Tuesday, January 31

New exhibit in DTLA uses modern technology to tell personal stories of hardships endured in WWII Japanese internment camps

DOWNTOWN LA (KABC) — A new exhibit in Downtown Los Angeles is using modern technology to tell personal stories of the hardships endured in Japanese internment camps. Museum visitors will get a somber education about the camps that forced many U-S citizens to be incarcerated during the Second World War. It is a new way to see and experience the sad history of the camps, with augmented reality bringing viewers closer to the struggle so many Japanese Americans faced.

“My mother was running a hotel. My family lost everything because she had to give up the hotel,” said Michi Tanioka, camp survivor.

Survivors share their stories at the Japanese American National Museum in Downtown LA. Most were just kids when they were forced into the camps during World War II. Artist Masaki Fujihata used old photos and new technology to bring their stories to life.

“It’s really important to give the visitor a new experience. The experience means the contrast between the ordinary life the happenings in the past,” said Fujihata.

The augmented reality allows visitors to walk into the history and exhibit organizers feel it can change perspectives.

“You see incredible photography remarkable in their scale and the power they have,” said UCLA Professor Michael Emmerich.

The old cameras that took these pictures are also here to see… more reminders of this sad chapter in American history.

“It is an American story, they had their hardships they didn’t give up on their American Dream, this was their home,” said June Aochi Berk, camp survivor.

For many the wounds have healed; but there are still scars. And now they can be seen, and maybe even felt, in ways exhibit organizers hope will be remembered.

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