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Podcast: Look Toward the Mountain

Look Toward the Mountain podcast imagery

Our brand new podcast, Look Toward the Mountain, tells the stories of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. Told through a combination of archival recordings, written accounts, and contemporary interviews, each episode delves into specific topics demonstrating the innovation, creativity, and resilience that enabled the Japanese American community to endure this unjust ordeal.

Philadelphia JACL Board Chair and Japanese American filmmaker Rob Buscher hosts and produces the podcast.

Listen & Subscribe:

Listen below or subscribe on the following platforms, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Podcast Trailer:


BONUS Episodes:

Thanks to the support of the Embassy of Japan in the United States, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is presenting a special three-episode series exploring the Japanese American experience beyond Heart Mountain, and our relationship to Japan.

Issei Pioneers of the Old West


The first bonus episode tells the stories of Japanese immigrants who achieved great success in the California agriculture industry, others who settled rural parts of the West as railroad laborers or miners, and the undercurrent of racism and xenophobia that ultimately restricted further immigration after 1924.

Listen to this bonus episode:

Something Lost and Something Found


The second bonus episode explores the postwar resettlement of Japanese Americans. Some kept their heads down and tried to assimilate into the broader society while others turned to activism that would birth the pilgrimage movement, that would ultimately help fuel a national reckoning with the injustice of wartime incarceration.

Listen to this bonus episode:

Who We Are Today


The third bonus episode explores how Japanese American identity has been shaped by our connections to, and relationship with Japan and Japanese culture.

Listen to this bonus episode:


SERIES ONE:

Japanese Issei immigrants arriving in the United States

Episode 1:

Who We Were Before


The inaugural episode explores the stories of Issei Japanese immigrants, and the communities they and their American born children established on the west coast prior to WWII.

Listen to Episode 1:


Heart Mountain confinement site at the beginning of the war

Episode 2:

What Is This Place?


The second episode explores the Big Horn Basin of northwestern Wyoming and the people who called it home before the Japanese Americans arrived.

Listen to Episode 2:


Episode 3:

A New Normal


The third episode explores the routines and coping strategies that Japanese Americans adapted during the first months of incarceration as they began adjusting to their new circumstances living behind barbed wire at Heart Mountain.

Listen to Episode 3:


Podcast episode 4 Prison Food imagery

Episode 4:

Prison Food


The fourth episode explores how the Japanese American incarcerated at Heart Mountain coped with the distasteful army rations they confronted when they first arrived in camp, and the important role that food played in their daily lives during the incarceration.

Listen to Episode 4:


Episode 5:

Commerce in the Camp


The fifth episode explores how the 10,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated at Heart Mountain developed their own prison economy, with incarceree-run businesses that helped make life inside camp into something that resembled their past lives on the West Coast.

Listen to Episode 5:


Episode 6:

Organizing Resistance


The sixth episode explores how the Japanese American tradition of organizing evolved in camp to become a powerful resistance movement that dominated much of the Heart Mountain experience in its later years.

Listen to Episode 6:


Episode 7:

Doing Their Bit


The seventh episode explores the many ways Heart Mountain incarcerees demonstrated their loyalty to the United States, and how they supported the war effort from behind barbed wire.

Listen to Episode 7:


Episode 8:

Crime and Punishment


The eighth episode explores how the 10,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated at Heart Mountain established their own system of self-governance, complete with elected officials, a legal system, and police force to maintain the law and order within the prison camp.

Content warning: sexual assault

Listen to Episode 8:


Episode 9:

The Artists


The ninth episode examines the dozens of professional and amateur artists who emerged from Heart Mountain with compelling bodies of work that informed their later careers. And almost 75 years after the end of the incarceration, a fight over the future of art made in camp would help define a new wave of Japanese American activism.

Listen to Episode 9:


Sports and Leisure podcast episode imagery

Episode 10:

Sports and Leisure


The tenth episode looks at how the Heart Mountain incarcerees embraced both modern American and traditional Japanese types of entertainment and sports in camp. Although this helped Japanese Americans endure their time as prisoners and brought different people together inside the camp, it was also part of the government’s plan to assimilate them into the broader American society in the postwar era.

