Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/577/

Unexpected positive reviews and an Emmy nomination

It (The film of Farewell to Manzanar) was a very, very good response and we were…I mean we’re such innocents. We didn’t know anything about television or any of this. But no, it had a very good response, very good reviews and then when it was nominated for, you know, an Emmy and then the Humanitas Prize, it actually won that. That was quite a shock to us because we weren’t in the business.

But I remember my agent seeing the first cuts of the…came down to Universal. [?] She saw it and she came out and she was just stunned. She was crying. She said, “This is going to win awards.” And we thought, “Wow.” So they knew and I think it was just a groundbreaker for the time. And you know, it’s amazing that it holds up. It’s like a classic now.


awards California concentration camps Farewell to Manzanar (film) (book) Manzanar concentration camp movies United States World War II camps

Date: December 27, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, co-author of the acclaimed Farewell to Manzanar, was born in 1934 in Inglewood, California. The youngest of ten children, she spent her early childhood in Southern California until 1942 when she and her family were incarcerated at the World War II concentration camp at Manzanar, California.

In 1945, the family returned to Southern California where they lived until 1952 when they moved to San Jose, California. Houston was the first in her family to earn a college degree. She met James D. Houston while attending San Jose State University. They married in 1957 and have three children.

In 1971, a nephew who had been born at Manzanar asked Houston to tell him about what the camp had been like because his parents refused to talk about it. She broke down as she began to tell him, so she decided instead to write about the experience for him and their family. Together with her husband, Houston wrote Farewell to Manzanar. Published in 1972, the book is based on what her family went through before, during, and after the war. It has become a part of many school curricula to teach students about the Japanese American experience during WWII. It was made into a made-for-television movie in 1976 that won a Humanitas Prize and was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing in a Drama.

Since Farewell to Manzanar, Houston has continued to write both with her husband and on her own. In 2003, her first novel, The Legend of Fire Horse Woman was published. She also provides lectures in both university and community settings. In 2006, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston received the Award of Excellence for her contributions to society from the Japanese American National Museum. (November 25, 2006)

Sosei Matsumoto
en
ja
es
pt
Sosei Matsumoto

Featured in a movie: "Japanese War Bride" (Japanese)

(1916-2019) Master of chado.

en
ja
es
pt
Takayo Fischer
en
ja
es
pt
Takayo Fischer

Working on the Set of Pirates of the Caribbean and Meeting Keith Richards

(b. 1932) Nisei American stage, film, and TV actress

en
ja
es
pt

Discover Nikkei Updates

NIKKEI CHRONICLES #13
Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?
What’s in a name? Share the story of your name with our community. Submissions now open!
NIMA VOICES
Episode 16
June 25 (US) | June 26 (Japan)
Featured Nima:
Stan Kirk
Guest Host:
Yoko Murakawa
PROJECT UPDATES
NEW SITE DESIGN
See exciting new changes to Discover Nikkei. Find out what’s new and what’s coming soon!