Densho eNews - December

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

"Mission: Create educational resources to inspire a million people each month."

Last month our website attracted 10,000 visitors from every state and 75 different countries. Initially I was pleased about our wide geographic reach, but then became disheartened to realize at 10,000 visitors a month it would take eight years to reach one million people, a tiny fraction of the American public.

This is unacceptable. The story of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is too important for Americans and global citizens to not know and understand. To really have an impact I am challenging us to create by 2016 -- Densho's 20th anniversary -- educational resources that inspire a million people each month. If we are able to do this year after year, the story and understanding of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans will gradually become part of the discourse and common knowledge around American history, similar to women's suffrage and the civil rights movement.

We need your help today to double our users each year for the next 7 years to reach our goal. Your support has already helped to build the most comprehensive online resource on the Japanese American experience, offering over 10,000 photos and documents, in-depth curriculum, and 750 hours of transcribed video interviews. Please consider making a $50 or $100 online donation today, or mail a contribution to 1416 South Jackson, Seattle, WA 98144. Help us reach the world!

>> Donate to Densho online
>> Learn about other ways to support Densho

From the Archive

International Lives: The Horiuchi Interviews

"The Nikkei I knew that were involved in the occupation…they were able to work more closely with the Japanese because the Japanese looked upon them as someone that could understand their culture, their history, and their motivation."
   -- Lucius Horiuchi

Last year Densho interviewed Maynard and Lucius Horiuchi in Sonoma, California. With a generous grant from the Tateuchi Foundation, their interviews became the first in the Densho collection to be translated into Japanese. Their bilingual presence in the Digital Archive is utterly appropriate since the couple met in Japan, where Maynard worked for the U.S. embassy and Lucius served in the foreign service after the war. Theirs is an international story in more than one respect.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Easy Guest Access to the Content-Rich Densho Digital Archive

Be our guest. For a trial period, visitors to the free Densho Digital Archive can use the new Guest account to access the complete collection. Visit the free archive and peruse hundreds of compelling video interviews and thousands of intriguing documents. The digital collection is indexed by topic and easy to browse. In a few minutes and a few clicks, you can hear stories that will make you laugh or cry. Read fascinating details of camp life in newspapers published by detainees, reproduced as the original print editions. Or find moving historical photos of the detention facilities where you or your family or friends lived during World War II. For a teaser of the archive contents, see the interview snippets on the "Archive Spotlights" page.

>> Visit the Densho archive as a guest
>> View the Archive Spotlights

Author Talk: New book on Camp Harmony Assembly Center

On Thursday, December 3, at 6:30pm, Densho presents a talk by Louis Fiset, author of the new book Camp Harmony: Seattle's Japanese Americans and the Puyallup Assembly Center. The event takes place at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle's Chinatown-International District. In Camp Harmony Fiset creates a full portrait of the "assembly center" at the Western Washington fairgrounds at Puyallup, outside Seattle. The author presents archival evidence and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the forced removal of the Nikkei community from Bainbridge Island and Seattle. 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.

>> Read more information

Help Educate Millions of Americans: Donate to Densho

Densho works tirelessly to educate new audiences about the unjust World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. But this dark stain on our democracy has not yet entered history classrooms and common knowledge to the degree it should. We have set the ambitious but achievable goal of attracting 1 million visitors to the Densho website each month. And not just attracting visitors, but inspiring them with challenging ideas and educational resources. Last month we reached 10,000 users from all 50 states and 75 countries. We need support to increase marketing efforts so that we can double the number of website users each year, with the goal of hitting the 1 million mark for Densho's 20th anniversary in 2016. You can help us reach this important milestone. Please make a gift today that will educate millions for years to come.

>> Donate to Densho online
>> Learn about other ways to support Densho

Sushi & Sake Fest: The Most Delicious Event of the Season

Over 1,500 Densho supporters and sushi lovers celebrated Japanese food and culture at the 8th annual Sushi & Sake Fest on November 5. The fun (and delicious) event raised $85,000 in support of Densho's expanded educational programs. If you attended the event and want to find yourself in the crowd, or if you just want to see the fun, take a look at the event photos (copyright K's photography). Densho extends a heartfelt thank you to the Sushi & Sake Fest Committee, Densho staff, vendors, donors, sponsors, and an army of volunteers. See you next year!

>> See photos of Sushi & Sake Fest

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Archive Spotlight

Yoshimi Matsuura: Discrimination upon Discrimination

We are unveiling a collection of video interviews from new territory for Densho--Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Twin Cities collection, produced with the help of the local Japanese American Citizens League chapter, features unique life stories of Nisei who moved to Minnesota after exiting camps or the military. One interviewee, Yoshimi Matsuura, jumped at the chance to leave the Gila River, Arizona, incarceration camp when a recruiter invited young men to Minneapolis for war-job training by the National Youth Administration. Yoshimi tells how he and more than sixty other young Nisei swallowed their hurt and disappointment upon arriving and being told abruptly that Japanese Americans were not welcome in the program. From the Minneapolis War Relocation Authority office, he made phone calls to search for housing. Not wanting to travel around the unfamiliar city and be rejected, he told them "exactly who I was." And he promptly heard excuses about why the room was not for rent. One kind landlady took Yoshimi into her boarding house, and then he set about finding a larger place so that his wife, still in camp, could come join him.

>> 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 Listening Sessions on Confinement Sites Grants

As part of an information-gathering process for the 2010 Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program, the National Park Service is hosting a series of Listening Sessions in early December at several locations throughout the country. The grants help preserve and interpret the historic confinement sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were unjustly detained during World War II. The NPS invites you to share your thoughts about the grant program in person at one of the Listening Sessions listed below. One session will take place at the Densho building on December 2, 6:00 to 8:00pm. All comments must be received by Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

>> Read the National Park Service Newsletter about the Confinement Sites grants


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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