Densho eNews - October

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

A month ago I walked up steps and down hallways that I had not seen for 40 years. I was at Seattle's Franklin High School where I graduated in 1974 and where Densho was doing a summer student workshop. It was at Franklin that I first studied what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II when my 11th grade Language Arts teacher, Elaine Norikane Wetterauer, handed me the novel No-No Boy to read. I remember being confused while reading the book about the angst of a Japanese American WWII draft resister and going to Mrs. Wetterauer's room after school to talk with her. It was here that I learned about some of the deep divisions in the Japanese American community caused by the "loyalty questionnaire" and the draft resistance. I also learned that Mrs. Wetterauer was born in the Tule Lake concentration camp.

Mrs. Wetterauer was an extraordinary teacher who introduced me to a powerful story that ignited a passion to learn more. Forty years later I am still learning and am now helping other teachers introduce the story of the World War II Japanese American incarceration to their students. While at Franklin High School this summer, we filmed the student workshop so that we could show teachers how to introduce our materials in the classroom. One of the activities, shown in this rough-cut video, is to examine our oral history interviews with metaphorical thinking. Let me know at [email protected] what you think about the video. Thank you to Franklin High School principal, Dr. Jennifer Wiley, for the use of the library, and to the 16 students who gave up some of their summer vacation to participate in the workshop.

Archive Spotlight

Henry Miyatake: An Essay Results in Expulsion From School

Henry Miyatake, longtime community activist and well-known figure during the redress movement, passed away in September. Densho was fortunate to interview Mr. Miyatake in 1998 and 1999 in six sessions that lasted a total of 18 hours. In this clip, he describes an essay he wrote for a high school civics class at Minidoka titled "American Democracy and What It Means to Me." His teacher would not accept the essay unless Henry rewrote it, which he refused to do. This resulted in a failing grade and he was unable to graduate from high school in camp. Henry Miyatake's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

A Wonderful Evening at Sushi & Sake Fest

A big thank you to Title Sponsor Tateuchi Foundation, other sponsors, and hundreds of other generous supporters who helped make last week's Sushi & Sake Fest a fun success! A special thank you also to Hiroshi's Catering, Take-out & Deli, I Love Wasabi, Kozue Japanese Restaurant, Nishino Restaurant, Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, Vinum Wine & Spirits Importing & Distributing, and BOSSHIKO. The event netted over $50,000 which will support Densho's educational programs.

>> View photos from the event

Free Film Screening Next Monday: The Legacy of Heart Mountain

A free screening of The Legacy of Heart Mountain, a three-time Los Angeles Emmy-winning documentary, will be held on October 13th at 7:30 p.m., at the Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle's International District. Following the film will be a question and answer session with writer/producer David Ono, co-anchor for LA's ABC7 Eyewitness News & filmmaker/producer Jeff MacIntyre. The event is free of charge and no tickets are required, but please RSVP to [email protected].

>> For more information

From Densho's Blog: Garden of Stones and Historical Accuracy

The novel Garden of Stones is marred by many historical inaccuracies/implausibilities, but is a well told story that has no doubt introduced many to the story of Japanese American wartime expulsion and incarceration. In the last decade and a half or so, there have been a lot of novels published that involve the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans as part of their plots. The same can be said for plays, movies and TV shows, documentary films, and other storytelling media. I'll save ruminating on the reasons for this for another time and instead focus on another issue: that of historical accuracy/dramatic license and its importance.

>> Read the blog post: Garden of Stones and Historical Accuracy

>> Read the blog post: New Encyclopedia Articles, September 2014

Densho Awarded NPS Funding to Upgrade Online Oral Histories

Densho has been awarded a $209,982 grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program. The funds will be used to upgrade Densho's online collection of 800 Japanese American video recorded interviews about life before, during, and after World War II. This collection is widely acclaimed and is the 2014 recipient of the Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi ("Voice of the People") Award of the Oral History Association for outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more humane and just world. The upgrade will include a new design and technology to allow web users to download and edit video clips from Densho's interview archive to create documentaries and multimedia presentations.

>> Read the press release

>> Learn more about the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program

Marketing Position Available at Densho

We are seeking a Marketing Manager to create and implement a content marketing plan that engages a national audience with Densho's rich online content about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. This person will launch social media campaigns and live events that build upon Densho's content expertise and integrates Densho's current email and direct mail efforts. This position is funded in part by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

>> View the Job Announcement

>> Learn more about the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

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