HANASHI ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
“During the past several years I have heard many interesting stories and have met men who witnessed the Japanese Navy surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Seiji "Stud" Oshiro grew up only minutes from the U.S. Naval base and remembers the local people going to hide in the tropical jungle fearing a land invasion to follow. Dr. William Ito, a native Californian, left for Honolulu to practice medicine prior to the war because it was the only place that would accept him. Soon after the attack, injured civilians started pouring into his hospital for emergency medical treatment. Listening to them, I could only imagine what it must have been like to see through their eyes. But I know the thoughts that were going through their minds and the emotions racing through their hearts, because they told me, me and the video camera.”- Bobby Okinaka, Hanashi volunteer since 2000.
A typical Hanashi crew consists of four volunteers. The interviewer asks the questions. Preparation is key to being a good interviewer; research is required. The camera operator is responsible for the technical aspects of the shoot, including setting up all the equipment. A cataloger will write notes of the interview and the audio person monitors the sound levels. Most of the interviews are conducted in Southern California, but Hanashi also travels to various regions of the United States, including Hawaii, Washington, and East Coast cities. All travel expenses are provided through the Hanashi program.
Hanashi actively recruits volunteer crew members from various backgrounds and experiences. Volunteers are sought for several areas: interviewers, cataloguers, audio technicians and video camera operators. Those with experience in these areas or none at all are welcome. The Hanashi program seeks those with the desire to learn video production or interview techniques and the passion to meet and work with the veterans to understand their life experiences.
To help interested volunteers, training sessions are held in interview techniques and audio/visual production – providing all the tools volunteers need to preserve this important part of American history. Many of the Hanashi volunteers had no experience prior to joining Hanashi, but it didn’t take long before they became “veterans” themselves.
Those interested in receiving more information on the Hanashi program or to become a volunteer, please contact the Hanashi program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.