Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama
Topic: “Obachan’s Garden” and Wartime Internment of Japanese Residents of Canada and America
Location: Aoyama Campus, Room 17-610 (Honda Auditorium)
Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Time: 1:10 PM to 2:40 PM (3rd period)
Ms. Linda Ohama is an award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker who produced and directed the film Obachan’s Garden ( http://culturevulture.net/film/obachans-garden/ ) and the documentary film “Tohoku no Shingetsu” (“New Moon Over Tohoku”), which concerns the experiences of people in Tohoku who were affected by the earthquake/ tsunami/ nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011 and its aftermath.
The speaker will show scenes from her film Obachan’s Garden and talk about one of the historical events depicted in the film, the internment of Japanese Canadians in internment camps. After she toured comparable internment camps in the United States recently, she came to reflect on the similarities and differences between the Japanese Canadian and Japanese American experiences during this deeply troubled time in history. Those reflections will also be featured in Ms. Ohama’s lecture and film screening.
To be even better prepared for the lecture, you may wish to download and read an article reviewing “Obachan’s Garden” that Gregory Strong contributed to the Daily Yomiuri. The article appeared on November 14, 2002, as the film was being screened throughout Japan for the first time. The article is followed by some skimming and scanning, and comprehension questions.
Finally, it would useful for students and teachers who plan to attend the lecture to do some background reading on the internment of Japanese by the Canadian government during the war. You can check out Wikipedia’s page on Japanese internment and an entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia about the history of the Japanese in Canada.
Here is a photograph of the Murakami Visitor center in Steveston, a small community near Vancouver, the former home of Asayo Murakami (Linda Ohama’s Obachan).