The Japan-American National Museum uses modern technology to tell personal stories of hardships from World War II Japanese internment camps

DOWNTOWN LA (KABC) – A new exhibit in downtown Los Angeles uses modern technology to tell personal stories of the hardships endured in Japanese detention camps.

Visitors to the National Museum of Japan and America on Central Avenue get a somber glimpse into the camps that imprisoned many US citizens during World War II.

It’s a new way to see and experience the sad history of the camps, with augmented reality that brings viewers closer to the struggle faced by so many Japanese-Americans.

“My mother ran a hotel. My family lost everything because they had to give up the hotel,” said Michi Tanioka, a camp survivor.

Most were just children when they were forced into the camps during World War II.

Artist Masaki Fujihata used vintage photos and new technologies to bring his stories to life.

“It’s really important to offer the visitor a new experience. The experience means the contrast between ordinary life and past events,” Fujihata said.

The augmented reality allows visitors to immerse themselves in history, and the exhibition organizers feel that it can change perspective.

“You see incredible photographs, remarkable for their size and the power they have,” said UCLA professor Michael Emmerich.

The old cameras that took these pictures can also be seen here, which are more reminiscent of this sad chapter in American history.

“It’s an American story, they had their hardships, they didn’t give up on their American dream, this was their home,” said June Aochi Berk, another camp survivor.

For many, the wounds have healed, but there are still scars.

Now they can be seen and maybe even felt in a way that the exhibition organizers hope they will be remembered.

Visit the Japan-American National Museum website for more information.

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https://abc7.com/japanese-internment-wwii-museum-technology/11847161/ The Japan-American National Museum uses modern technology to tell personal stories of hardships from World War II Japanese internment camps

Chrissy Callahan

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