“Allegiance” “. . . is an American story that has such grave contemporary importance today when we live in a time that is convulsed with division.” — Actor George Takei
“Allegiance” “. . . is an American story that has such grave contemporary importance today when we live in a time that is convulsed with division.” — Actor George Takei

“Allegiance” Lead George Takei Discusses the Musical’s Broader Message

Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Actor and civil rights activist George Takei said the story of the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned behind barbed wire fences and guard towers in the months following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor because they looked like the enemy is relevant today “. . . when we have an ignorant, reckless president who is repeating the same thing all over again.”

Takei was in Honolulu on Nov. 4 to honor Nisei veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team — only one Nisei veteran, Ted Tsukiyama, attended the program at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. Takei also used the opportunity to promote the return screening of the film version of the Broadway musical, “Allegiance.” It will be shown in 600 movie theaters throughout the mainland U.S. and Hawai‘i on Thursday, Dec. 7.

“Allegiance” is based on the real life experiences of Takei’s family during World War II. The future actor was 5 years old when his family was uprooted from their Los Angeles home and sent to Arkansas, where they were imprisoned in Rohwer Relocation Center.

The musical opened on Broadway in October 2015 and ran for five months. Takei starred in the production along with Tony Award-winning actor Lea Salonga. Prior to its closing, the musical was videotaped for later screening in movie theaters.

Gregg K. Kakesako worked for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Gannett News Service and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for more than four decades as a government, political and military affairs reporter and assistant city editor.

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