Listen to Episode 10:


Credits:

Writers: 

Ray Locker 
Rob Buscher

Producer/Editor/Host: 

Rob Buscher

Theme Song and Original Soundtrack Music: 

Rob Buscher

Voice Over Casting:

Darrell Kunitomi

Guest Interviews: 

  • Shirley Ann Higuchi

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Ted Hamachi
  • Takashi Hoshizaki
  • Bill Hosokawa
  • John Nakada
  • Nobu Shimokichi
  • Bill Shishima
  • Donald Yamamoto
  • George Yoshinaga

Voice Overs: 

  • Erin Aoyama – Mary Oyama Mittwer 
  • Karen Huie – SF Chronicle Woman
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Austin Anson, SF Chronicle Man, Yosaburo Yoshida
  • Marcelo Tubert – President Millard Fillmore 
  • Prentiss Uchida – Issei Man
  • Lee Wochner – General John DeWitt

Music Samples: 

  • Aloha Oe, Queen Liliuokalani 
  • Sakura Sakura, Tokyo Records
  • Shin Tokyo Ondo, Victor Records
  • Tanko Bushi, Masao Suzuki

Sound Effects: 

  • Bevibeldesign – Angry Mob Loop
  • CGEffex – Pirate Ship at Bay
  • Craig Smith – Men Yell Riot, Throwing Junk at Doors
  • Fillmat – Crowd Mob Riot Noises
  • Lewente – Industrial ambience 
  • Martin Sadoux – Train on the Platform
  • Mediaman57 – Loud Knock on Door
  • Omar Alvarado – Three canon shots
  • RTB45 – Kamakura Wedding Music
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv
  • Standard Radio – Bugle Calls
  • Squeeb – Submarine
  • Visualasylum – Hammering Metal Spikes

Audio Samples: 

  • Attack on Pearl Harbor, Castle Films

Guest Interviews: 

  • Jeremy Johnston

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Bill Hosokawa
  • Kara Kondo

Voice Overs: 

  • Erin Aoyama – Miwako Oana
  • Debra De Liso – Powell Tribune Woman
  • Soji Kashiwagi – Governor Ralph Carr
  • Keiko Kawashima – Amy Uno Ishii
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Nels Smith, Powell Tribune Ma, Ray Uno

Music Samples: 

  • Cowboy Joe, FA Mills
  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain, Vernon Dalhart

Sound Effects: 

  • Benbojangles – Desert Binaural Wind
  • BOBtheROSS – Coughing
  • Craig Smith – Classic Western Rifle, Metal Hand Tools on Stone
  • Danjocross – Morning in Kansas
  • David Tolar – Rubber Hammer
  • DBlover – Howling Wind Ambience
  • Diboz – Pistol Ricochet 
  • JoelAudio – Wood Saw Short
  • LeandiViljoen – Horses Whinnying
  • Lefthandwinnie – Horsewagon Steady Wheel
  • Markedit – Train Upon Us
  • Plantmonkey – Woodland Stream March
  • Tim Kahn – Wind in Some Italian Mountains
  • Roulaine – Mixing Concrete
  • Scholzn – Thunder in the Mountains
  • Tayingalive – Landslide
  • Timbre – Distant Hollywood Western Rifle

Audio Samples: 

  • Navy Beats Army, Pathe Gazette

Guest Interviews: 

  • Nancy Ukai 
  • Duncan Ryuken Williams

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Ted Hamachi
  • Bill Hosokawa
  • Toshi Nakamori Ito
  • Kara Kondo
  • Mits Koshiyama
  • Jack Kunitomi
  • Marjorie Matsushita
  • Richard Murakami
  • John Nakada
  • Nobu Shimokichi

Voice Overs: 

  • Erin Aoyama – Miharu Kawaguchi
  • Debra De Liso – Velma Berryman Kessell
  • Haruye Ioka – Sentinel Woman
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Stanley Hayami 
  • Domingo Magwili – CE Rachford, Chase Friend, Nisei Man
  • Sachiko – Sentinel Editorial 
  • Marcelo Tubert – John McCloy
  • Ping Wu – Allen Hendershott Eaton, Sentinel Man

Music Samples: 

  • Army Bugle Calls No 1, Sousa’s Cornet and Trumpet Section
  • Tanko Bushi, Masao Suzuki 
  • White Christmas, Irving Berlin

Sound Effects: 

  • Abcopen – Childrens’ Classroom 
  • Fillmat – Crowd Mob Riot Noises
  • Michaela Stranska – School Bell
  • Qubodup – Gathering Stone Resources
  • Seatlanta00 – 8mm Projector
  • Vitouliss – Sound of Testing in a Math Class
  • Wobesound – Harvest Sounds

