The Pinion

Japanese-American veterans’ story told through new film

Heroes of the 442nd Regional Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion

Thompson Wong, assistant editor

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Sixteen years of hard work from a local writer led to the birth of the “Go For Broke: An Origin Story” film, telling the story of the valiant Japanese-American veterans from World War II.

The film explores the origins of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion, and how the team came to be. The story of the hardships and challenges in forming the group are still unknown to many people. The film is one of many projects Stacey Hayashi, writer and producer of the “Go For Broke” film, worked on in her sixteen years of educating people on the stories of Japanese-Americans during that time.

“It’s a really important story, I think, that the world needs to know,” Hayashi said.

The movie was filmed in Hawaii. Some scenes were shot on McKinley High School’s front lawn.

“(The students) were out on break, and we pretty much, kinda, blew up the lawn,” Hayashi said.

Hayashi looked for people of Japanese descent and local talent to cast in the movie.

“Some approached me, because I’ve been working on this for so long. We meet them at film festivals. The rest of the cast, well, we have auditions,” Hayashi said.

The movie also follows the story of young Daniel Inouye. Inouye was a 1942 graduate of MHS, a decorated war veteran, and a member of the Hall of Honor. The school library was named after Inouye in 2016.

One actor in the movie is a 2017 graduate of MHS. Playing Eddie Yamasaki, young Inouye’s friend in the film, Luka Masuda spoke of his experience being a part of the film project.

“At first, I thought the work would be intense. However, the cast and crew were all really friendly, and it was really fun being on set,” Masuda said.

Hayashi said she intended the movie to be the pilot episode for a ten-part series. While the “Go For Broke” film was the origin piece and set in Hawaii, there were other places that the nisei soldiers went.

“These guys were everywhere,” Hayashi said.

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