Densho eNews - June

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

A little while ago we mailed the 2006 Densho annual report with a letter asking for support. It inspires me that we've already received over one hundred donations. Densho's ability to grow depends on individual contributions, our largest source of funding. Hearing from additional private donors is like earning a good report card because it tells me more people are learning about and believing in our eleven-year effort to digitally preserve the diverse stories of the Japanese American community. These stories, available free of charge on the Internet, are used by thousands of students and teachers each month to explore World War II history and civil liberty issues.

You can easily help us by giving online or forwarding our eNews to friends and family and encouraging them to subscribe to this free monthly resource. Because as more people hear about what we are doing, the more support we receive! We are grateful to all our donors.

>> Download the 2006 Annual Report (pdf format)

From the Archive

Free Press behind Barbed Wire? Newspapers Published in the Incarceration Camps

"A battalion of American troops of the 7th Army was cut off for a week near St. Die in France. All its attempts to break out were stopped by superior German forces. Nor could American relief get through. The situation grew steadily worse…At the last minute, relief troops got through. Who were they? Japanese Americans of the famous 442nd regiment."

"A crippled Japanese American private, wearing many service ribbons, had been ejected from a civilian barber shop near the Poston WRA center because of the owner's objection to his ancestry."
   - The Topaz Times, November 15, 1944

Many Americans still know very little about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans; yet the entire episode is well documented in federal records kept by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and other government agencies. In the National Archives researchers can find details like the names of individuals and their exact barracks addresses in the incarceration camps. But the richest reports of the daily routine and larger concerns of the 120,000 Japanese Americans living in the ten WRA "Relocation Centers" appear in the pages of newspapers published by the very people incarcerated.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Densho Executive Director Testifies Before Senate Panel

On May 15, Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda testified in Washington, D.C., at a bipartisan hearing of the Senate Natural Resources Committee to encourage passage of legislation that would preserve sites of Japanese American historical importance. He endorsed legislation introduced by Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Washington Senator Maria Cantwell to expand the Minidoka National Historic Site and preserve the Eagledale ferry dock site on Bainbridge Island as part of the National Park system. Pictured are Tom Ikeda; Senator Maria Cantwell; Floyd Mori, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League; and Dan Sakura, Director of Government Relations, the Conservation Fund.

>> Read the press release from Sen. Craig's office
>> Read the press release from Sen. Cantwell's office

Special Screening of American Pastime

On Saturday, June 30, at 8:45 a.m., Densho will present a morning screening at the Majestic Bay Theatre of the new feature film American Pastime. This powerful film tells the story of Japanese American families who cope with the stress of wartime detention by turning to baseball, a source of strength, honor, and pride. The director, Desmond Nakano, will introduce the film, and the producers, David Skinner, Kerry Nakagawa, and Tom Gorai will take questions. Admission is free but space is limited, so reserve your seat early.

>> More information about the event
>> RSVP by email

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Ways to Give

Individual supporters are the key to Densho's success. Your contributions allow us to capture compelling life stories and create enlightening educational materials to promote respect for the civil liberties of all Americans. Please take a moment to give to Densho through one of these easy online methods:

>> Give at Densho website
>> Shop at GiveLine shopping site

Or you may make your gift by mail or phone to Densho, 1416 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144; 206-320-0095. And we hope you will remember Densho in your estate planning. Thank you for your support!

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