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  • Nov 3-5

Honor <span class="amp">&</span> Sacrifice

honor and sacrifice movie

honor and sacrifice movie

Roy Mat­sumo­to, the man whose fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry is told in this film, is actu­al­ly a res­i­dent of San Juan Island, and recent­ly cel­e­brat­ed his 100th birth­day here.  His sto­ry is that of a Japan­ese immi­grant fam­i­ly ripped apart by World War II. The Mat­sumo­to fam­i­ly includ­ed five sons, two who fought for the Amer­i­cans and three who fought for the Japan­ese. The eldest, Hiroshi (Roy) fought against the Japan­ese with Merrill’s Maraud­ers, an Amer­i­can guer­ril­la unit in Bur­ma. He became a hero when he used his Japan­ese lan­guage skills and mil­i­tary train­ing to save his sur­round­ed, starv­ing bat­tal­ion deep in the Burmese jun­gle.  At the same time his par­ents and sis­ters were liv­ing in their family’s ances­tral home, Hiroshi­ma. The sto­ry is told by Roy’s daugh­ter Karen, as she dis­cov­ers her father’s work in mil­i­tary intel­li­gence, kept secret for 50 years.

Roy Hiroshi Mat­sumo­to, who was born in 1913 in Lagu­na, Cal­i­for­nia, spent part of his youth liv­ing with his grand­par­ents in Hiroshi­ma, and the oth­er part liv­ing with his par­ents in Cal­i­for­nia.  At the begin­ning of World War II, he was interned with oth­er Japan­ese-Amer­i­cans in an Arkansas con­cen­tra­tion camp. In 1942, he vol­un­teered for the U.S. Army, serv­ing as a Japan­ese-lan­guage intel­li­gence spe­cial­ist and earn­ing both a Bronze Star and the Legion of Mer­it.  He remained in the Army for 20 years, retir­ing in 1963.

In 1993, Mat­sumo­to was induct­ed in the U.S. Army Rangers Hall Of Fame and four years lat­er was made a mem­ber of the Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence Corps Hall of Fame.  Many San Juan Islanders will remem­ber when he and oth­er Nisei vet­er­ans of World War II received the Con­gres­sion­al Gold Medal In Novem­ber of 2011.  Observed Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell dur­ing the award cer­e­mo­ny, “In the face of grave injus­tice dur­ing World War II, the Nisei vet­er­ans fought to pre­serve America’s free democ­ra­cy.  In fact, they went on to become one of the most high­ly dec­o­rat­ed groups of vet­er­ans in Unit­ed States mil­i­tary his­to­ry. These sol­diers fought for what this coun­try could be, even while their fam­i­lies lived in intern­ment camps. In the process, they paved the way to vic­to­ry in World War II and a brighter future for all.”

Run­ning time 28 minutes