Maui Arts & Entertainment

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center Hosts Photographer

September 4, 2018, 4:02 PM HST
* Updated September 4, 9:09 AM
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Shane Sato, Photographer. PC: NVMC

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center will host a book-signing and talk by photographer Shane Sato who will present portraits and stories of Japanese-American WWII veterans.

The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. at the Maui Adult Day Care Center hall located on the NVMC campus, 665 Kahului Beach Rd, Kahului.

The talk is free and open to the public but donations are welcome. Space is limited.  Reservations can be made by calling (808) 244-6862.

A Los Angeles-based photographer and director, Sato has spent most of his career working in publicity and advertising with studios, celebrities, and personalities in the US and Asia.  For more than 30 years he has also worked in the Asian-American community photographing for movies, magazines, and events. Having Sansei and Nisei parents, one from Hawaiʻi and the other from the US mainland, has given him a unique perspective in his Japanese-American veteran series.

Over 18 years in the making, Sato’s coffee table book is a collection of poignant images of the Nisei who fought for America in WWII while America was concurrently forcing Japanese-Americans into internment camps.


Sato’s book captures one of America’s most compelling historical contradictions. The work contains portraits of over 80 Japanese-American WWII veterans and artistically captures the wide range of emotions Japanese-Americans felt after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Representatives with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center say Sato’s ability to bring forth personality in what are usually stoic subjects is touching. “Each portrait is an inspiring story of the lives of these veterans, accompanied by candid photos and a short personal story.”

Without writing a history book, Sato “talks story” to share the lives of the Nisei with future
generations in order to memorialize their accomplishments and history. “This portrait book is not just a glimpse into Japanese-American history; it is a triumphant story in American history,” according to the NVMC.

During his presentation, Sato will discuss the creation of the book, his ties to the Nisei community, and stories shared by the veterans during his photography sessions. A book-signing will follow the presentation and books are currently available for sale at the NVMC.


NVMC’s mission is to ignite the potential in people by inspiring them to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is a non-profit organization that “aspires to a world where people act selflessly for the greater good.” The NVMC owns and manages an inter-generational campus on Go For Broke Place in Kahului that serves as a home for Kansha Preschool, Maui Adult Day Care Center’s Oceanview facility, the Stanley Izumigawa Pavilion and the NVMC Education Center.

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