film)


Title Kash: The Legend and Legacy of Shiro Kashino
Date 2011
Genre Documentary
Director Vince Matsudaira
Producer Vince Matsudaira
Starring Shiro Kashino (interviewee); Debbie Kashino (interviewee); Sadaichi Kubota (interviewee); Bill Thompson (interviewee); Terry Aratani (interviewee); George Morihiro (interviewee); Barney Hajiro (interviewee); Kazuo "Gus" Murakami (interviewee); Larry "Shorty" Kazumura (interviewee); George Murakami (interviewee); Louise Kashino (interviewee); Bev Kashino (interviewee); Kim Muromoto (interviewee); Fred Matsumura (interviewee); Tetsuden Kashima (interviewee); Daniel Inouye (interviewee); Kenneth Inada (interviewee); Suguru Takahashi (interviewee); Sadaichi Kubota (interviewee)
Music Paul Chihara
Cinematography John Pai; Mathew Medieros; Nicole Matsudaira; Vince Matsudaira
Editing Vince Matsudaira
Studio E-Shadow Productions
Runtime 68 minutes
IMDB Kash: The Legend and Legacy of Shiro Kashino

Feature length documentary film by Vince Matsudaira that tells the story of Shiro "Kash" Kashino (1922–97), a decorated combat veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, whose legacy had been tarnished by a court-martial stemming from a fight while in France.

The film begins with fellow veterans recalling both his bravery and wartime heroism and his outspokenness and reputation among some as "the SNAFU guy." Through a 1995 interview with Kashino and interviews with his wife Louise, his two daughters, and those who served with him, the film fills in the details of his life: as a Nisei born in Seattle who becomes a football star at Garfield High, the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Kashinos' incarceration at Puyallup Assembly Center and the Minidoka, Idaho, concentration camp, and meeting Louise in camp. When the call for volunteers for the 442nd went out, Kashino stepped forward despite in the injustices of the incarceration, feeling it was important for the future of the Nisei. His enlistment was delayed, however, due, he felt, to his role in a labor dispute at Minidoka.

The middle section of the film recounts his exploits as a member of the 442nd, where he was wounded multiple times and gained a reputation for bravery and for never leaving a wounded comrade behind. He also clashed at times with superiors who either issued orders that put the men at unnecessary risk or whom he felt didn't live up to their duties. In February of 1945, after returning to his unit after a serious leg injury, he was involved in an incident at a small dance hall in France, in which a MP was punched by a soldier. Though he was not the one who threw the punch, he was one of four who was called in and served time in the stockade. Three months later, after the end of the European War, he was tried at court martial for the same incident and found guilty. In addition to a six month sentence, his rank was reduced to private. Upon his release, he settled briefly in Chicago where he attended technical school, then returned to Seattle where he became a car salesman and was active in the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee.

Years later, after being razzed at a reunion event, his friend Sadaichi Kubota approached him with the idea of seeing if they could revisit the court martial. An initial inquiry hit a dead end when it was found that the relevant records had burned in a 1973 fire. But a decade later, in the mid 1990s, Congresswoman Patsy Mink contacted them with the news that partial records had been found. On the strength of those records and an affidavit from the soldier who did throw the fateful punch admitting guilt, his rank was restored. However Kashino died in 1997 before his court martial was ultimately reversed.

Filmmaker Vince Matsudaira, also a native of Seattle, had heard stories about Kashino as a child and wanted to try to get the real story of what had happened to him. In addition to the interviews, the film relies on archival and family photographs, newsreels, and sketches by Cesar Lemus. Matsudaira spent 4 1/2 years making Kash, which was completed and distributed on DVD in late 2011.

Authored by Brian Niiya

For More Information

Official website: http://www.kashthemovie.com/.

Johnston, George Toshio. "Into the Next Stage: Matsudaira's 'Kash' Ready for the World." Rafu Shimpo, January 5, 2012.

Winfrey, Yayoi Lena. "Japanese Directors Inspire in Films of Redemption." International Examiner, February 1–14, 2012, p. 11.