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The award-winning documentary "Great Grandfather's Drum" celebrates Japanese-American culture and history in Hawai'i. It is an inspiring century-long story of struggle and success in the greatest American tradition, of labor on Hawaii's sugar plantations, patriotic heroism during World War II, and helping to create statehood for Hawai'i. The story unfolds through an intimate and joyful portrait of Maui Taiko, a contemporary Japanese-American drum ensemble, descendants of plantation workers, and as told by elders who lived this history. Kay Fukumoto and her family formed Maui Taiko to continue the tradition of Obon Taiko music brought to Hawai'i from Fukushima, Japan by her great grandfather and others a century ago. Experience Maui Taiko's dynamic performances on the giant drums, and travel with them on a heartfelt journey back to Fukushima to seek their ancestral roots. These families handed down taiko traditions through five generations in Hawai'i. Taiko is a living part of their community today. Americans of Japanese ancestry are one of the largest ethnic groups in Hawai'i. The film was first broadcast on PBS Hawai'i, it has named an Official Selection at the 2011 Yamagata Film Festival in Japan (the largest documentary film festival in Asia), at the 2012 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival, and has been honored with a 2011 Telly Award and 2011 Aurora Award.—Cal Lewin


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