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.

Apple Podcasts
Pocket Casts
Google Podcasts
Radio Public

Podcast Trailer:

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.

Coming March 5



Ray Locker 
Rob Buscher


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

Learn more about life at Heart Mountain: