Densho eNews - November

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Last month the top floor of my brother's home caught fire and was destroyed. The day after the fire as we quietly sorted through the wet, charred remains, my 82-year-old father surveyed the mess and said, "It's only money that was lost." I gently asked him why he said that, expecting him to talk about how his parents recovered after losing everything during World War II. Instead he spoke of his annual visits to the grave of his brother-in-law, Bako Kinoshita. My mother's brother was 20 years old when he was killed in Italy while fighting with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. My father said that when he visits the grave he thinks about the children, grandchildren, and family parties that Bako was never given the opportunity to enjoy. My father said remembering what Bako sacrificed was why a little fire wasn't important.

Please remember veterans on Veterans Day, especially the ones who never returned.

From the Archive

Profile in Courage: George Sakato and a Belated Medal of Honor

"I'm no hero, but I wear it for the guys that didn't come back."
   -- George "Joe" Sakato

George T. Sakato is the great-great-great-grandson of a samurai. Perhaps that explains his father's choice of a birth name. Sakato says, "Dad wanted to call me Jyotaro Sakato, after a sword-bearer for Musashi samurai. " But when the doctor submitted the vital statistics for the baby, "Jyotaro" became "George." An unassuming man, Densho's interviewee says simply, "All my life I've been called Joe." On October 29, 1944, in the Vosges Mountains of France, Private Joe Sakato's warrior ancestry saw him through a critical juncture in the storied Battle of the Lost Battalion.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Sushi & Sake Fest is SOLD OUT!

Regular tickets to the November 5th Sushi & Sake Fest at the Seattle Westin are sold out. If you don't have a ticket and still want to come, there are a few $150 table tickets still available by calling (206) 320-0095 and paying with a credit card. These tickets give you access to the sponsor room, which opens an hour before the 6:30 starting time with table service, extra treats, and a preview of the sushi room. For those of you with tickets, check out some of the great items you can buy at this year's silent auction.

>> Preview the silent auction items

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake Fest webpage

Densho Workshop: Making Use of Oral History Interviews

Densho presents the free workshop "Making Use of Oral History Interviews" on Saturday, November 21, 1:00pm - 4:00pm, at the Densho building. Oral histories offer a valuable way to preserve and document the memories of individuals. They are also useful for creating innovative educational materials. This workshop is for individuals who collect or want to collect oral history interviews for educational use. The 3-hour training will look at real world examples like videos, websites, classroom activities, books, and multimedia presentations. The session will examine important factors to consider in preparing oral histories so that effective educational materials can be created. The workshop is free but requires registration. This project is made available through the generous support of 4Culture.

>> Register for the free workshop

>> Read about 4Culture Heritage Special Project grants

Tom Ikeda Is Finalist for First Integral Fellows Award

Densho's executive director, Tom Ikeda, is honored to be selected as a finalist for the first Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellows Award. Over 150 Microsoft alumni have started and run non-profit organizations with the dream of using what they learned at Microsoft to make a difference in the world. Of Microsoft alumni around the globe, sixty-five were nominated and six finalists have been chosen for having created something extraordinary, often with limited resources, while embodying the values of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation. An esteemed panel of judges including President Jimmy Carter will select the winners. On November 18, at the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Founders Gala, Bill and Melinda Gates will award the first Integral Fellow Award to up to three individuals who will receive $25,000 for their nonprofits as well as dedicated support from the Microsoft Alumni Foundation.

>> Learn about the Microsoft Integral Fellows Finalists

Camp Harmony: Book Reading by Louis Fiset

Densho presents a talk by Louis Fiset, author of the new book Camp Harmony: Japanese American Internment and the Puyallup Assembly Center. The event takes place December 3, 6:30pm, at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle's Chinatown-International District. Camp Harmony is the first full portrait of a single "assembly center"--located at the Western Washington fairgrounds at Puyallup, outside Seattle--that held Japanese Americans for four months prior to their transfer to an incarceration camp during World War II. Gathering archival evidence and eyewitness accounts, Fiset reconstructs the events leading up to the detention as they unfolded on a local level: arrests of Issei leaders, Nikkei response to the war dynamics, debates within the white community, and the forced removal of the Nikkei community from Bainbridge Island. The book explores the daily lives of the more than seven thousand inmates at "Camp Harmony," detailing how they worked, played, ate, and occasionally fought with each other and with their captors. Admission to the Wing Luke Asian Museum is free on the first Thursday of each month. No ticket required for the lecture.

>> Learn more about this event

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Archive Spotlight

Nobuko Miyake-Stoner: A Life Arc from War to Peace

On a recent interview trip to Honolulu, Densho recorded the life story of Nobuko Miyake-Stoner. Born in 1952 in Hiroshima, Japan, she is the descendant of atomic bomb survivors. Her father was a kamikaze pilot who did not complete his mission before the war ended. She attended a missionary school for young women in Hiroshima, earned a degree in theology in Denver, and became a minister serving in California and Colorado. She is presently pastor at the Harris United Methodist Church in Honolulu. In an excerpt from her interview Miyake-Stoner reflects on the arc of her life from Hiroshima to a home within view of the Pearl Harbor memorial.

>> See the featured sample from the Densho Digital Archive
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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National News and Events

National Park Service Report on Confinement Sites Grants

The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a report on the Fiscal Year 2009 grant awards for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. In 2009, the first year of the grant program, the NPS awarded 19 grants totaling $970,000 to help preserve and interpret the historic confinement sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were confined during World War II. The NPS thanks those interested in the grant program for their participation. In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriation and the next grant cycle, the NPS would like to hear your thoughts on this first year of the grant program. They encourage you to provide your comments on the components of the grant program that you would like to see continued, and any aspects of the grant program that you would like to see changed. As part of that information-gathering process, the NPS will host a series of "Listening Sessions" in early December at several locations throughout the country. The NPS invites you to share your thoughts in person at one of these Listening Sessions, which are scheduled as below. All comments must be received by Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

>> Read the National Park Service Newsletter


Denver, Colorado
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
Time: 10am-12 noon
Location: National Park Service
Intermountain Regional Office
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Phone: 303-969-2885


Chicago, Illinois
Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Location: Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Chicago Chapter
5415 North Clark Street
Phone: 402-661-1928 (NPS)
312-728-7170 (JACL)

Little Rock, Arkansas
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm-4:00 pm
Location: Little Rock Central High School
NHS Visitor Center
2120 Daisy Bates Drive
Phone: 402-661-1928 (NPS)
501-374-1957 (Little Rock NHS)


Seattle, Washington
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: Densho: The Japanese American
Legacy Project
1416 S. Jackson Street
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
206-320-0095 (DENSHO)

Los Angeles, California
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: Japanese American Cultural and
Community Center
244 S. San Pedro Street, Suite 505
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
213-628-2725 (JACCC)

San Francisco, California
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California
1840 Sutter Street, Suite 201
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
415-567-5505 (JCCCNC)

Honolulu, Hawai`i
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: Japanese Cultural Center
of Hawai`i
2454 South Beretania Street
Phone: 808-541-2693, ext. 723 (NPS)
808-945-7633 (JCCH)

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