Days of Waiting: The Life & Art of Estelle Ishigo

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Days of Waiting
Directed bySteven Okazaki
Produced by
  • Steven Okazaki
  • Cheryl Yoshioka
Written bySteven Okazaki
Narrated by
CinematographySteven Okazaki
Edited by
  • Steven Okazaki
  • Cheryl Yoshioka
Distributed byPBS
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
Running time
28 minutes
CountryUnited States

Days of Waiting (1990) is a documentary short film by Steven Okazaki about Estelle Ishigo, a Caucasian artist who went voluntarily to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. The film was inspired by Ishigo's book, "Lone Heart Mountain", and won an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject)[1][2] and a Peabody Award.


During World War II, when 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from the West Coast to various American concentration camps, Estelle Peck Ishigo refused to be separated from her Nisei (second generation Japanese American) husband. She voluntarily accompanied him to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center. A painter and illustrator, Ishigo documented her experience through her art. She later published these works and wrote about her experience in her book, "Lone Heart Mountain," which along with personal papers, were the basis of the film. She was discovered living in destitution in her senior years, by the filmmakers as they researched her story.



  1. ^ "NY Times: Days of Waiting: The Life & Art of Estelle Ishigo". NY Times. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  2. ^ "The 63rd Academy Awards (1991) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Archived from the original on May 19, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.

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