The Oath of the Sword
The Oath of the Sword
Image courtesy of the George Eastman Museum
Presented by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Made by the Los Angeles–based Japanese American Film Company, The Oath of the Sword, recently discovered at the George Eastman Museum by scholar Denise Khor, is considered the earliest known Asian American film production. Leaving his native Japan to study at UC Berkeley, Masao also leaves behind his lover Hisa, who is caring for her ailing father. As Masao becomes an athletic star at Berkeley, Hisa languishes in Japan; their reunion four years later, during which time Hisa has given birth to another man’s child, ends in tragedy. Remarkable location photography lends an air of realism to this once-lost treasure, seeing its world premiere at the Academy Museum and shown with live musical accompaniment by pianist, improviser, and composer Naomi Nakanishi.
Following the film, Renee Tajima-Peña, Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA, will moderate a panel discussion with Stephen Gong, Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM); Karen L. Ishizuka, Chief Curator at JANM; and Denise Khor, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and Visual Studies at Northeastern University.
Back to Main Series
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