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Portland Film Company to Produce Documentary About Japanese War Brides

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 

(from right) Katheryn Tolbert, Lucy Craft and Karen Kasmauski

Blue Chalk Media based in Portland and Brooklyn NY will partner with three American journalists to produce “Fall Down Seven Times, Get up Eight: The Japanese War Brides," a short documentary film about a unique, rarely told part of Japanese-American history.

Journalists Katheryn Tolbert, Lucy Craft and Karen Kasmauski are all first-born daughters of Japanese women who married American G.I.s in the 1950s. The film is intended to reveal the characters of their mothers who put aside tradition, custom and family to leap into the unknown, according to Kasmauski. 

The title, “Fall Down Seven Times, Get up Eight,” is a Japanese proverb that Tolbert, Craft and Kasmauski believe conveys the resilience, endurance and refusal to give up that characterized their mothers and other Japanese women they interviewed in the war bride community.

“Americans of any age or ethnic identity will be able to glimpse the extraordinary and dramatic circumstances that brought these women to the U.S., and trace, through their eyes, what happened after they scattered to towns, cities and rural communities across the country," Craft told The Rafu Shimpo, a Los Angeles Japanese daily news company. "Their story speaks volumes about who we are as Japanese Americans, and as Americans, period.”

Craft made her way form the U.S. to Japan 30 years ago and works as a freelancer for CBS News and NPR from Tokyo. Karen Kasmauski is a veteran National Geographic photographer, and Katheryn Tolbert is a long-time Washington Post editor.

The three women started a Kickstarter fundraising campaign on Sept. 16. to raise money for the film's production. The goal was to raise $24,000 in 30 days and the film far surpased that goal with over $37,000.  

 

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