Synopsis by Mark Deming
In many ways, Takayuki "Ted" Tanouye was a typical American boy -- he grew up in Torrance, CA, got good grades in school, was popular with his classmates, and played on the Torrance High School football team. When Pearl Harbor was attacked and America was finally drawn into World War II in 1941, Tanouye joined the United States Army and became a Technical Sergeant in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. However, as Americans of Japanese ancestry, Tanouye's family members were sentenced to a period of internment, and though Ted died overseas near the end of the war, he eventually won a posthumous Medal of Honor for his courage. Decades later, eight students at Torrance High School decided to research the story of Ted Tanouye as a class project, and documentary filmmakers Craig Yahata and Robert Horsting followed the students as they interviewed people who knew Tanouye and recalled life in Torrance during the war. Citizen Tanouye is a documentary which tells of the students' effort as well as recounting the heroic tale of Tanouye's wartime experiences, and how they were finally acknowledged nearly 60 years after the fact.
family, Japanese-American, soldier, war