What Did You Do in the War, Mama? Kochiyama's Crusaders 

This film honors The Crusaders. Led by budding activist, Yuri Kochiyama, women incarcerated in WWII Japanese American internment camps launched a letter-writing campaign to boost the morale of Japanese American soldiers.


Chong Lee


Marlan Warren

Production Notes from IMDbPro

Status: Post-production | See complete list of  »
Updated: 19 January 2018
More Info: See more production information about this title on IMDbPro.




Credited cast:
Ruth Hirose Ishizaki Ruth Hirose Ishizaki ... Herself
Rinko Enosaki Rinko Enosaki ... Herself
Patricia Goto Takeshita Patricia Goto Takeshita ... Herself
Wesley Cayabyab ... Actor - Reads Letter from a Soldier (voice)
Jean Franco Jean Franco ... Actor performs monologue adapted from letter of Japanese American soldier
Ariel Labasan ... Herself - Interviewee
Chanelle Yang Chanelle Yang ... Herself - Actress plays the role of Mary Nakahara in 2009 stage performance.
Jean Franco Jean Franco ... Soldier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darrell Kunitomi Darrell Kunitomi ... Himself - Emcee - Manzanar Pilgrimage
Yuri Kochiyama Yuri Kochiyama ... Herself
Marlan Warren Marlan Warren ... Herself
Karen Koremitsu Karen Koremitsu ... Herself - 2013 Manzanar Pilgrimage
Madlon Yamamoto Arai Madlon Yamamoto Arai ... Herself - Manzanar Pilgrimage


Octogenarian Japanese American women recount their participation in the World War II women's correspondence campaign known as "The Crusaders" that was launched behind the barbed wire of the World War II American "internment camps." Led by budding human rights activist and future Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Yuri Kochiyama (née "Mary Nakahara"), these young women embarked on a war effort to boost the morale of Japanese American soldiers with cheerful, often humorous letters. Scenes from a play about The Crusaders ("Bits of Paradise" by Marlan Warren) are interwoven with the actual women recalling their memories. Written by Marlan Warren

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Circumstances do not make heroines, they merely unveil them to the eyes of men.



Official Sites:

Official Facebook






Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roadmap Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Crusader Ruth (Hirose) Ishizaki had a Crusaders Scrapbook at the bottom of her closet for 50 years until she saw Marlan Warren's play based on the scrapbooks' contents. Then she donated it to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. See more »


References Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed