Moraga, Calif. - May 14, 2016.  BDK America thanks the Moraga community for its response to the local showing of the documentary, Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World war II Internment Camps. The showing, held to coincide with the nation's Asian Pacific American Heritage month, took place at the Moraga library.

Renowned third-generation Japanese American koto (Japanese zither) teacher Shirley Muramoto-Wong gathered information, conducted interviews and searched for historical material for more than 20 years to create an in-depth look at this sad segment in the history of America.

About the Film 

During one of America’s darkest chapters in its history, more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in internment camps for the duration of World War II.

Called “relocation centers” by the US Government, the conditions and life in these centers were worse than prisons in many cases. Most such centers were located in desolate, remote locations and it was up to these imprisoned Japanese Americans to make the best of their life situation.

To pass the time and to continue to pass on the traditional Japanese cultural and performing arts to the younger generation, even within the confines of these prison camps, teachers continued to teach traditional Japanese music, dance, drama and crafts.

About the Event

Members of the greater Moraga community joined to see the documentary and participate in a discussion following the screening. Muramoto-Wong played several musical pieces on her koto to introduce the audience to the sound of this traditional instrument whose roots originate in China and whose expressive sound captivated the audience.

"BDK America especially wishes to thank the Moraga Library along with Elsie Tep, Shirley Muramoto-Wong, Jane Naito and Sharon Doi-Swan for helping to make this community event a meaningful one," said Brian Nagata, BDK America's Director of Programs.