Densho eNews - July

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

As we approach Independence Day, I am reminded of the powerful beginning words of the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." For 236 years these words have beckoned Americans, especially the disenfranchised who struggled with the inequalities caused by racial, gender, religious, and sexual preference discrimination. Although our country has come a long way since its founding, it is important to remember that this fight for equality must be continuously waged or we risk falling back into the injustices of the past because of fear, ignorance, hate, greed, and the pursuit of power.

Please read this month's eNews to see how we are creating an online encyclopedia to bring the history of the Japanese American incarceration to more people. And please drop me a line at [email protected] with your thoughts or to let us know how we are doing.

Archive Spotlight

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga: Having a Child in Camp

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga married shortly before mass removal and gave birth to her first child in camp. In this clip, she describes coping with conditions in camp as a young mother. Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

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

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Densho News

First Peek at the Densho Encyclopedia

We are two months away from the launch of the Densho Encyclopedia and want your feedback. We made a beta version available for viewing and testing at Please browse a few articles, look at the photographs and interview clips, do a search, share an article on Facebook, and maybe print an article. We want to hear what you think, although we still have LOTS more work to do, for example: adding more articles, adding more photographs and interview videoclips, refining the graphic design and navigation, fixing software bugs, etc.

>> View the beta version of the Densho Encyclopedia

Grant Funding for Phase II Encyclopedia

What you see at is just the beginning of a much larger and richer online encyclopedia. Densho recently received a $362,450 grant from the National Park Service to expand the encyclopedia to over 1,000 articles. Over 90 scholars, historians, and writers are participating to create this scholarly, rigorously-edited and organized online resource.

>> View the press release

Multiply by 6 your Donation for the Encyclopedia

Densho needs to raise $182,000 as a match to receive the National Park Service grant funds. The Terasaki Foundation has generously pledged $50,000 as a challenge match to encourage donations to this project. For every $25 you donate, the Terasaki Foundation will match with $25, which will allow us to use an additional $100 of grant money. So every $25 donation gives Densho $150 in benefit. Please consider donating if you are excited about the new Densho Encyclopedia.

>> Make a donation to Densho

Thank You California Civil Liberties Public Education Program!

The project work for two California Civil Liberties Public Education Program grants was completed last month. One grant was for $25,000 to add 60 more articles with a California focus to the Densho encyclopedia and to design the encyclopedia for use with smartphones and tablets. The other $25,000 grant was to help conduct, process, and web-host 25 video interviews about the Japanese American experience in California. We appreciate the support and hope to see this valuable program return in the future.

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

Community News and Events

Japanese Heritage Sites on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Join a couple of special tours to hike and discover the uncovered heritage of early Japanese American pioneers. Participants will explore the legacy, historic landscape and experience of Japanese pioneers whose labor was instrumental in the development of the American West. This project is made possible through a partnership between the Wing Luke Museum and USDA Forest Service. The Monte Cristo mining camp hike is on August 24-25, 2012. The Iron Goat trail hike is on September 8, 2012.

>> For more information

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