Hapa Yonsei Productions was started by Kimiko Marr with the goal of making interesting and informative documentaries about historical and cultural subjects. It began with her researching her family tree and became the desire to tell the story of her family’s incarceration during WWII.
Kimiko was born in the San Francisco Bay area to a third generation Japanese American mother and a father of Scottish/English heritage, thus making her “hapa” or half. Being fourth generation (or yonsei) and half Japanese American meant that she was far removed from her Japanese ancestry and traditions. When she was 6 her family moved to Missouri where there were almost no other Asians (Japanese or otherwise) and she had little opportunity to see or experience Japanese culture.
Despite not being raised with Japanese traditions or language, she always knew about her family being incarcerated during WWII. At the beginning of every American History class she would always flip to the WWII section to see what was written about the camps. Usually there would be a paragraph that talked about the camps and the military service of the Japanese Americans and that was it. As she got older she would always be amazed at how little people knew about what happened during the war. It was this lack of knowledge and understanding that inspired the production of a documentary that would educate all Americans about our shared history.