Search:     MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2020
Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski & Kathryn Tolbert
26 minutes
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Interview with Kathryn Tolbert and Karen Kasmauski
Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides

Three Japanese war brides trace their tumultuous journey to America as the young wives of US soldiers and civilians. Atsuko, Emiko and Hiroko were among tens of thousands of Japanese women who married American soldiers after World War II. They landed in 1950s America knowing no one and speaking little English. In brutally honest conversations with their respective daughters, they reveal the largely untold story of the Japanese war brides.

Despite lingering wartime enmity, nearly 50,000 Japanese war brides moved to the United States, becoming part of one of the largest waves of Japanese immigration to the country. They began new lives in difficult circumstances, scattered across the country in places where they were often the first Japanese ever seen. Living in mostly rural, isolated communities across the nation, the women were left largely to their own devices as they tried to navigate a racially segregated American society. Even for those whose choice of spouse proved to be a tragic mistake, there was no turning back. Many in Japan viewed them as social outcasts and even today the words “war bride” in Japanese carry such a stigma that people don’t like to say them.

Directors Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski, and Kathryn Tolbert tell the stories of their respective mothers as journalists, but also as the mixed-race children who experienced firsthand their own mothers’ struggles. Drawing on personal anecdotes, family photographs and archival footage, FALL SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT paints an intimate portrait of the Japanese war brides saga and helps bring to life this often forgotten episode in American and Japanese history.

"In this personal production, filmmakers Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski, and Kathryn Tolbert profile their respective war-bride mothers, who had to quickly adapt to 1950's customs and lifestyles... This intimate program offes insights into Japanese war brides and sparks discussions on postwar issues."
- Candance Smith, Booklist Online

"A touching film... Suitable for mature high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of immigration, anthropology of gender, and American and Japanese-American studies, as well as for general audiences."
- Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

  • Best Short Doc, California Women's Film Festival

  • Screenings
  • BBC World News
  • Boston Asian-American Film Festival
  • Philadelphia Asian-American Film Festival

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    Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski & Kathryn Tolbert
    26 minutes
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