Japanese American Women

A Sense of Place

A film by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro and Leita Hagemann Luchetti

1992 | 28 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99227


The stereotype of the polite, docile, exotic Asian woman is shattered in this documentary in which a dozen women speak about their experiences as part of the "model minority." JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMEN explores the ambivalent feelings the women have both towards Japan and the United States. The underlying theme is the burden of being different, of being brought up “one of a kind” as opposed to growing up part of an ethnic community. An uneasy feeling prevails of being neither Japanese nor American, and the documentary ultimately becomes the story of Japanese American women and their search for a sense of place.


“**** Highly recommended. Excellent for colleges for courses in social studies, race relations.”

Video Rating Guide for libraries

“A valuable resource for college ethnic studies classes or workplace diversity training.”

Multicultural Review


Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro

Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro is a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and a 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Playwriting. Seven of her short plays have been in the Boston Theater Marathon, and eight were finalists in the National Ten-Minute Play Contest. Alfaro has also been involved in filmmaking as the writer and narrator of the documentary, Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place. The piece was directed by Leita Hagemann Luchetti and included as part of a Smithsonian Institution exhibit and aired by PBS in Seattle. (01/20)

Leita Hagemann Luchetti

Independent documentary filmmaker Leita Hagemann Luchetti received her M.F.A. in Film and Video from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her work includes several independent productions for public television, including Poetry Breaks and JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMEN: A SENSE OF PLACE. (1/08)

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