Uncommon Courage (film)

Title Uncommon Courage
Date 2001
Director gayle k. yamada
Producer gayle k. yamada
Writer gayle k. yamada
Narrator Ken Kashiwahara
Starring Harry Akune (interviewee); Frank Fukuhara (interviewee); Harry K. Fukuhara (interviewee); Paul Hara (interviewee); Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga (interviewee); Takejiro Higa (interviewee); Grant Hirabayashi (interviewee); Senator Daniel K. Inouye (interviewee); Paul Sunao Ishio (interviewee); Rusty Kimura (interviewee); George Koshi (interviewee); James McNaughton (interviewee); Roy Matsumoto (interviewee); Norman Mineta (interviewee); Sho Nomura (interviewee); Don Oka (interviewee); Peter Okada (interviewee); Don Okubo (interviewee); Thomas T. Sakamoto (interviewee); Mitsuko Sankey (interviewee); Eric Shinseki (interviewee); Kan Tagami (interviewee); Linda Tamura (interviewee); Walter Tanaka (interviewee); Ted Tsukiyama (interviewee); Gene Uratsu (interviewee); Marvin Uratsu (interviewee); Mitsuo Uratsu (interviewee); Roy Uyehata (interviewee); Gordon T. Yamada (interviewee); Steve Yamamoto (interviewee); Kazuo Yamane (interviewee); Homer Yasui (interviewee)
Music Dan Kuramoto
Editing Dan Friedman
Runtime 86 minutes
IMDB Uncommon Courage

Uncommon Courage: Patriotism and Civil Liberties is a 2001 documentary film that tells the story of Nisei in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II. The 86 minute documentary was produced, directed, and written by gayle k. yamada of Bridge Media for KVIE, a public television station in Sacramento, California. The film debuted on KVIE and other public television stations in California on May 31, 2001, and was shown on many other stations later that year. In addition to the full version, there is also an hour long version. Primary funders for the film included the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, The Freeman Foundation, Jack and Kiyo Hirose, George T. and Sakaye Aratani, and The Henry and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation.

The film provides a broad overview of the MIS experience using interviews with around two dozen MIS veterans (one of whom is Gordon T. Yamada, the father of the filmmaker) along with dignitaries Daniel K. Inouye, Norman Mineta, and Eric Shinseki and MIS historian James McNaughton, augmented with still photos and archival footage from the war years. The film is divided into nine sections: "Beginnings," "Forced Evacuation," "Combat," "Cave Flushing," "Interrogation," "Translation," "Brothers" (on brothers who served together in the U.S. Army or on Nisei in the MIS who had brothers who served in the Japanese military), "The Occupation," and "Epilogue."

In 2002, the film was awarded a Radio-Television News Directors Association Region Two (California, Guam, Hawai'i, and Nevada) Edward R. Murrow Award in the "News Documentary" category. In 2003, a 56-page teacher guide by Shari F. Epstein and Gary Mukai was published in by the Stanford Program of International and Cross-Cultural Education and the National Japanese American Historical Society in association with the Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California.

Authored by Brian Niiya

For More Information

Bridge Media website: http://www.bridgemediainc.com/.

Clips from Uncommon Courage at the Military Intelligence Service Research Center.

Kakesako, Gregg K. "Film Hails Nisei in Pacific War." Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 12, 2001.

———. "PBS Sheds Light on WWII Interpreters." Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 12, 2002.

Ritz, Mary Kaye. "PBS Tells Story of WWII U.S. Intelligence Service." Honolulu Advertiser, Aug. 9, 2001.