Sean Stanley: My Experience with the Oral History Metadata Synthesizer (OHMS)

This is my first experience working with the Oral History Metadata Synthesizer and so far I am very impressed with what a great tool it is for both archivists and researchers alike. I studied history in college and have some experience with metadata and archiving programs, but had no experience with OHMS prior to interning at the Go For Broke National Education Center. One of the things I like about the program is how user friendly it is. Using OHMS is not as a daunting as a task as it may seem; tagging the videos and adding keywords to each section is simple and straightforward. From the other perspective, searching for terms in the Google-like search box is an extremely efficient way to find a subject within the video, rather than having to scroll through the video manually. For this reason alone, OHMS can be a great resource for researchers wishing to use information from an oral history interview.

OHMS really helps oral histories become a practical resource for researchers and students, bringing about an interactive quality to these videos that did not exist before. All oral histories, but especially those that we work with here at Go For Broke contain valuable insight, discussions, information, and first-hand knowledge on topics that are very important to the history of our country. It is my belief that OHMS will help expose these stories to a wider audience and change the way the public is able to utilize oral histories.

As stated before, I am relatively new to using OHMS, but in the few months I have been using it, my experiences with it have been overwhelmingly positive. For someone new using the program, I would offer to approach using OHMS with confidence. The program is not complicated and once you get the hang of using it, the videos come alive that much more. Also, be gratuitous with your keywords and split the videos into cohesive sections. While OHMS is a great tool, it is also up to us to use our own skills to bring out the best of these valuable resources.

The Power of Words

Post written by Chris Brusatte, Exhibit Manager at Go For Broke National Education Center

Words are powerful. That is why our Hanashi oral history collection is so rich. Words carry meaning, inspiration, and impact. Words connect people across cultures and across generations. They both educate and motivate.

For our new interpretive exhibition – set to open next spring in Los Angeles – we are leaning heavily on our oral histories, using hundreds of the most powerful quotes found in our collection. These quotes are words that speak of courage, integrity, sacrifice, selflessness, and patriotism. They are the words of the heroic Japanese American veterans of World War II. And although they fought over 70 years ago, their words speak directly to young adults today.

Here below is a sampling of the quotes that we are featuring in the exhibition. These are the words that visitors will see when they leave the space, and we hope that they will motivate visitors to make a difference in the world.

Stand up and fight for what you think is right. Because if you don’t, who is? The next guy? Maybe you are the next guy.

Harry Fukuhara

You can’t wait for something to happen, you must make it happen yourself.

Rudy Tokiwa

 I was one of many thousands. I played a very small part. But I guess if you add up those thousands, it adds up to quite a few.

Tony Koura

 Americans, you are free. So teach your children and their children what we went through, and keep on going, so that this world can be one.

Larry Kodama

 Don’t be afraid of challenges. Don’t be afraid of working in environments that you’re not familiar with…Give it a shot.

Fujio Matsuda

Which quotes above are your favorites? Which speak directly to you? Leave us your thoughts and comments!

Monthly Hanashi Clip: The Rescue of the Lost Battalion

On October 26, 1944, the Nisei soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, including the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, were requested by General John Dahlquist to rescue the 141st Texas Regiment’s 1st Battalion (“Lost Battalion”) who had been trapped by German forces. The Nisei soldiers took a heavy beating from German fire — the Germans’ position gave them an incredible advantage — and suffered many casualties. After six long days of fighting, the 100th/442nd decided to “Go for broke” and charged against the Germans, finally breaking through to the Lost Battalion.

Susumu “Sus” Ito, a Nisei veteran from the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, C Battery, recalls the initial moment of the rescue of the Lost Battalion and seeing the men of the 141st Texas Regiment emerge from their entrapment.

Sus Ito recently passed away on September 29th, 2015. He was very involved in sharing his military experiences and the legacy of the Nisei soldiers to the world. He recently took part in an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles called Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images. During his time in the Army, he had carried with him a 35mm camera and took numerous snapshots of his experiences while overseas. These images were put on display in this exhibition.

This month, we honor Mr. Sus Ito by sharing an excerpt from his Hanashi Oral History interview.

To see more of this interview, please contact Go For Broke National Education Center by email at or by phone (310) 328-0907

Check Us Out on Social Media!

Post written by Chris Brusatte, Exhibit Manager at Go For Broke National Education Center

We want to share our photographs and oral histories with the world! We truly feel that the stories that they capture are important for all to learn, and we know that so many people would be inspired once they saw them. We sincerely wish that every person, young and old alike, could view what we have in our incredible archives.

But like most institutions, we face a dilemma – how do we reach so many people, most of whom will never have the chance to visit our organization in person? How do we reach hundreds of millions of people, even if they never come through our doors?

Luckily, we live in the 21st century. Our footprint has grown, thanks merely to the existence of online platforms. Our website has long been a source of in-depth content about our organization and the Japanese American World War II story. And – thanks in large part to energetic support from around the country – we have finally established ourselves as a popular “go to” spot on social media.

Over the past year, we have completely re-energized our Facebook page. We feature regular daily content, share archival photographs and videos, and engage in real-time discussions about our images and oral histories. We simultaneously do the same with our Twitter community. If you haven’t yet joined the discussion, check us out:

Our YouTube site also gives us a chance to share our oral history videos. While we are currently working on a much more expansive platform to share all of our oral history interviews online, for the time-being, make sure to check us out at:

Finally, our hard-working staff has started this blog. We felt that we needed a more “personal” way to share our collections, and the result is what you are reading now. I truly hope that you enjoy our bloggers and the passion that they show. And perhaps most importantly, I hope that you find this blog an ideal platform to learn more about our “gems” from the archives!