In a previous blog post I wrote about working on the Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown- Okinawa Episode. (Season 6 Episode 3). I was mainly a location fixer organizing a few things behind the scenes. I was also asked to help with a reenactment where they wanted to visualize the story of Minoru Kinjo. Now a well known sculptor, Kinjo-san was a young boy when the Battle of Okinawa took place.
The reenactment never made it into the Okinawa episode but they were shown recently in the “Prime Cuts” special which shows scenes from the season that never made it into the main episodes.
Anthony Bourdain explained about the Okinawan reenactment:
The idea was to illustrate and give background to a very complicated Okinawan story, Okinawan history. Ultimately, I don’t think it was right for my show, but a noble effort. And beautiful.
The Prime Cuts episode shows Minoru Kinjo telling his story intercut with the reenactments filmed on the beach in Yomitan. My friend Hayakawa-san, his wife, daughter and grandson acted as the Okinawan family, while the crew took on the other roles. Josh (the producer) and I were the American soldiers.
It was good to finally see the sequence. Kinjo-san’s story is not unusual, but many who encountered Japanese or American troops did not survive the war.