Densho eNews - September

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Ten years ago the blood drained from my face as I watched live TV of the twin towers crashing to the ground. I knew I was seeing the death of thousands of people. I remember walking around in shock, frightened by what I had just seen, and noticing the eerie silence of being under the flight pattern of SeaTac International Airport and Boeing Field and not hearing any incoming or outgoing jets.

This event is not only seared in my memory, but is a watershed moment for Densho. In the days, weeks, and months after September 11, 2001, teachers and the media contacted us looking for ways to compare how Japanese Americans were targeted after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to how Arab Americans and Muslims were targeted after 9/11.

These calls helped me better understand the educational importance of the World War II Japanese American story. On February 19, 2002, within months of 9/11 and on the 60th anniversary of the signing of EO9066, we published our website, including an educational module called Causes of the Incarceration.

Education continues to be at the core of Densho's mission. We collect and share materials about the WWII Japanese American incarceration with the belief that it is through critical thought and meaningful discourse that we make reasoned and sound decisions that uphold our democratic ideas, even in times of crisis. Please drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know what you are thinking on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Archive Spotlight

Joe Yasutake: Thoughts from a Nisei after 9/11

In this clip, Joe Yasutake, a nisei originally from Seattle, Washington, talks about the loss of civil liberties in the political climate following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Densho interviewed Mr. Yasutake in October of 2002, and his complete interview can be found in Densho's Digital Archive.

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

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Densho News

40 New Oral Histories Completed

Last month, Densho completed a National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant to conduct, preserve, and web-host 40 new interviews about the WWII Japanese American incarceration experience. There are currently 544 interviews available from the Densho Digital Archive.

>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

Job Openings at Densho

Densho is seeking to fill four positions in the coming months. The deadline to apply for these jobs is Friday, September 30, 2011. The positions Densho will fill include:

Office Manager

Photo and Document Collections Manager

Outreach and Communications Manager

Web Application Developer

September 17th Nisei Veterans Committee Speakers Series: Tom Ikeda

In a reversal of roles, Tom Ikeda, oral historian and Executive Director of Densho, will share parts of his life history during the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) Speakers Series on September 17, 2011, at 7PM at the NVC Clubhouse, 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144. Tom will describe his life journey from playing at the NVC Clubhouse as a kid growing up in the Rainier Valley, becoming a research engineer, working at Microsoft, to helping to start Densho 15 years ago. Please rsvp to [email protected] if you plan to attend.

>> Learn more about the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee

Densho Sushi & Sake Gala

The Sushi & Sake Gala will be held on November 10, 2011, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The event begins at 5:30pm with a 90 minute Sushi & Sake reception. The reception will then be followed with a sit-down dinner and presentation. $125 early-bird tickets can be purchased online. Please come join us and support Densho.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake Gala website

Community Events

Julie Otsuka Reads at the Seattle Central Library

Julie Otsuka, the author of When the Emperor was Divine, will read from her new novel The Buddha in the Attic. This new novel traces the lives of young Japanese "picture brides" who travel to San Francisco in the early 1900s to meet their husbands and create new lives in America. The reading will take place Friday, September 23rd from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Central Library, Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium. For more information call 206-386-4636.

>> For more information

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