Multimedia Collection

Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol

15 min
D769.8 .A6 F86 2009 DVD

In February 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Government issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the relocation of 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast in order to incarcerate them in isolated and desolate concentration camps. The government's purification was to protect the country against espionage and sabotage by Japanese Americans.

Exclusion Order No.1, authorizing the first relocation, targeted the Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island, Washington. One of them was 31-year-old Fumiko Hayashida, a pregnant mother of two. She was one of 227 members of her community who, dressed in their best clothes, assembled at the Eagledale ferry landing on March 30th, 1942. As they waited to be taken off the Island by armed military escorts, Fumiko, holding her 13-month-old daughter Natalie Kayo, was photographed by a Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographer. The photograph has since become a lasting iconic symbol of the internment experience.

Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol is both a historical portrait of Fumiko and her family as well as a contemporary story of how the iconic photograph became the impetus for Fumiko to publicly lobby against the injustices of the past.

Distributed by Stourwater Pictures.

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