Densho eNews - November

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Readers of the Densho eNews are inquisitive, stay well informed, and consider issues from a historical perspective. Many years in the future, people will look back at 2008 as a pivotal year for our country. The collapse of our financial markets, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the milestone presidential election will affect our country for decades to come. So please make the effort to have your vote counted on November 4.

Then relax and have some fun! Come discuss the election results -- or just chat with friends -- at Densho's Sushi & Sake Fest on November 5 at the Seattle Westin. The $75 general admission ticket helps us record personal stories of the Japanese American incarceration with the greater goal of protecting civil liberties. Our mission is serious but the event is ... delicious. See below for details. You won't want to miss this festive evening at a historic turning point.

Densho News

Come Join the Fun: Sushi & Sake Fest Is Here!

Attention sushi lovers! Densho's annual Sushi & Sake Fest is the perfect culinary and cultural event for you. Join us on November 5, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Seattle Westin Hotel. You will savor inventive selections prepared by chefs from eight local restaurants, including Nishino, Hiroshi's, and Sushi Zen. Even better, you can pair that spicy tuna tartar and crunchy tempura roll with premium sake from a dozen makers -- or opt to quaff Japanese and American beer.

This is no boring fundraiser -- this is a big party. Between visits to the sushi stations and sake bars, you can bid on great silent auction items (art, travel, shopping), listen to jazz and taiko drumming, and watch action painting by BOSSHIKO of Osaka. This day-after-the-election event will not only sate your sushi and sake craving; it will earn you good karma. The $75 general admission ticket ($45 tax deductible) supports Densho's award-winning work in preservation and education. We look forward to seeing you on November 5.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake event website
>> Buy tickets online
>> Download a printable ticket form

Densho November Poll: Japanese American Lawmakers

As we conclude the long presidential campaign, our thoughts turn to past and future political leaders in the Japanese American community. For this month's poll, we're curious to know your most respected legislators of Japanese heritage. You can choose from the provided list of politicians, both living and deceased pioneers in national government. Or we invite you to write in names of up and coming leaders whose careers we should watch. On topic is this recent study of Asian American voting trends.

Here are the results for the October poll of favorite fiction and memoirs: First - Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston; Second - Looking Like the Enemy, Mary Matsuda Gruenewald; Third - When the Emperor Was Divine, Julie Otsuka. Thanks for voting.

>> Take the survey

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New to the Archive

Look Inside the Archive: Densho Interviews a Medal of Honor Veteran

In honor of Veterans Day, this month's selected narrator, or interviewee, from the Densho Digital Archive is George T. "Joe" Sakato, whose Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to a Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton. The military honors of twenty other Japanese American veterans of World War II were similarly upgraded in 2000. In the interview that Densho conducted in Denver this past summer, George recounts the dramatic combat he saw in France with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In the featured clip, he describes being enraged after his friend was killed, and leading a charge up a hill into a machine gun nest of Germans. In addition to sharing his still vivid memories with Densho, George visits schools to speak to students about his World War II experiences.

>> See the featured sample from the Densho Digital Archive

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Recommended Resource

Densho at the OHA and The HistoryMakers

Densho is one among many oral history initiatives taking advantage of new technology to preserve the history of their communities. Geoff Froh, Director of Information and Technology, recently spoke about Densho's digital archiving practices at the Oral History Association conference in Pittsburgh. Among the many oral history groups attending was The HistoryMakers, committed to making history come alive, and providing access to its digital archive of oral histories through the internet. Their oral history archive contains 500 interviews with prominent African Americans in all fields, from Ramsey Lewis to Barack Obama. The Chicago-based organization also offers The Historymakers Education Institute and The HistoryMakers Speakers Bureau.

>> Visit the HistoryMakers website
>> Read about Densho's presentation at the Oral History Association

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