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The Japanese American Soldier in WWII
color of honor

The Color of Honor portrays the complex variety of responses of Japanese American men during WWII. While reviled and interned in their home country for their ethnic heritage, they were also confronted with the rise of fascism abroad. Some wanted to prove they were loyal Americans and fought bravely in the highly decorated all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Unit, which liberated European towns, even while their own families were virtually imprisoned in internment camps. Others served as secret Military Intelligence linguists using their deep understanding of the Japanese language to interrogate prisoners of war and intercept messages in the Asian Pacific theater of the war. And some felt they could not in good conscience serve in the U.S. Armed Forces as long as their families were "interned" in violation of the Constitution they were supposed to defend.

90 Minutes • Documentary • High School - Adult
Produced and Directed by Loni Ding, 1989

Shown in both houses of U. S. Congress for Japanese-American Redress /Reparations hearings

Broadcast Nationally on PBS


CINE Golden Eagle, Washington, D.C.

Screened at:
Smithsonian Institution (National Premiere)
Berlin International Film Festival
London International Film Festival
Kennedy Center, American Film Institute


"THE COLOR OF HONOR is an education for us all....Arouses many moral and legal questions, while also documenting a little-known aspect of our American history."
- Variety

"An artistic mosaic...Ding never preaches. She has given us the story of a people who, while often treated dishonorably, behaved with great honor."
-Hollywood Reporter

"Builds up considerable impact...The question rubbed in by this admirable program is why the nisei should have had to prove themselves better citizens than any other Americans."
-New York Times

"Ding brings the full power of the filmmaker's art to bear on the vast human injustice perpetrated during the war years...Her approach is neither didactic or preachy. THE COLOR OF HONOR stands as an important contribution to the history of the war effort. It is also a significant example of powerful documentary making. Ding is a master of her craft."
-San Francisco Examiner

Major Funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional Funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, California Council for the Humanities, Washington Commission for the Humanities, the Paul Robeson Fund, and the Women's Fund.

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