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2018 Seattle Asian American Film Festival

An American Hero: Frank Nishimura

Directed by Shannon Gee

United States / 2016 / Animated, Documentary, Japanese American / 23 mins


The animated short film AN AMERICAN HERO: FRANK NISHIMURA tells the story of a World War II veteran and is based on the graphic novel “Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers,” written by Lawrence Matsuda and illustrated by Matt Sasaki. Frank grew up in Seattle where his family ran hotels, including the Puget Sound Hotel. With Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the expulsion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, the Nishimuras moved to Eastern Washington, avoiding imprisonment. Frank volunteered to join the U.S Army as part of the 442nd/100th Battalion, where he made new friends and strong connections. Frank saw heavy combat in France and Italy and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, French National Order of the Legion of Honor, and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Director's Bio

Shannon Gee is a broadcast production utility player at the Seattle Channel, Seattle’s government access channel. She is the interim general manager of the station, a senior producer, writer, editor and photographer for a number of award-winning programs. Prior to joining the Seattle Channel, Shannon was an independent producer of television documentaries for public television and cable. She also worked at KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS affiliate, and freelanced as a film writer for newspapers and web sites, including the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly,,, and The Stranger.


  1. Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii

    Don Sellers , Lucy Ostrander / United States / 2017 / Documentary, History, Japanese American / 54 mins
    PROOF OF LOYALTY: KAZUO YAMANE AND THE NISEI SOLDIERS OF HAWAII tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial role in World War II. Drafted just before the war, Kazuo became part of the renowned 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up entirely of Nisei from Hawaii. Their success was spectacular, but Kazuo was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of Japanese. His journey led him to the Pentagon, to a secret facility in northern Maryland, and finally to serving under Eisenhower in Europe. His incredible work was instrumental in shortening the war in the Pacific.

    Preceded by: An American Hero: Frank Nishimura

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