LONG BEACH — A book event for “A Rebel’s Outcry” and screening of “Lil Tokyo Reporter” will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Japanese Cultural Center, 1766 Seabright Ave.
“A Rebel’s Outcry” is an illustrated biography of Issei civil rights leader Sei Fujii (1882-1954), 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, a social justice activist, unionizer, and a community leader. Fujii’s story exemplifies the multitude of ways Americans have and may continue to fight for civil rights.
The source material is the official biography of Fujii written by author Kenichi Sato and commissioned by manager Junko Maruya of Kashu Mainichi. Following the work by Sato, the Little Tokyo Historical Society conducted over ten years of extensive research, including interviews with countless community members and Fujii’s family, and visiting his ancestral samurai home in Takamori Village of Iwakuni. Publication of this book is sponsored by Union Bank, UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the George and Sakaye Aratani Community Advancement Research Endowment.
“Lil Tokyo Reporter” (2012), an award-winning short film directed and co-written by Jeffrey Gee Chin, is set in 1935. Fujii, played by Chris Tashima (who can currently be seen in “No No Girl”), is concerned about the exploitation of the poor by local gambling concerns and puts his own life at risk when he confronts the gangsters. The cast includes Keiko Agena, Eijiro Ozaki and Ikuma Ando.
The LBJCC event will feature Agena (“Better Call Saul,” “Gilmore Girls”), who will read from “A Rebel’s Outcry,” and filmmaker/publisher Chin.
On the Web: www.lbjcc.org, www.littletokyohs.org