Guest Interviews: 

  • Emily Anderson
  • Brian Kito

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Frank Emi 
  • Ike Hatchimonji
  • Bacon Sakatani 
  • Margaret Saito
  • Suzie Sakai
  • Bill Shishima
  • Eiichi Sakauye
  • Jimi Yamaichi
  • Yuriko Yamamoto

Oral History Courtesy of Frank Abe Collection: 

  • Kats Kunitsugu

Voice Overs: 

  • Haruye Ioka – Sentinel Woman
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Dillon Myer, Nisei Man, Tad Ito
  • Ping Wu – Sentinel Man

Music Samples: 

  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings
  • I Like Pie I Like Cake, Edwin J. McEnelly’s Orchestra 
  • Prohibition Blues, Clayton McMichen

Sound Effects: 

  • 7778 – Roaring House Fire
  • Ambientsoundapp – Seagulls Distant
  • Benboncan – Chopping and Frying an Onion
  • Cynthia_1968 – Cooking Sizzling Meatloaf 
  • InspectorJ – Construction Jackhammer Excavator 
  • Josh Barry – Ocean Waves Hitting Bow
  • LG – Stir Fry 07
  • Michieldb.nl – Large Cargo Ship Passing
  • Omar Alvarado – Three canon shots
  • Plantmonkey – Woodland Stream March
  • Rivernile7 – Sauce Boiling
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv
  • TiredHippo – Ocean Cruise Liner Ship
  • Tyronew – Food Frying

Guest Interviews: 

  • Brian Kito
  • Sam Mihara
  • Dr. Yoosun Park

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • George Hanada
  • Toshi Nagamori Ito
  • Mits Koshiyama
  • John Nakada
  • Suzie Sakai
  • Bacon Sakatani
  • Kazuo Shiroyama
  • Bill Shishima
  • Shig Yabu
  • George Yoshinaga

Voice Overs: 

  • Debra De Liso – WRA Photo Caption
  • Keiko Kawashima – Sentinel Woman
  • Dian Kobayashi – Sugar Beet Association
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Guy Robertson
  • Ryan Moriarty – WRA Study
  • Prentiss Uchida – George Ishiyama

Music Samples: 

  • Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, Al Jolson
  • Oh! Oh! Oh!, Ray Miller Orchestra
  • Red Hot Henry Brown, Ray Miller Orchestra

Sound Effects: 

  • CGEffex – Old Police Siren
  • David J Woll – Cymbal Roll Quiet
  • DBlover – Howling Wind Ambience
  • Estupe – Soundscape Dining Room
  • Kd_jack – Cell Door
  • Lensflare – Shotgun Sounds
  • Rutger Muller – Tires Squeaking
  • Stomachache – Apollonia Organ

Guest Interviews: 

  • Duncan Ryuken Williams

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Frank Emi
  • Takashi Hoshizaki
  • Mits Koshiyama
  • Bill Shishima
  • Shig Yabu
  • Yuriko Yamamoto
  • George Yoshinaga

Oral History Courtesy of Frank Abe Collection: 

  • Fred Hirasuna
  • Jimmie Omura

Voice Overs: 

  • Erin Aoyama – Loyalty Questionnaire 
  • Alberto Isaac – Curtis Munson, Jack Tono
  • Soji Kashiwagi – Yosh Kuromiya, Zaishin Mukushina
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Judge Kennedy, Mike Masaoka, Guy Robertson
  • Emily Kuroda – Sentinel Woman
  • Brian Nelson – Earl Warren
  • Shaun Shimoda-Kobayashi – Takeo Teragawa
  • Kipp Shiotani – Nisei Man

Music Samples: 

  • Fly Away, The Thelonious Drunks
  • Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo, Taisen Deshimaru
  • Sakura Ondo, Katsutaro Kouta
  • Stars and Stripes Forever, John Philip Sousa
  • Tokokuji Temple Hogaku Taiko, Heart Sutra Mantras

Sound Effects: 

  • Craig Smith – Men Yell Riot
  • Kd_jack – Cell Door
  • Kyles – Police Whistle
  • Markystar – Loud Japanese Diner
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv

Guest Interviews: 

  • Darrell Kunitomi

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Kara Kondo 
  • Mits Koshiyama
  • Ernest Uno

