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'Honor and Sacrifice: Nisei Patriots in the MIS' tells story of Japanese American soldiers during WWII

The lives of Roy Matsumoto and thousands of other Americans of Japanese ancestry were changed Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Matsumoto, born in Los Angeles and a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, was classified an enemy alien and sent to a concentration camp in Jerome, Ark. Eager to prove his loyalty to the country of his birth, he enlisted in the Army and became a war hero. Matsumoto
The lives of Roy Matsumoto and thousands of other Americans of Japanese ancestry were changed Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Matsumoto, born in Los Angeles and a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, was classified an enemy alien and sent to a concentration camp in Jerome, Ark. Eager to prove his loyalty to the country of his birth, he enlisted in the Army and became a war hero. Matsumoto's story is included in a documentary, 'Honor and Sacrifice: Nisei Patriots in the MIS' (Stourwater Pictures)
— image credit: Stourwater Pictures

The lives of Roy Matsumoto and thousands of other Americans of Japanese ancestry were changed Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Matsumoto, born in Los Angeles and a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, was classified an enemy alien and sent to a concentration camp in Jerome, Ark. Eager to prove his loyalty to the country of his birth, he enlisted in the Army and became a war hero.

Matsumoto's story is included in a documentary about the Japanese American men who were incarcerated in concentration camps, enlisted in the U.S. military, and volunteered to become linguists in the Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The film, "Honor and Sacrifice: Nisei Patriots in the MIS" (Stourwater Pictures) focuses on the experience of Matsumoto "and his personal journey – from being born an American, raised in Japan, sent to Jerome, Ark. concentration camp as a young man, to enlisting in the U.S. Army and becoming a hero in fighting the Japanese Army in Burma as part of the U.S. military unit known as Merrill's Marauders."

Stourwater Pictures produced the 17-minute documentary for Washington State's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and is raising money to expand the documentary to PBS length.

View a clip of the video and download the curriculum guide written by Matsumoto's daughter, Karen, a former San Juan Island public school teacher.

Roy Matsumoto, 97, lives on San Juan Island and is active in the San Juan Lions Club, and in preserving and intrepreting the history of Merrill's Marauders. He retired from the Army as a master sergeant in 1963 and is a member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame and the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

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