The dominant narrative of the World War II incarceration of Japanese-Americans has been that they behaved as a “model minority,” that they cooperated without protest and proved their patriotism by enlisting in the Army. Resistance at Tule Lake, a new feature-length documentary from Third World Newsreel (Camera News Inc.) and directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer, overturns that myth by telling the long-suppressed story of Tule Lake Segregation Center.

Resistance at Tule Lake poster

The Crew

Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration during World War II. Branded as “disloyals” and re-imprisoned at Tule Lake Segregation Center, they continued to protest in the face of militarized violence, and thousands renounced their U.S. citizenship. Giving voice to experiences that have been marginalized for over 70 years, this documentary challenges the nationalist, one-sided ideal of wartime “loyalty.”

Resistance at Tule Lake premiered early 2017 and continues to screen in various film festivals, museum exhibitions, educational institutions and local community organizations. Click here to check out our screening schedule for a showing near you! The documentary will be broadcasted national in 2018 and made available for educational, institutional and home use as a DVD and other formats including internet viewing.

Director Konrad Aderer at top of Castle Rock Mountain overlooking Tule Lake Segregation Center site

Interview Subjects

Wayne Merrill Collins, Jr

Wayne Collins Jr is a practicing attorney based in California. His father ­ Wayne Mortimer Collins ­ was a prominent figure in restoring Japanese Americans their citizenship and spent much of his career defending their rights. His most famous case lasted over 20 years in restoring the citizenship of over 4,000 renunciants from Tule Lake. After Wayne’s father passed in the early 1970s, Wayne Jr took over some of his cases including a presidential pardon petition for Iva Toguri D'Aquino, which President Gerald Ford granted during his final days in office. Wayne Jr continues to be involved and stays in close contact with those that have been affected by the Tule Lake incarceration.

Roger Daniels

Roger Daniels is Charles Phelps Taft Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1961 and is a past president of both the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. He has written widely about Japanese­American incarceration during WWII, Asian Americans and immigration. Among his published books are Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in WWII, Not Like Us: Immigrants and Minorities in America, 1890­1924; Debating American Immigration, 1882­Present (with Otis Graham); and American Immigration: A Student Companion.

Grace Hata

Grace Hata was born in Gardena, California in 1930. Grew up in Gardena where parents ran a restaurant. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, father was arrested and taken away by the FBI. During mass removal, family was sent to the Manzanar concentration camp in California, and reunited with father. Following the Leave Clearance questionnaire in 1943, family was transferred to the Tule Lake Segregation Center, and then repatriated to Japan. Grace lived and worked in Japan for a year and a half before returning to California, finishing school, and becoming a nurse.

Satsuki Ina

Dr. Satsuki Ina was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center and grew up in post­war San Francisco Japantown. She is a filmmaker and a licensed psychotherapist specializing in community trauma. She has conducted groups for Japanese Americans who were children in the prison camps and has been researching the long­term impact of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans for the past fifteen years. She produced two award­winning documentary films about the Japanese American incarceration: Children of the Camps and From A Silk Cocoon. She is also a Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento.

Tetsuden Kashima

Born in Oakland, California, Tetsuden Kashima was incarcerated at the Topaz WRA concentration camp in Utah as an infant, along with his family during World War II. Years later after the war, he received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of California at San Diego. Tetsu came to the University of Washington in 1976 and retired in 2016 as an Emeritus Professor in the Department of American Ethnic Studies and an Adjunct Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology. He has been an invited Visiting Scholar at Ryukoku University in Kyoto and Associate Professor at Yamaguchi National University in Yamaguchi, Japan. Besides publications in numerous journals, he has authored many articles and published two books: Buddhism in America: The Social Organization of an Ethnic Religious Institution (1977) and Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II (2003h, 2004p).

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Born in Sacramento, California in 1922, Hiroshi Kashiwagi ­ a No­No Boy and a renunciant ­ was incarcerated at the Tule Lake concentration camp during World War II. After the war, he attended UCLA (BA in Asian Languages, 1952) and UC Berkeley (MLS, 1966). His work experience includes: editor, translator, interpreter, secretary at Buddhist Churches of America, Headquarters, 1957 – 1965; and reference librarian at San Francisco Public Library, 1966 ­­ 1978. He has published Swimming in the American: a Memoir and Selected Writings (winner of the American Book Award, 2005); Shoe Box Plays (a collection of nine plays); Ocean Beach (poems); and Starting from Loomis and Other Stories. As an actor, some of his film credits are: Dark Circle; Black Rain; Hito Hata (Visual Communications); Hot Summer Winds (Emiko Omori); Rabbit in the Moon (Emiko Omori); The Virtues of Corned Beef Hash (Kerwin Berk); Infinity and Chashu Ramen (Kerwin Berk). His most notable work in theater was in Philip Kan Gotanda’s The Wash with the late Nobu McCarthy at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. He is a lifetime member of SAG/AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.

