June 24, 2018 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California
1840 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94115
$15 JCCCNC Members, $20 General Public
Matt Okada, Director of Programs

“Go for Broke: A 442 Origins Story” Film Screening

Saturday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

$15 for JCCCNC Members, $20 for General Public


Go For Broke – Trailer (2017) from Alexander Bocchieri on Vimeo.

The Center is excited to offer two screenings of Stacey Hayashi’s “Go for Broke: an Origins Story,” featuring a star-studded, all-Japanese American cast mostly from Hawaii, and a local crew telling the tale of the start of the famed 442nd Infantry Regiment Combat Team of World War II–the most decorated unit in the history of the United States military for its size and time in combat.

The 442nd was made up of more than 14,000 Japanese American men who served with valor in the European theater and received 21 Congressional Medals of Honor, 8 Presidential Unit Citations, 9,500 Purple Hearts and 5,200 Bronze Star Medals.  Among their ranks was Medal of Honor recipient Daniel K. Inouye, who would go on to become a powerful and respected US Senator and President Pro Tempore — the first Japanese American elected to Congress. The motto of the battalion was “Go for Broke.”

Hayashi’s film, which was 16 years in the making and shot entirely in Hawaii at the actual locations at which the real events occurred, chronicles the remarkable story from its earliest beginnings, from the eve of December 7, 1941, when over 4000 Japanese Americans are already in the military service and defending Hawaii from the Japanese under fire, to when 169 “AJAs” (Americans of Japanese Ancestry), as they called themselves, college boys petition the military governor to let them show their loyalty with menial labor to help with the war effort, despite having been kicked out of the Hawaii Territorial Guard for looking like the enemy,  to the horrifying moment when the government classifies them as 4C, or “enemy aliens” forbidden to serve, and beyond, to their triumphant formation and deployment “aloha ceremony” at Iolani Palace before heading to basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

It stars Oscar-winner Chris Tashima, Peter Shinkoda (Netflix, “Daredevil”), Cole Horibe (“So You think You Can Dance”), Ban Daisuke (“Kikaida”), and features a soundtrack by ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, who also makes his acting debut.

Many of the authentic details arise from the involvement of the real life people Hayashi brought to the film, including the first Japanese American killed in action on December 7th, 1941, Torao Migita; members of his actual family portray themselves. Among countless other real veterans’ descendants, the real life grandson of Hawaii’s future governor John A. Burns is in the film as a cameo, as well as real life HTG/VVV/442 veterans Ted Tsukiyama and Bishop Yoshiaki “Sharkey” Fujitani and 442/MIS veteran Herbert K. Yanamura, who saved the lives of 1500 people in the Battle of Okinawa, and former US Senator Daniel Akaka (himself a WWII veteran).

The film is also rich in historical detail:  in a scene featuring future Olympic Coach Soichi Sakamoto, who founded the Three-Year Swim Club, Sakamoto is portrayed by his real life last protege, Reid Yamamoto. Even the film’s costuming reflects Hayashi’s commitment to history:  Luka Masuda, the actor who portrays 442 veteran Eddie Yamasaki,  wears Yamasaki’s original garrison cap .

92 minutes

Written and produced by Stacey Hayashi, directed by Alex Bocchieri

Cinematography by Jeremy Snell and Anthony Sanderson-Vallejo

Shot on an Arri Alexa operated by Abraham Williams

For more information on the film, go to: https://www.goforbrokemovie.com/