The incarceration of Japanese Americans in Hawaii during World War II was depicted in the Oct. 18 episode of NBC’s “Magnum, P.I.”
In “Appetite for Danger,” written by Eric Guggenheim and David Slack, Kumu (Amy Hill) and Cade (Martin Martinez), who are volunteering at a cultural center, conduct an oral history interview with George Nakamura (Sab Shimono), who was imprisoned as a young boy with his family at the Honouliuli camp on Oahu.
George reveals that after he was shipped to a mainland camp, he was separated from his sister and never saw her again. Kumu and Cade decide to help him find her.
Although the majority of Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not incarcerated, some community leaders, such as Japanese language school teachers and Buddhist ministers, were rounded up along with their families. Honouliuli, Hawaii’s largest and longest-operating internment camp, recently became a National Historic Site.
Hill and Shimono have worked together before, including on stage in the comedy “Wrinkles” at East West Players in 2011.
Two other Hawaii-based shows, the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot and “NCIS: Hawaii,” have also had episodes that addressed the Japanese American wartime experience.
In the same episode of “Magnum,” Katsumoto (Tim Kang) helps Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) investigate a missing-person case by going undercover as a chef at a high-end restaurant.
“Magnum,” a reboot of the 1980s show of the same name, ran for four seasons on CBS before being canceled, then was picked up by NBC. So far it has not been renewed for a sixth season.
Episodes can be viewed online at www.nbc.com.