Oral History Courtesy of Frank Abe Collection: 

  • Art Hansen
  • Paul Tsuneishi

Voice Overs: 

  • Jon Amirkhan – Captain CK Fink 
  • Jason Fong – Clarence Matsumura, Fred Yamamoto
  • Haruye Ioka – Sentinel Woman 
  • Alberto Isaac – Walter Hayami 
  • Darrell Kunitomi – Army Dispatch, Bonds Drive, John Kitasako, Mike Masaoka, Senator Daniel Inouye, Sentinel Man, Ted Fujioka, Yosh Kuromiya
  • Emily Kuroda – Yumi Sato 
  • Tim Lounibos – Al Saijo, Sentinel Loan Drive, Stanley Hayami
  • Jeanne Sakata – Okubo Military Citation, Sentinel Woman
  • Kipp Shiotani – Bill Hosokawa, Sentinel Man
  • Ping Wu – Sentinel Man

Music Samples: 

  • Anchors Aweigh, Regimental Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards
  • Any Bonds Today, Gene Autry 
  • Army Air Corps, Robert MacArthur Crawford
  • Buy Buy Bonds, Bing Crosby 
  • Goodbye Mama (I’m Off to Yokohama), J. Fred Coats
  • Over Their, George M. Cohan
  • Stars and Stripes Forever, John Philip Sousa 
  • We’ll Meet Again, Vera Lynn

Sound Effects: 

  • Deleted_user_7146007 – Machine Gun Shooting
  • Dnlburnett – Taxi Protest Distant 
  • Kennysvoice – Sniper Rifle M24 SFX
  • Kinoton – Explosion, Medium Blast
  • Ljudman – Grenade
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv

Audio Samples: 

  • Asian Pacific Americans Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor, C-SPAN
  • Japanese-Americans, Army-Navy Screen Magazine
  • “Lost Battalion” Returns, The American Way
  • Trapped Battalion Returns, United News

Guest Interviews: 

  • Dr. Yoosun Park

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Ike Hatchimonji
  • John Hayakawa
  • Donald Yamamoto

Voice Overs: 

  • Jon Amirkhan – Robert Griffin
  • Erin Aoyama – Hazel Roberts
  • Michael Hagiwara – Sentinel Man
  • Karen Huie – Sentinel Woman
  • Debra De Liso – WRA Guidelines
  • Wes Mann – Circular 19
  • Merv Maruyama – Nisei Man
  • Ryan Moriarty – CE Rachford
  • Trey Nichols – Asael Hanson 
  • Helen Ota – Setsuko Matsunaga
  • Kipp Shiotani – Jim Murphy
  • Marceolo Tubert – WRA Bulletin

Music Samples: 

  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings

Sound Effects: 

  • 7778 – Roaring House Fire
  • Craig Smith – Throwing Junk at Doors
  • Dnlburnett – Taxi Protest Distant 
  • Mateo Masaki Buscher – Baby Virgie 
  • Smartsanim – Fight Straggling 
  • Syzmbark – Fire Truck
  • TheFilmLook – Melon Stabs
  • Themfish – Woman Scream

Guest Interviews: 

  • Delphine Hirasuna
  • Nancy Ukai
  • Duncan Ryuken Williams

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Bacon Sakatani
  • Bill Shishima

Voice Overs: 

  • Karen Huie – Sentinel First Exhibit, Janice Mirikitani 
  • Emily Kuroda – Sentinel Woman, Models
  • Tim Lounibos – Allen Hendershott Eaton
  • Wes Mann – Harold Bottrell 
  • Aura Newlin – Sentinel Woman, Powell Exhibit

Music Samples: 

  • Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo, Taisen Deshimaru
  • On The Way To Monterey, Ray Miller Orchestra
  • Shin Tokyo Ondo, Victor Records
  • Struggling, Johnny Dodds Trio

Sound Effects: 

  • Michaela Stranska – School Bell
  • Standard Radio – Bugle Calls
  • Vitouliss – Sound of Testing in a Math Class

Audio Samples: 

  • The Deputy Dawg Show, Terrytoons
  • Hashimoto-san, Terrytoons 
  • Take Five, The Dave Brubeck Quartet Live in Germany 1966
  • Thomas the Tank Engine, Mr. Conductor’s Whistle

Guest Interviews: 

