Densho eNews - April

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Two weeks ago we got some bad news and some good news from the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program of the National Park Service. The bad news was that our application to conduct more oral history interviews was not approved. So after adding over two hundred new interviews to the Densho website over the past two years, we will now take a break from conducting more interviews. Thank you to all who nominated people for us to interview. We captured many amazing stories!

The good news is that our application to create a 1,000+ article, online encyclopedia about the Japanese American experience during World War II was approved. This multimedia reference will become a cornerstone to our education program and also provide content and contextual information for our rich online archive of primary source materials. I'm excited to announce that the first phase of the encyclopedia (360 articles) will be launched this summer. See the sample article below to get a sneak preview of what to expect.

Featured Article

Puyallup Encyclopedia Entry

This month's featured article, written by Louis Fiset for Densho's in-the-works online encyclopedia, focuses on the Puyallup "assembly center." Also available for preview is an article by Greg Robinson on wartime and postwar resettlement in New York.

>> Read the Puyallup article
>> Read the Resettlement in New York article

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Archive Spotlight

Richard E. Yamashiro: Witnessing the "Manzanar Riot"

Richard Yamashiro was a teenager during World War II. While in the Manzanar concentration camp, he remembers the dissent surrounding supporters of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) who were called the derogatory term inu, or "dog" in Japanese. They were accused of collaborating with the U.S. government and camp administration. In December of 1942, violence broke out at Manzanar when several JACL members were beaten up and those accused of the incident were held in the camp's jail. A large crowd gathered, including Richard Yamashiro, and in this clip he recalls observing the standoff between the Japanese Americans and the military police. Densho thanks Mr. Mack Kusumoto who nominated Mr. Yamashiro to be interviewed.

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

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Densho News

Japanese American Confinement Sites Program Funding Announced

The National Park Service awarded 17 grants totaling nearly $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret the confinement sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Densho will receive an award of $362,450 after raising $182,000 in matching funds to create a multimedia online encyclopedia that focuses on the World War II incarceration.

>> View the press release

Interviews Completed for California State Grant

Last year Densho was awarded a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) to conduct and preserve 25 oral history interviews with Japanese Americans in California. Earlier this year we finished conducting these interviews and are now completing the processing so that all of these interviews are available on our website. Thank you to our California interviewers Martha Nakagawa and Sharon Yamato, our California videographer Tani Ikeda, and the CCLPEP!

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

Densho Interview Trip to San Jose

Last month Executive Director Tom Ikeda and Production Manager Dana Hoshide were in San Jose for four days conducting 6 new interviews for the Densho collection. They collected a diverse group of stories including the perspectives of a Military Police guard at Tule Lake, a Japanese Canadian moved inland from British Columbia, a Japanese American who lived in Japan during World War II, a prewar San Jose farmer, a Japanese American woman who voluntarily left California before the exclusion orders were issued, and a Nisei Aerospace executive. It was a long week, but we captured some great stories!

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