Japanese Americans

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Current user rating: 92/100 (49 votes)

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  • Drama: Japanese Americans
  • Romaji: 99-nen no Ai ~ Japanese Americans
  • Japanese: 99年の愛 〜JAPANESE AMERICANS〜
  • Director: Katsuo Fukuzawa
  • Writer: Sugako Hashida
  • Network: TBS
  • Episodes: 5
  • Release Date: November 3-7, 2010
  • Runtime: 21:00-23:00
  • TV Ratings: 15.3%
  • Language: Japanese
  • Country: Japan


In 1910, Chokichi Hiramatsu (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi) immigrates to the United States for a better life. He starts off as a seasonal laborer in the U.S. and through hard work eventually buys a farm with his wife Tomo. Chokichi and Tomo have four children through their marriage.

In 1940, relations between Japan and the U.S. deteriorates, making life difficult for Chokichi's family. Chokichi's eldest son Ichiro (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi) turns 18 and faces discrimination at his university. Nevertheless, Ichiro falls in love with Shinobu (Yukie Nakama), the daughter of a consulate staff member. Shinobu comes to the Hiramatsu's farm to help the family with their work. During this time, Ichiro's younger brother Jiro (Ken'ichi Matsuyama) develops a crush on Shinobu.

When war breaks out between Japan and the U.S., Chokichi is arrested by the F.B.I. and sent to a detention camp. His family members also get sent to detention camps, with daughters Shizu & Sachi expelled to Japan.

To gain the trust of the American government, Ichiro then pledges his allegiance to the U.S. and enlists in the war. Ichiro is sent to fight on the front lines in Europe. Meanwhile, Shizu becomes caught in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Sachi is caught in the war in Okinawa. Younger brother Jiro attempts to shield Shinobu from further troubles, while also protecting the Hiramatsu farm ...


  1. "Japanese Americans" is a special TBS drama series to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Tokyo Broadcasting Station.
  2. Filming took place between February & August, 2010.
  3. Shooting locations include Japan and U.S. (Los Angeles, California & Seattle, Washington).
  4. The final scene filmed took place in Safeco Field (Seattle, Washington) between August 8th and 10th.


Japanese-Americans-Tsuyoshi Kusanagi.jpg Japanese-Americans-Yukie Nakama.jpg Japanese-Americans-Kenichi Matsuyama.jpg Japanese-Americans-Kiichi Nakai.jpg
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi Yukie Nakama Kenichi Matsuyama Kiichi Nakai
Ichiro Hiramatsu / Shinobu Hiramatsu (young) Jiro Hiramatsu (young) Nagayoshi Hiramatsu (old)
Nagayoshi Hiramatsu (young)
Japanese-Americans-Pinko Izumi.jpg Japanese-Americans-Tsunehiko Kamijo.jpg Japanese-Americans-Keiko Kishi.jpg Japanese-Americans-Kaoru Yachigusa.jpg
Pinko Izumi Tsunehiko Kamijo Keiko Kishi Kaoru Yachigusa
Tomo Hiramatsu (present) Jiro Hiramatsu (present) Sachi Hiramatsu (present) Shinobu Hiramatsu (present)


Episode Ratings

Episode Date Ratings
(Kanto Region)
01 11/03/2010 12.6%
02 11/04/2010 15.5%
03 11/05/2010 14.7%
04 11/06/2010 14.6%
05 11/07/2010 19.1%
Average 15.3%

Source: Video Research, Ltd.


Leave a Comment


M. Hayashi I am proud to be born in America, more precisely, in Brazil. Japanese immigrants in that country were not confined like those ones wre in North America, so I didn't know much about what happened to japanese people here in North America, before coming to USA and Canada. So, I was very interested to watch and learn a little about what these people went through, and I'm glad I found it on the Internet.

Great movie!

ace A decent enough mini series. Well acted with good production values.

