“Hatsumi: One Grandmother’s Journey Through the Japanese Canadian Internment” will be screened on Friday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.
Nancy Okura is a Canadian of Japanese descent. During the Second World War, she was involuntarily removed from her home and relocated to an internment camp by the government of Canada. Shikata ga nai (it can’t be helped) prevented her from ever speaking about her internment.
Chris Hope, a member of JANM’s Board of Governors, is Okura’s grandson. He is curious about his past, and his family’s archive has just been passed down to him. It consists of reels of home movie film and hundreds of photos, including many taken with a “smuggled camera” during the internment. Okura has never provided any other context for these rare internment photographs.
After celebrating her 80th birthday in Toronto, Hope offers to take Okura on a trip back to the west coast locations of her internment experience if she will agree to put shikata ga nai aside to tell her story for the first time.
On their journey, the story comes to life in vivid detail, leading grandmother and grandson through the Japanese Canadian internment, across Canada and, unexpectedly, around the world.