Celebrate the release of “A Rebel’s Outcry,” the award-winning biography of civil rights leader Sei Fujii, with a special 10th anniversary screening of the short film “Lil Tokyo Reporter” and a discussion around the biography on Saturday, Sept. 3, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, First Street and Central Avenue in Little Tokyo.
The conversation will include filmmaker and publisher Jeffrey Gee Chin, Academy Award-winner Chris Tashima, and actress Keiko Agena.
This program is presented in partnership with the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS).
“A Rebel’s Outcry” is available in the JANM Store.
Free; suggested donation is $10. To RSVP for the event (in-person or virtual), go to: https://www.janm.org/events/2022-09-03/author-conversation-rebels-outcry-biography-issei-civil-rights-leader-sei-fujii
About the book: “A Rebel’s Outcry: Biography of Issei Civil Rights Leader Sei Fujii (1882-1954)” is an illustrated biography and detailed look into the life of Japanese American civil rights leader Sei Fujii, known for overturning the California Alien Land Law in 1952 and founding the Japanese American newspaper Kashu Mainichi (California Daily News). His complex history reveals his intriguing journey as an immigrant, social justice activist, unionizer, and community leader. Fujii’s story exemplifies the multitude of ways Americans have and may continue to fight for our civil rights.
The official biography is the source material written by author Kenichi Sato and was commissioned by manager Junko Maruya of Kashu Mainichi. Following the work by Sato, LTHS conducted over ten years of extensive research, including interviews with countless community members and Fujii’s family, and visiting his ancestral samurai home in the Takamori Village of Iwakuni. Publication of this book is sponsored by MUFG Union Bank, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and the George and Sakaye Aratani Community Advancement Research Endowment.
Jeffrey Gee Chin directs narratives on early immigrant communities in the U.S. He is best known for his award-winning dramatic short “Lil Tokyo Reporter,” which received over 21 film awards and screened internationally at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo. He was mentored by the late director John Singleton. He also has been featured on “Good Morning America” and at the Walt Disney Family Museum, edited an Emmy-nominated SFGovTV program, and supervised VFX for Student Academy Award finalist “Drone.” He directed a heist film in India, “Mosagallu,” starring Suniel Shetty and Kajal Aggarawal, and also published his first book, “A Rebel’s Outcry,” which has already won two gold medal awards.
Chris Tashima is a veteran actor who has played generational Japanese American roles in award-winning indie films like “Model Minority,” “Under the Blood Red Sun,” and “Go For Broke.” You can see him next in “No No Girl” from Yonsei writer/director Paul Goodman (opens theatrically in September). Tashima is most recognized as the Oscar-winning director of “Visas and Virtue,” a short film he also stars in as Holocaust rescuer Chiune Sugihara.
Keiko Agena is best known for her series regular roles on the shows “Prodigal Son,” where she played Dr. Edrisa Tanaka, and “Gilmore Girls,” where she played Lane Kim for seven years. She also reprised the role in Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls: Seasons.” As an improviser she’s performed at UCB Sunset/NY and IO West and is a recent addition to the main company of Impro Theatre. In between, Agena has been a series regular on Hulu’s “The First” and recurring on “Better Call Saul,” “Dirty John” and “13 Reasons Why.” As a guest star she has appeared on such shows as “Shameless,” “Scandal” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” to name a few. She recently published an artist workbook titled “No Mistakes” through Penguin/Random House, which is available wherever books are sold.