The documentary “The Japanese Presence on Vashon Parts 1 and 2” will premiere on April 26


The documentary “The Japanese Presence on Vashon Parts 1 and 2” will premiere on April 26

A new documentary details Japanese migration to Vashon Island in the late 19th century.

The history of migration to the United States has always been a mixture of adversity, generational sacrifices and sometimes hardships. Immigration is a deeply moving event that deserves to be documented and commemorated.

This is the story of a small group of Japanese farm workers who came to Vashon in the late 19th century. After a very long wait due to COVID, their story, along with stories of their descendants and others, is the subject of two episodes of the Voice of Vashon documentary series, “Vashon: Then & Now”.

“The Japanese Presence on Vashon Parts 1 & 2” premieres at the Vashon Theater at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. The film delves into the humble beginnings and eventual flourishing of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans on the Vashon and Maury Islands. In December 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the Japanese’s carefully laid plans and lives on Vashon were reversed virtually overnight.

“They arrived with very little to their name, but patiently grew their businesses and their families into becoming beloved members of the Island community,” said editor Dennis Lambert. “Their farms were top notch and they were kind and generous people.”

Director Michael Monteleone and Lambert, along with several cast members, will be on hand at the screening to answer questions. The show, presented by Green Tech, is free and open to the public. Proof of vaccination is required at the door.

Topics covered in “The Japanese Presence on Vashon Parts 1 & 2” are both common to other immigrant groups, such as starting out as lowly laborers and dealing with racism, but also include culture-specific themes. Japanese.

“If the history of the Japanese land of Japanese Americans on Vashon were a tapestry, it would be rich, nuanced with color and light, filled with epic struggles, setbacks and triumphs,” Monteleone said. “The weaving would reveal the hard work and the sacrifices, the overcoming of prejudice and racism, the exile of all and the return of some to the only country they ever called home.”

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