Issei: The First Generation

“Lost” 1984 documentary, rediscovered and restored, about Japanese men and women who, at the turn of the century, immigrated to the West Coast of the United States. These pioneers tell their own stories of struggles and triumphs in a new land.

“‘ISSEI’ brings to vivid life the world of early Japanese immigrants in rural California. Infused with spirit and humor, this captivating film is a treasure.”
– Valerie Matsumoto, Professor, History, UCLA

“Toshi Washizu’s ‘ISSEI’…with his poet’s sensibility…is a revelation…a masterful portrait of this generation…probably the best single documentary about the first generation’s experiences…because the Issei tell their stories, in their own words.” 
– Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, Aratani Endowed Chair, UCLA

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