From the Archive
Tracing a Network of Prisons: The Scope of Detention Facilities
"After this incident, we were never able to get out of the camp."
-- Bill Nishimura
The coming year will mark the beginning of the last major push to gather stories memorializing the entire gamut of detention facilities that held Japanese immigrants and their citizen children during World War II. With funding pending for federal Public Law 109-441, the camps preservation legislation, heritage groups around the country are preparing to collect oral histories, photos, and artifacts to document the far-flung system that imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans without due process of law.
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Sushi & Sake Fest a Success
Densho staged a resoundingly successful Sushi & Sake Fest on October 30 in support of our historic preservation and education work. Held at the downtown Westin Hotel, the event drew over 1,500 community members and civic leaders to taste premium sake, sample fine sushi, and enjoy Japanese culture. Fifteen chefs from the city's most popular restaurants prepared traditional and exotic sushi and appetizers for the evening. Guests were entertained by taiko and jazz as they bid on enticing silent auction items.
The dignitaries in attendance included Mayor Greg Nickels, Consul General Kazuo Tanaka, Chief of Police Gil Kerlikowske, and former Governor Gary Locke. Also present were business leaders and directors of cultural, educational, and social justice organizations. Mayor Greg Nickels declared, "Of all the events I go to, this is in the top two to three." Executive Director Tom Ikeda, observed, "The outpouring of community support shows how much Seattle values Densho's work. We're gratified to see not just longtime Nisei supporters but many Yonsei newcomers and friends from the broader community. This fun event allows us to deliver a serious message about protecting civil liberties even in times of crisis."
Demonstrating the depth of community support for Densho, the 2007 Sushi & Sake Fest raised more than $100,000. The funds will be used to collect life stories and historic documents honoring the legacy of our Japanese American elders. Densho extends a grateful thank you to all the sponsors, participating restaurants, event committee, staff, and volunteers who made this major event possible. We invite you to join us again next year!
>> For more information
Book Event: American Inquisition by Eric Muller
Densho presents legal scholar and historian Eric Muller at 2:00pm, Sunday, December 9, at the University of Washington's Ethnic Cultural Center / Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Avenue NE. Muller will speak about his latest book, American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II. When the U.S. government forced 70,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry into internment camps in 1942, it created administrative tribunals to pass judgment on who was loyal and who was disloyal. American Inquisition is the only study of the Japanese American incarceration to examine the complex inner workings of the most draconian system of loyalty screening that the American government has ever deployed against its own citizens. This event is free and open to the general public. Books will be available for purchase. Co-sponsored by the University of Washington American Ethnic Studies Department.
>> For an interview with Eric Muller [PDF format]