Home National museum The Japanese American National Museum uses modern technology to tell personal stories of the hardships of Japanese WWII internment camps

The Japanese American National Museum uses modern technology to tell personal stories of the hardships of Japanese WWII internment camps

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DOWNTOWN LA (KABC) — A new exhibit in downtown Los Angeles uses modern technology to tell personal stories of the hardships endured in Japanese internment camps.

The visitors of National Japanese American Museum on Central Avenue will receive a grim education about the camps that forced many American citizens to be incarcerated during World War II.

It’s a new way to see and experience the sad history of the camps, with augmented reality bringing viewers closer to the struggle that so many Japanese-Americans faced.

“My mother ran a hotel. My family lost everything because they had to leave the hotel,” said Michi Tanioka, a camp survivor.

Most were just children 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 ordinary life and the events of the past,” Fujihata said.

Augmented reality allows visitors to walk through history, and exhibit organizers feel it can change perspectives.

“You see incredible photographs, remarkable for their scale and the power they have,” said UCLA professor Michael Emmerich.

The old cameras that took these photos are also there to view, which are further reminders of this sad chapter in American history.

“It’s an American story, they had their struggles, they didn’t give up on their American dream, it was their home,” said June Aochi Berk, another camp survivor.

For many, the wounds have healed, but there are scars.

Now they can be seen, and maybe even felt, in ways the exhibit organizers hope they will remember.

For more information visit the National Japanese American Museum website.

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