JA Nat’l Museum hosts ‘Go For Broke’ exhibit in Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES — The Japanese American National Museum’s “Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts” exhibit chronicles the history of Nisei soldiers from the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who served during World War II. The soldiers fought to prove their loyalty to the nation that classified them as “enemy aliens,” despite the fact that they were American citizens.

The Nisei soldiers fought across Europe, receiving thousands of medals for heroism, while their own families were incarcerated in American concentration camps. Their segregated unit, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd RCT, became the most decorated military unit for its size and length of service. Thousands more joined the Military Intelligence Service and operated throughout the Pacific Theater as language and intelligence specialists. Upon returning home from the war, the Nisei veterans continued to fight racism.

First displayed at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, “Go For Broke” depicts the soldiers’ in the Japanese American fight for justice both overseas and in the United States. The photographs are supplemented by a special Guide-by-Cell audio tour, with narration by the curator Eric Saul, director of the Japanese American Wartime History Project, as well as narration from Nisei veterans courtesy of the Go For Broke National Education Center’s Hanashi Oral History Program. Accompanying this exhibition is a continuous screening of “A Flicker in Eternity,” — a documentary telling the World War II story of Stanley Hayami, a young teenager who is caught between his dreams of becoming an artist and his duty to his country.

The exhibit opened with a preview event at the museum, including a program and remarks by Saul. The Go For Broke center will present “Spotlight on the Japanese American Experience and Current Affairs,” a community discussion finding parallels between the Japanese American experience and current challenges facing the nation, on Saturday, March 1. The exhibit closes March 2.

The museum is located at 100 North Central Ave. in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information, call (213) 625-0414, or visit janm.org. The museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for seniors; $5 for students and children; free for museum members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. It is closed Mondays, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

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