The true, sad events surrounding actor Otto Yamaoka; “Kashimo” from Chan film, The Black Camel.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066: The President Authorizes Japanese Relocation, (February 19, 1942)

Otto Yamaoka & Spencer Tracy

Actor Otto Yamaoka was an American citizen, born 1904 in Seattle, WA. Until the 1940s he had a successful career in film, staring in no less than 31 films. He would act in some film classics: The letter (1940), Thin Ice (1937), Libeled Lady (1936), alongside some distinguished actors: Betty Davis, Herbert Marshall, Tyrone Powell, Arthur Treacher, Alan Hale, Jean Harlow, William Powell, Spencer Tracy. Perhaps though, he’s most recognized cast alongside Warner Oland, Bela Lugosi, and Robert Young in The Black Camel (1931.) Granted many were bit-parts, often uncredited, but not all. Yet, despite his U.S. birth and success in films, the same xenophobia that seems to grip America today would affect him and his sister Iris for the rest of their lives.

Follow the below link to a short one-page blog “Meet Iris and Otto Yamaoka” (April 2014) by Adrienne at her blog People of Color (POC) in Classic Film. The blog is dedicated to “those who made contributions to (particularly, but not exclusively) American film and television between the Silent Era and 1980.” While, Adrienne ended her POC blogs September 2015, I thought this entry still relevant today: http://pocinclassicfilm.blogspot.com/2014/04/meet-otto-and-iris-yamaoka.html

Last, I recommend this stirring article “My Only Crime is my Face,” 1943, by Mary Oyama, Liberty Magazine (3 pages). It is a first-hand account by the Los Angeles American journalist, of her own “evacuation” to the Heart Mountain relocation center in Wyoming.

“Suspicion is a wicked thing” (Charlie Chan, Behind That Curtain, 1928, Chap 15)

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