Sadako Kashiwagi

Born in Sacramento in 1922, and grew up in Newcastle, California, Sadako Kashiwagi’s parents were tenant farmers. At 8 years old, her and her family were removed to the Marysville Assembly Center in California, and then to the Tule Lake concentration camp. After leaving camp, they returned to Sacramento where she later graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in education. She met and married Hiroshi Kashiwagi in the mid 1950s.

Toru Bill Nishimura

Born in Compton, California in 1920 to a family of farmers. After Pearl Harbor, Bill Nishimura’s father was taken by the FBI. The rest of the family were sent to the Poston concentration camp in Arizona where they were reunited with father shortly after. Bill and his father were then transferred to the Tule Lake Segregation Center after Bill refused to answer the questionnaire. While in Tule Lake, Bill joined the Hoshidan group and later renounced his citizenship. He was then separated from his father and sent to the Santa Fe Department of Justice detention facility, where his father eventually reunites with him. After the war ended, Bill stayed in the US and did not get deported to Japan thanks to the work of Wayne Collins.

Barbara Takei

Barbara Takei is a writer, researcher and community activist. As the Chief Financial Officer of the Tule Lake Committee, Takei has written proposals and managed grants to preserve historic Tule Lake structures, and worked with the National Park Service and other governmental agencies to preserve the Tule Lake Segregation Center. As a result of such efforts, the Tule Lake Segregation Center was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006, and in December 2008 became a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) as a National Historic Monument. At biannual pilgrimages to Tule Lake, she organizes panel discussions and site tours to educate hundreds of pilgrimage participants about this dark period of American history. She received multiple State and Federal grants to research and write about Tule Lake, including oral histories of “No­No’s” and Japanese Americans who renounced their U.S. citizenship, documenting rare and little­known stories of the Tule Lake Segregation Center. Takei co­wrote Tule Lake Revisited: A Brief History and Guide to the Tule Lake Concentration Camp Site (2001)(2012), and authored an article detailing the events that led nearly 6,000 Japanese Americans to renounce their U.S. citizenship, “Legalizing Detention: The Department of Justice Denationalization Program” (2005). She is currently co­authoring a history of Tule Lake with historian Roger Daniels, Tule Lake: America’s Worst Concentration Camp.

Sachiko Takita-­Ishii

Sachiko Takita­Ishii is Professor of Sociology at Yokohama City University in Japan. She was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to California in 1988 for graduate study at University of California in Los Angeles. Sachiko had been studying about Japanese American incarceration history in Japan, however, her close encounter with the Japanese American Families and her experiences during the 1992 Los Angeles Riot/Uprising had changed her perspective and engagement with this event in history.
She participated in the Manzanar Pilgrimage right after the L.A. Riot, and sat right next to William Hohri ­ the most radical leader of the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR) in the redress movement ­ for the whole duration of the bus ride. Mr. Hohri gave her a crash course on the redress movement. In the short days after she heard Rodney King’s verdict, her mental and emotional setting became more aligned to the Japanese American experiences. She volunteered for the Tule Lake Pilgrimage organizing committee since 1993 (active until 2009). Her experience with the Tule Lake Committee and the Pilgrimages were analyzed thoroughly in her dissertation, “Tule Lake Pilgrimage and Japanese American Internment: Collective Memory, Solidarity, and Division in an Ethnic Community” (UCLA, 2007). The film footage of Tokio Yamane was recorded and filmed by Noriko Kawakami as part of her oral history interview with him (in collaboration with Yoko Murakawa), “Tokio Yamane: A Renunciant’s Story,” which was printed in the Journal of the Shaw Historical Library (A Question of Loyalty: Internment at Tule Lake), Vol.19, pp. 161­185 (2005). A short documentary version of the film was shown during the 2004 Tule Lake Pilgrimage. Even after she went back to Japan, she frequently comes back to California and continues her research on what happened in the Tule Lake Segregation Center.

Jeanne M. Tanaka

Jeanne Tanaka was raised in Auburn, Washington. Her father was a farmer, but taken by the FBI after the Pearl Harbor attack and did not reunite with the family until the end of the war. When Jeanne was 17 years old, she was removed along with the remainder of her family to the Pinedale Assembly Center in California, where they were held for 3 months until the Tule Lake Segregation Center was completed. Jeanne and her family were one of the first to arrive to Tule Lake. After the family was reunited with her father in Tule Lake, they repatriated to Japan. Jeanne worked with Wayne Collins to get her citizenship back and returned to the US in the early ‘50s.