As a previous poster, Windsun33, stated, some parts were distorted.  At the start of the war most Japanese Americans that had lived in the US for any length of time were English speaking patriots to their adopted home.  And quite eager to prove it on the field of battle.  
Which is what made the detention centers so tragic. Loyal Citizens were being deprived of their civil rights without due process.  Much like today. The government during WW2 though was unduly afraid of spies (although they did catch a lot which made it worse for those innocent) as well as justifiably worried for the safety of the detainees from reprisals of citizens etc. Because after Japan's invasion of China, coupled with the rape of Nanking et al, the news coverage of the war in China was a daily occurrence.  So constant were reports of the Japanese atrocities in China that even before the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor and the Philippines 4 years later there was already a vast amount of distrust and open hatred towards Japan.  Then after Pearl Harbor there was such an incandescent rage on top of that mountain distrust and hatred that everyone was lucky it wasn't even worse on the Japanese Americans, to be honest.  Especially given that on top of all that there is mankind's natural affinity for racism.
Still and all, accuracies are something that can NEVER-EVER be expected in historical films. If you are looking for history in a movie you are going to be forever disappointed.
American films are famous for never letting the truth getting in the way of a good story.  (My favorite was U-571.  That one cracked me up! Making the US the ones captured the sub instead of the British. Greatly shortening the war.)

B. Murphy This is an excellent production. My wife and I loved it and we are not Japanese. It stands on its own. It is also flawed like every other human production that seeks to tell history. One thing, it praised President Obama, for what I don't know, maybe hope for the future from the first Black President. But I don't believe it mentioned Republican President Reagan signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which had been sponsored by Representative Norman Mineta (a Democrat) and Senator Alan K. Simpson (a Republican) and Pete Wilson (also a Republican). The law provided redress of $20,000 for each surviving detainee, totaling $1.2 billion. I know the performing arts and today's news media are mostly populated by people sympathetic to the Democrat Party and thus like to portray Republicans as racists, but there are no more racists in the Republican Party than in the Democrat Party. It's a shame that politics has sunken to portraying ones opponent as some sort of monster. I was surprised to hear George Takei claim that the only Japanese-Americans who are Republicans are ones who still remember that it was a Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt who put them in the internment camps. Wow, does George realize the irony of his claim? It sounds like he is stereotyping Japanese Americans who he thinks for some reason must all think and vote alike. And this from a man who claims others are racists. Anyway, this history is fascinating and I urge everyone to see this fabulous mini series. I am sorry that Ted Takahashi who commented below has suffered racism. There is no ethnic group anywhere that has not suffered injustice. Unfortunately, it is in our human nature. As individuals though we can overcome it. Regardless, there are reasons so many came from so far to America - it held great promise, not perfection.

Ted T. Takahashi I suffered some of the racial remark while in school in Hawaii in the 1950 and 1960. And Jap is still there in the mainland USA. The world is still the same with only some of the human being have changed for the better. This is a very good presentation of what have happen to Japanese who have immigrated to the USA for a better way for life and how jealousy have played a part with how America today do not want to do anything with the immigration problems.

Windsun33 First of all, you have to keep in mind that this was produced for Japanese audiences, and used almost entirely Japanese actors/actresses, even for the US scenes. In many ways it is historically accurate as to the events - for example it is just about the only Japanese media production that even mentions things like the Kempei Tai.

On the other hand, some parts were very distorted. While prejudice against Japanese was high, it was not to the point portrayed in the series (it did not help that the English dialogue was really bad). The one part that is really skewed is the portrayal of the internees themselves, in several ways.

(1) Nearly all the internees were depicted as being loyal to the Japanese emperor, which in fact was not even close to being true. (2) Shinto (emperor worship) was portrayed as the major religion, when in fact almost 40% (60% of Nisei) were Christian, most of the rest were Bhuddist. (3) It portrayed most as thinking that Japan would win the war, or having no opinion. In fact, the majority believed that Japan would lose the war. (4) It portrayed many, especially those in the 442nd, as considering themselves to be Japanese rather than American, which was simply not true. In fact many felt that Japan had betrayed them and America. (5) It portrayed all - even down to the 5th generation - as being more Japanese than American, when in fact quite a few of the 2nd generation, and most later ones could not even speak Japanese. (6) Several rants appear about the use of the atomic bomb, but any reference to Pearl Harbor and many other atrocities are carefully avoided (this is very common in Japanese media - 70 years of denial).

