Documentary Looks at Internment of Alaskan JAs


the empty chairSAUSALITO — Tiburon Film Society will present “The Empty Chair” at the Bay Model, located at 2100 Bridgeway in Sausalito, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m.

Directed by Greg Chaney, “The Empty Chair” is a unique documentary about how Japanese Americans from Juneau, Alaska were sent to prison camps during World War II and how the small Alaskan community stood in quiet defiance against the immoral internment of American citizens.

Japanese immigrants came to Alaska in the early 1900s and settled there to raise families. Japanese Americans from the West Coast of the U.S., including Alaska, were incarcerated by the U.S. government from 1942 to 1945 because all people of Japanese heritage were considered national security risks.

The 72-minute documentary is composed of interviews of survivors from that period (including Alice Tanaka Hikido, who was interned as a child in Minidoka, Idaho), rare historical photos, never-before-seen archival footage, U.S. government documentaries and historical accounts. All of these sources are woven together to draw the viewer back into this little-known chapter of American history.

Free and open to the public. For more information, visit



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