Jim Tanimoto

Born and raised in Marysville, Jim Tanimoto and his family eventually moved to Gridley, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, they were removed to the Tule Lake concentration camp ­ Jim was 19 years old. He resided in Block 42, where all the residents refused to sign the so­called ``loyalty questionnaire.`` The residents were split up and sent to jail ­ Jim’s group was sent to the Klamath Falls County Jail. After about a week, they were then removed to a Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC) camp in Tulelake, where they were reunited with the rest of the residents from Block 42. Although Jim still refused to sign the questionnaire, he was returned to Tule Lake after WRA officials concluded he had been influenced by older group members. Eventually, the family was released early and returned to their home in Gridley in February of 1944. After the war, Jim became a successful farmer growing kiwi fruit in Gridley with his brother Mori.

Mori Tanimoto


Mori Tanimoto was born and raised in Gridley, California where his father was a farmer. When Mori was 22 years old, they were forced to move to the Tule Lake concentration camp. Mori was already classified as eligible for military service, but after notifying the draft board of his change of address he was reclassified as an “enemy alien.” Mori and his brother lived in Block 42 where they refused to sign the loyalty questionnaire. Jim and the rest of the residents were jailed for a week, and then were moved to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp (CCC) camp for a month before they were returned to Tule Lake. After the war ended, Mori and his family returned to farming in their hometown where they later pioneered the kiwi business.

Jimi Yamaichi


Jim Yamaichi was born in 1922, the fourth of 10 children, and grew up in San Jose, California, where his father had a farming operation. After the war broke out, his family were forcibly moved to the Pomona temporary detention center and then incarcerated at Heart Mountain concentration camp. Although he answered “yes-­yes” on the questionnaire, the family was sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center at the request of his father. Jimi worked on an engineering crew on the Shoshone Dam, and later was a carpentry foreman in Tule Lake. Jimi is best known, and was most criticized, for helping to build the Tule Lake jail, which is still standing. In 1944, Jimi received a drafting notice and chose to resist and challenge it. Unlike other draft resisters, he was exonerated of all charges by a judge in Eureka, California.
Years later, Jim conducted walking tours of the Tule Lake grounds during reunions organized by the Tule Lake Pilgrimage Committee. Among his many other contributions, he also co­founded the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, received a Kunsho from the Japanese emperor, was one of the first Nikkei to speak out in support of the Muslim American community after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and constructed a replica of a Tule Lake guard tower, which has been part of a traveling exhibit.

Junichi Yamamoto


Junichi Yamamoto was born to a farming family in Salinas, California in 1921, the second of nine children. Junichi was removed with his family to the Poston concentration camp in Arizona, and then moved to Tule Lake Segregation Center. While in Tule Lake, Junichi and his brothers joined the Hoshidan and renounced their U.S. citizenship. They were separated from the rest of the family and sent to the Fort Lincoln center in Bismarck, North Dakota, where Junichi was elected as a Hoshidan leader. The family reunited in Portland before they went to Japan, where they remained. In the late 1950s, Junichi returned to the U.S. with his wife and child. He never attempted to restore his citizenship.

Morgan Yamanaka


Morgan Yamanaka was born in San Francisco in 1924, taken to Japan as an infant, and returned to the U.S. in 1931 for schooling. After Pearl Harbor, in an act of patriotism he renounced his Japanese citizenship, but in April 1942 his draft status became 4­C (“enemy alien”). Morgan and his family were sent to Santa Anita Assembly Center, then to Topaz concentration camp in central Utah. While incarcerated in Topaz, Morgan answered “no­no” to the loyalty questions and was segregated at Tule Lake, where he was labeled a “troublemaker” and imprisoned in the stockade along with his brother and father. Morgan was in the stockade for over two months, and participated in hunger strikes. He was one of the 5,461 Japanese Americans who left Tule Lake as a “Native American alien” stripped of U.S. citizenship: He went to Chicago and New York before returning to San Francisco, while the rest of his family, except for one of his brothers, went to Japan. Morgan went back to school and became an Emeritus Professor of Social Work at San Francisco State University. Thanks to Wayne Collins’s efforts, Morgan was able to restore his American citizenship.  | Resistance at Tule Lake is a project under the fiscal sponsorship of Third World Newsreel (aka Camera News, Inc.), an alternative media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and dissemination of independent film and video by and about people of color and social justice issues.

Resistance at Tule Lake is a presentation of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Support was provided in part by New York State Council on the Arts. Additional funding has been made possible by the Puffin Foundation.

This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:

Chief, Office of Equal Opportunity Programs

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

1201 Eye Street, NW (2740), Washington, DC 20005