Time Traveling

As I near the end of the 10 weeks here at the Museum, I revisited the job description out of curiosity – how accurately did the description match what actually transpired?

Media Arts/Public Programs Intern

Example of the assignment include:

1)  Videography and editing of public programs that feature world-renowned scholars, artists, musicians and community activists.

Public Programs by Dr. Cherstin M. Lyon and Dr. Diane C. Fujino? Scholars. Check.  

Interviews with Ako Castuera, Sean Chao, and Rob Sato?  Artists. Check.

Public Program by Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes and combing through Gidra footage with Mike Murase and Evelyn Yoshimura for Discover Nikkei?  Community Activists. Check.

2) Research, production assistance and transcription of life history interviews with notable Japanese Americans.

Interviews with Justice Kathryn Doi Todd, Director Jimmy Murakami and Professor Lloyd Inui? Check.

3) Design and implementation of motion graphic elements for short video productions that will be broadcast on local television and featured on the Museum’s websites.

Making a public service announcement video for the Japanese American Olympics on August 11th from 11 AM – 5 PM? Check.

4) In addition to receiving training for the specific duties and responsibilities of the internship, the Museum’s volunteer docents will introduce the intern to the history and work culture of the National Museum as well as the history of Americans of Japanese ancestry.

Japanese American History Classes, tour of Common Ground, and Little Tokyo Walking Tour? Check.

The only thing not listed above:  Time Traveling.

Professor Lloyd Inui

 

One of my greatest joys of being here at the Museum has been sitting in on the Life History Interviews.  This past week, John Esaki, Akira Boch, and Chris Aihara and I had the opportunity to interview Professor Lloyd Inui [Professor Emeritus at CSULB in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies and a senior adviser at the Japanese American National Museum].  In a way, each of the Life History Interviews is but a single time capsule that saves and preserves one’s individual experiences up until that moment in video form.

Over the course of about 3 hours, we traveled from before 1930 to the present day as Lloyd told stories of his childhood, incarceration, post-war employment, time in the military service and the beginnings of Asian and Asian American Studies at CSULB.  Not only was it was amazing to hear eyewitness experiences of the effects of war and living through the incarceration camps, it was impoartant  to realize how the major that will be written on my diploma next year was formed – through struggle, perseverance and a desire for remembrance, a passion for critical thinking, as well as progression forward.

Lloyd’s vivid recollections of warfare, the meetings of some of the first Asian American Studies classes, and perspective into his journey to the present day were truly insightful, stark and honest – treasures that I hope future generations will learn from and appreciate.  Each person has a story to tell. Lloyd’s unique experiences, the seemingly insignificant details, every friendship he formed over the years, added to the person he is today and the ideas that he calls his own.  It’s striking to realize that someday, maybe in the far future, the next generation will be asking us to tell our life story.

What histories are being written right now?  What is your story only you can tell?

Lloyd Inui, Chris Aihara and Akira Boch
 
Jenni Nakamura is one of three Getty Multicultural Intern working within the Watase Media Arts Center, a senior studying Asian American Studies at UCLA with an interest in culturally relevant social services and the social networks of Asian American churches, and a passion to explore the use of visual arts to preserve and give light to hidden personal histories and community issues. 

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