Densho eNews - July

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Over the years I've asked Japanese Americans, teachers, and historians, "How will the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans be remembered after the last incarceree is gone?" The answer I hear most is that the memory of this event will gradually diminish over the decades until it becomes a historical footnote, known primarily by historians and scholars.

Our mission at Densho is to create a very different outcome for the memory of the incarceration. We believe the story of how fear, ignorance, and greed led to the unjust incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans is too important for Americans to forget because our country will be faced with similar circumstances in the future. Our goal is to ensure the Japanese American incarceration story be part of the common knowledge of the American public, with some near-term steps toward that goal being to:

- preserve and make widely available over the internet the diverse and authentic voices of Japanese Americans from the World War II era through oral histories, photographs, and documents;

- create engaging, well researched and documented educational materials and references about the incarceration experience; and,

- train thousands of teachers nationwide about the incarceration and how to connect this event with current events.

I am pleased to announce that Densho is getting a helpful boost towards this goal with $594,713 awarded in grants. The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) awarded Densho $50,000 in two grants. One grant is to capture, preserve, and share oral histories to join our 500+ visual history collection on the web. The other CCLPEP grant is to support our two-year project to create a new online encyclopedia about the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans.

The National Park Service -- Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) program awarded Densho $544,713 in two grants. One grant is to expand an online repository of primary sources about the WWII incarceration by partnering with other regional institutions. The other JACS grant is to train 600 classroom teachers to connect the WWII experiences of Japanese Americans with current issues and controversies facing our country today.

Thank you to the folks at CCLPEP and JACS for this strong show of support! See below for more information about each of the awarded grants.

Archive Spotlight

PJ Hirabayashi: Struggling with Asian American Identity

PJ Hirabayashi, along with husband Roy Hirabayashi, is one of the cofounders of the prestigious San Jose Taiko. In this clip, PJ, a Sansei from San Rafael, California, discusses her first realization that she was ethnically different.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

New Densho Grant - JACS Grant-Teach the Teachers

Densho was awarded $281,733 by the National Park Service - Japanese American Confinement Sites program to create a classroom-tested and standards-based curriculum package that will build historical thinking through the analysis of primary source materials, develop an understanding of democratic ideals and constitutional principles, and promote civil discourse. This curriculum will be presented to 600 teachers in six states.

>> For more information

New Densho Grant - JACS Grant-Community Digital Archive

Densho was awarded $262,980 to create a web accessible repository for community and historical organizations for their digital objects related to the confinement sites. This repository will include over 50,000 objects. Partnering with Densho will be the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Oregon Nikkei Endowment, and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Hawaii. This grant was one of 24 grants awarded by the JACS program.

>> For more information

New Densho Grant - CCLPEP-Stories Less Told

Densho was awarded $25,000 to conduct, preserve, and web-host 25 interviews in California about less widely known aspects of the Japanese American experience during World War II. These 25 interviews will join the growing 500+ interview collection currently available from the Densho website. We will have over 650 interviews available from our website by the end of 2012.

>> For more information about the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program

New Densho Grant - CCLPEP-Online Encyclopedia of the Japanese American Incarceration

Densho was awarded $25,000 to add 60 articles with California content to its new online encyclopedia currently in development. The grant also provides funding to create a mobile phone application for smartphones to access the encyclopedia content. The online encyclopedia will contain over 360 articles and include links to photographs, documents, and video interviews from the Densho Digital Archive.

>> For more information about the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program

Save the Date - 2011 Sushi & Sake Gala

This year's popular Sushi & Sake Gala will be held on Thursday, November 10th at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. This event will help raise the necessary matching funds for the two new JACS grants. The JACS grants are made as part of a competitive process in which $2 of federal money matches every $1 provided by the grantee.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake Gala website

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