Skip to Content

We Came Back For You

Directed by Akira Boch, Taiji Terasaki
  • 2021
  • 7 mins

“We Came Back for You” is a film poem based on a poem by the same name by Satsuki Ina, a psychotherapist and activist who is one of the featured “heroes” in the exhibition, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders. The film features Ina reciting her poem over a montage of photographs of her during and after her incarceration during World War II, footage preserved in the archives of the Japanese American National Museum, and images of Ina’s current activism that connect the travesty of democracy then to the present-day crisis occurring on the U.S.-Mexico border, where immigrant refugee families are being separated and held in detention centers indefinitely.


About the Directors:

TAIJI TERASAKI is a Japanese American artist based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Growing up in a family of scientists and creatives, with a formal arts education, Terasaki has spent years exploring avant-garde innovations in his craft, working in photography, sculpture, immersive and large-scale installations, and pioneering mediums like mist projections as canvas. His cutting-edge presentations are often juxtaposed by the subjects of cultural and environmental conservation, preservation, and restoration. Terasaki made his public debut in 2017 with “REBIRTH” at Honolulu’s Ward Center, and Edible Landscapes for the Trillenium in conjunction with “Contact 3017: Hawai‘i in 1,000 Years” at Honolulu Museum of Art.

AKIRA BOCH is an award-winning filmmaker and the Director of the Watase Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. He has an MFA in Directing from the UCLA School of Film, TV, and Digital Media, and has made over 50 short films, documentaries, and music videos. His documentary, “Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience,” won an Emmy in the category of Arts Programming and is available on the PBS website. His feature film, “The Crumbles,” went on a nationwide tour of theaters, festivals, and universities, and is available on Amazon Prime Video. More of his work can be seen at


Putting Them Where They Can Do No Harm

Directed by Steve Nagano

Fletcher Bowron, former Mayor of Los Angeles, used his weekly radio show to indict Japanese people during World War II. His amazingly racist rhetoric was spewed over Los Angeles’s airwaves, fueling the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry. Now is the time to remove his name from the square that honors him.

Plays in

“Righting Civil Wrongs” Shorts Program

From the hot-button issue of Black reparations, to the racial reckoning of America leading to the re-examination of monuments to racist icons, to the role of Japanese Americans in using our experience to safeguard the rights of others similarly targeted by racial scapegoating, the “Righting Civil Wrongs” shorts programs utilizes history to inform the present.

Dates & Times