In short, pretty good, but you have to take into account the very real bias.

Yuko I watched in Japan and want to purchase with English Subtitle for my husband. I know it is available but I am worry that the subtitle is good English or not. Previously I bought Chinese/English subtitle in "Ryoma-den" (Sakamoto Ryoma) however, translation was poor. (ie: name of person such as "Ryoma" was Chinese pronounceation second half of DVD) Therefore, I am afraid to spend over $100 to get if the translation is bad. Please review someone if they watch with English subtitle.

Boris Sauer What an amazing and touching tv-serie. I found it in Malaysia. For me in germany it's a very unknown part of 20th century history (just heard something about the camps in USA at WWII). Wonderful actors, epic camera and a top soundtrack makes this lesson in japanese/am,erican history unique! Don't miss it if you can watch. DVD's are with english subtitles!!

Martin Kubota Great story. Now we need an American version. I'm a Sansei, 3rd generation JA, who happened to get a copy of the dvds from one of my business friends. It was the first time I was able to view the history of the Japanese immigrants and their Nisei children.

Stacy Kazuo Sato Excellent story! Makes me proud and humble to be a Japanese American.

Stacy Kazuo Sato I was given this DVD set from a friend that I knew in Las Vegas. I am from Hawaii and grew up there. My father was alive when the Japanese Imperial Army bombed Pearl Harbor. He was a very young boy. He fought in the Korean War. I teach at a middle school in San Francisco and History has been my favorite subject to teach my students. This movie only made me feel stronger and more proud to be a Japanese American and I continue to teach with passion to students about its importance. Each year, I have the students read, "Farewell to Manzanar," and they get so much out of it. I am also passing this along to other Japanese acquaintances as I want them to also realize the struggle of the Issei compared to what we have to go through today. Thank you so much!!

C Tamura Am 3rd generation sansei living in Hawaii. Enjoyed all 5 part series on KIKU. Hopefully this series will also replay on more "english" channels as I would like to have had my children view to understand their great- grandparents' legacy. Without them, we would not all be here.

James R. Davis Thanks to a high school friend I got to see this movie. Great. We were born just before the war and grew up in Hawaii. So this is part of our history. I'm now living in California and have friends who were in those interment camps. Thanks to those in the 442nd and peace be to those who suffered the indignities of American prejudice. Hopefully over time we have learned to live together with respect and dignity. This movie helps to consider more aspects of this tragic period during and after WWII.

Chris im gonna watch this!! yehey it's availablew in mysoju!!

Darrell Tsukiji Would like to see this. Is it subtitled in English?

Herb Minoru Tsuchiya This miniseries resonates with me because I was born in Seattle of immigrant parents. Our family along with many others were incarcerated in one of the ten internment camps (Minidoka, Idaho). This is an excellent historical lesson for both Japan and American audiences. When available I would purchase several DVD versions to share with family and friends.

M. Kimura Does anyone know where this video can be purchased?

ben tadano when will this be released in California and by whom, and where? suggest publicity thru Jacl's Pacific Citizen newspaper. thanks

Ryan Fujii Also, I should add that I hope that this drama is shown in America in the near future. It will be a real blessing for the folks over there too! It is a special tribute to those who lost loved ones in war who gave their all for the freedom of living in America without discrimination. To them, may all honor and appreciation be given for their courage, love of family and country, and total sacrifce. Thank you so much for your brave stand!!! It has made a difference!!!

Ryan Fujii It was an excellent film telling the story of this Japanese family experiencing life in both America and Japan from the early 1900's through World War II up to today. It was a blessing to watch personally since I was born in Seattle, but live here in Japan now with my wife and two kids. My kids got to watch this drama with my wife and I, so it was a very good education for them to understand the experience of their American grandparents and relatives living in the Seattle area now.

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