Pictured at a Long Beach screening of “Lil Tokyo Reporter” on April 30 are (from left): Saeko Higa-Dickinson, translator of a book about Sei Fujii; Cindy Abrams, member of Little Tokyo Historical Society; Karen Chu, “Lil Tokyo Reporter” associate producer; Fumiko Carole Fujita, executive producer; Jeffrey Gee Chin, director; Keiko Shibata, event coordinator; Carolyn Midori Yano, president of Long Beach Pioneer Project; and actor Chris Tashima, who plays Fujii.
OXNARD — On Saturday, May 7, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Oxnard Public Library will host director Jeffrey Gee Chin, executive producer Fumiko Carole Fujita, and actor Eijiro Ozaki as they screen the historic struggles of Japanese American newspaper publisher Sei Fujii.
“Lil Tokyo Reporter” is inspired by the true story of this little-known but influential civil rights activist. He had many accomplishments over the years, such as helping to overturn the California Alien Land Law, which prevented non-citizens from owning homes. He was also instrumental in achieving a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed doctors to build a hospital in Boyle Heights to serve the Japanese community.
This award-winning short film focuses on his interpersonal journey to defend and promote the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Fujii had begun publishing a bilingual newspaper to help keep the growing immigrant community informed and to promote unity. He observed growing corruption from gambling interests that threatened the livelihood of the community and chose to confront the syndicate through his newspaper and radio program.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with the filmmakers. They will also read excerpts from a forthcoming biography about Fujii. The DVD will be available for purchase from the Friends of the Library Gift Shop.
This presentation is free and will begin at 3 p.m. in Meeting Room B of the Oxnard Main Library, 251 S. “A” St. For further information, call (805) 385-7532 or visit www.oxnardlibrary.net.