Tomi and Billy talk story in a scene from "Under the Blood Red Sun."
Tomi (Kyler Sakamoto) and Billy (Kalama Epstein) talk story in a scene from “Under the Blood Red Sun.”

SAN JOSE — The Japanese American Museum of San Jose will present “Under the Blood Red Sun,” a dramatic feature film based on the popular novel by Graham Salisbury, on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 3:30 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 N. Fifth St. in San Jose Japantown.

Dec. 7, 1941: Tomikazu “Tomi” Nakaji (Kyler Sakamoto) and his best friend Billy Davis (Kalama Epstein) are playing baseball in a field near their homes in Hawaii when Japan launches a surprise attack on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor. As Tomi looks up at the sky and recognizes the blood-red sun emblem on the amber fighter planes, he knows that his life has changed forever.

Torn between his love of all things American and the traditional ways of his parents and grandpa (Dann Seki), Tomi feels frightened and ashamed of his native land. His friendship with Billy is soon tested as prejudice divides their island community. He must find the courage to stand up to neighborhood bully Keet Wilson (Bryce Moore), while protecting his family’s honor and its katana, a centuries-old samurai sword.

He is then forced to become the man of the family to care for Mama (Autumn Ogawa) and sister Kimi (Mina Kohara) after his Papa (Chris Tashima) is arrested and taken away to an internment camp.

Directed by Tim Savage, the film is produced by Dana Satler Hankins and features an award-winning cast, including Wil Kahele, Benen Weir, Shiro Kawai, Marco Lopez, Aidan James, Howard Bishop, Tom Holowach, Lisa Barnes and Greg Suenaga.

A Q&A session via Skype will follow with producer Hankins, whose credits include “The Tempest,” “Chief” and “Picture Bride,” and actor Tashima, whose credits include “Lil Tokyo Reporter,” “Model Minority” and “Visas and Virtue.”

Admission is free but donations are appreciated. To RSVP, call (408) 294-3138 or email

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Grampa (Dann Seki) stands up to the FBI in a scene from "Under the Blood Red Sun."
Grandpa (Dann Seki) stands up to the FBI in a scene from “Under the Blood Red Sun.”

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