  • Erin Aoyama 
  • Darrell Kunitomi 
  • Sam Mihara
  • Yoosun Park
  • Bradford Pearson

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Bill Shishima
  • Frank Sumida
  • George Yoshinaga

Voice Overs: 

  • Erin Aoyama – Kara Kondo 
  • Tim Lounibos – Jimmie Akiya 
  • Jenny Murano – Michiko Iseri 
  • Kipp Shiotani – Sentinel Sports Section

Music Samples: 

  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings 
  • Koiwa Umibe De, Mitsuko Watanabe
  • Let’s Get Going, Jack Kruger Swing Band
  • My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Felix Mendelssohn & His Hawaiian Serenaders
  • Shame, Jack Kruger Swing Band
  • Swing Along With Me, Buddy Johnson and His Band
  • Tokyo Koshinkyoku, Chiyako Sato
  • Tomi-tomi, Felix Mendelssohn & His Hawaiian Serenaders

Sound Effects: 

  • Anotherotaryfatum – Football
  • Ashfox – Walla Ballpark Organ Take Me Out To The Ball Game
  • Emirdemiriel – Improvisation on Major Scale Trumpet
  • Fattirewhitey – Basketball Ambience Small Gym
  • Rtb45 – Ueno Park Tokyo Baseball Warm-up
  • Seatlanta00 – 8mm Projector
  • Tritus – Nagoya Baseball

Audio Samples: 

  • Buck Rogers Serial Theme, Universal Pictures
  • Gene Autry Theme, Flying A Pictures 
  • Karan Koron to Geta no Oto, Maruya Footwear Store

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Paul Bannai
  • Bill Hosokawa
  • Ben Kuroki
  • Frank Miyamoto
  • Brian Nelson
  • Kay Uno 
  • Chester Tanaka
  • Takashi Yamashita
  • Homer Yasui

Voice Overs: 

  • Darrell Kunitomi – Emperor Meiji, Issei Passage, Tokugawa Edict, 
  • Tim Lounibos – Kumeo Yoshinari
  • Wes Mann – Denis Kearney 
  • Merv Maruyama – Kiyoshi Kawamura

Music Samples: 

  • Blue Waters, Hilo Hawaiian Orchestra
  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings
  • My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Felix Mendelssohn & His Hawaiian Serenaders
  • Sakura Ondo, Katsutaro Kouta

Sound Effects: 

  • 7778 – Roaring House Fire
  • Benbojangles – Desert Binaural Wind
  • Bevibeldesign – Angry Mob Loop
  • Bigpickle51 – Bearcat Very Low Overhead 
  • Craig Smith – Men Yell Riot
  • Fillmat – Crowd Mob Riot Noises
  • Omar Alvarado – Three canon shots
  • Roulaine – Mixing Concrete
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv
  • Visualasylum – Hammering Metal Spikes
  • Xserra – Erhu 2

Guest Interviews: 

  • Masaru Ed Nakawatase
  • William Marutani

Oral History Courtesy of Densho: 

  • Robert Nakamura
  • Bill Nishimura
  • Jim Matsuoka
  • Bacon Sakatani
  • Marianne West
  • Jimi Yamaichi
  • George Yoshinaga

Voice Overs: 

  • Darrell Kunitomi – Spark Matsunaga 
  • Emily Kuroda – Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
  • Jeanne Sakata – Sue Kunitomi Embrey
  • Kipp Shiotani – Todd Endo

Music Samples: 

  • DeFord Bailey Harmonica Recordings
  • Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo, Taisen Deshimaru

Sound Effects: 

  • Adam-n – Blustery Quiet
  • Bevibeldesign – Angry Mob Loop
  • CGEffex – Old Police Siren
  • DBlover – Howling Wind Ambience
  • Dnlburnett – Taxi Protest Distant 
  • Eflexmusic – Exploding Car with Fire
  • Roulaine – Mixing Concrete
  • Rutger Muller – Koto Improv

Guest Interviews: 

  • Erin Aoyama
  • Kristy Ishii
  • Seiko Kikuta
  • Darrell Kunitomi
  • Sheldon Marumoto
  • Jason Matsumoto
  • Yukari Mikesell
  • Floyd Mori
  • Masaru Ed Nakawatase
  • Miru Osuga
  • Prentiss Uchida

Look Toward the Mountain is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is provided through the support of the Embassy of Japan in the United States.


Learn more about life at Heart Mountain: