The Japanese American National Museum Legacy Project
Depending on where your historical interests lie, World War II conjures different images for everyone. Perhaps it's black-and-white still shots of soldiers marching, flags being raised, and the inconceivable loss of life. Maybe you think of the home front; the victory gardens that popped up in every yard, the War Bond posters, and Rosie the Riveter. When the war was won, the United States stood proudly; heroic, victorious, even righteous. But there is one black mark during that time so many of us have forgotten. Japanese internment. I remember it being a blip in history class, almost an addendum - an asterisk at the bottom of the page ("...oh, yeah, and all the Japanese-Americans were kind of rounded up en mass and sent to live for years behind barbed wire because everyone thought they were spies, but getting back to Normandy...").
George Takei is raising awareness for Densho: The Japanese American National Museum Legacy Project. Their aim is to collect oral histories, video footage, and artifacts from Japanese Americans during World War II. Why is George Takei involved? Because he was there. He remembers all too well the day the soldiers came to his house; the confusion, the crying, the loss of everything his family had worked for. Takei just so happens to be one of the founding members of JANM and acts as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees. With the help of JANM, Takei hopes to take to the Broadway stage this fall with a musical inspired by his life. Allegiance, tells, quote, "an epic, multi-generational tale about the Kimura family, in particular a brother and sister, Sammy (Glee's Telly Leung) and Kei (TONY-Award winner for Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga), whose bond is tested after they choose opposing paths to save their family. Their journeys take them from the rich California heartland, to the wind swept wastelands of Wyoming, to the battlefields of war-torn Europe."
To help George Takei reach his goal (and "boldly Indigogo"), or to find out more about how you can help the JANM Legacy Project, click here.