Densho eNews - February

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

This week, speaking to law students in Hawai'i, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked his thoughts about the 1944 Supreme Court Korematsu v. United States decision that upheld Fred Korematsu's criminal conviction for defying the orders to go to a concentration camp. Justice Scalia said, "Well of course [Korematsu v. United States] was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again." Scalia explained, "In times of war, the laws fall silent... That's what was going on -- the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That's what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It's no justification, but it is the reality." I usually don't agree with Justice Scalia's opinions, but in this case I also think that in the panic of war, the rights of individuals who belong to "dangerous" groups are at catastrophic risk, similar to what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II. My hope is that Justice Scalia is wrong and that Densho's mission to "keep the story alive" will help prevent similar mistakes with education, vigilance and courage.

The Day of Remembrance is on February 19th. This is a day when communities across the nation remember the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Below is a brief paragraph explaining the significance of February 19th. The fourth paragraph describes how you can use social media to make more people aware of this date.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, as "a date which will live in infamy." However, when it comes to the civil liberties of Americans, the real date of infamy is February 19, 1942: the day FDR signed Executive Order 9066 which authorized the forced removal and incarceration of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds U.S. citizens, were incarcerated without trial in ten guarded, barbed-wire enclosed concentration camps because of their race, innocent of any wrongdoing.

February 19th is observed as a Day of Remembrance to remember the injustice of the Japanese American incarceration. Please help keep the story alive by changing your Facebook profile picture for the week of February 19th to artist Frank Fujii's "ichi-ni-san" barbed wire symbol used at the first Day of Remembrance in 1978. Visit Densho's Facebook page for more information, and please ask your friends and family to also change their profile pictures!

Archive Spotlight

Cherry Kinoshita: The First Day of Remembrance

Cherry Kinoshita was a longtime Seattle activist and contributor to the Japanese American Citizens League and the redress movement. In this clip, she talks about the first Day of Remembrance in Seattle and Puyallup, Washington, and its effect on the Japanese American community. Cherry Kinoshita's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive
>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on Days of Remembrance

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Densho News

Change Your Facebook Profile Picture for the Day of Remembrance

In observation of this year's Day of Remembrance, please join Densho in changing your Facebook profile picture to artist Frank Fujii's "ichi-ni-san" barbed wire logo for the week of February 14-23. The "ichi-ni-san" logo is composed of the Japanese characters for the numbers 1 through 3, and represents first, second and third generation Japanese Americans.

>> For more information

Seeking Paid Digitizing Interns

Densho is seeking up to three production interns to help digitize and catalogue historic newspapers, photographs, and documents. These summer internships are 20 hours per week at $12 per hour, no benefits. The internships are funded, in part, by an award from 4Culture, and by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> View the job announcement

Seeking Information Technology Intern

Densho is seeking an information technology intern to assist the Densho Deputy Director to install and maintain hardware and software systems, and do software development. This internship is 20-40 hours per week with compensation commensurate with experience. The internship is funded, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> View the job announcement

Angel Island Teacher Workshop - February 15th

70 educators, the largest group yet, are signed up to participate at the Densho Teacher Workshop at the historic U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park. The Station was in operation from 1910-1940 processing hundreds of thousands of immigrants. In 1940 the Station was turned over to the War Department and during World War II was used as a temporary detention facility for Japanese going to or coming from Department of Justice internment camps. The workshop will examine how to use primary source materials to develop analysis and reasoning skills. The workshop is designed around thinking routines and content about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Funding for the workshops is provided, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

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Community News and Events

When Citizenship Didn't Matter - Evergreen State College, February 27th

Tom Ikeda, Densho Executive Director, will present, "When Citizenship Didn't Matter: Personal Stories from Japanese Americans Incarcerated during World War II," which will explore issues of democracy, intolerance, wartime hysteria and civil rights, based on hundreds of oral histories conducted by Densho over the last 18 years.

>> For more information

UW Symposium on Gordon Hirabayashi - February 22nd

For the 2014 Day of Remembrance and in honor of civil rights icon Gordon Hirabayashi, the University of Washington is holding a public symposium featuring lectures, performances and remembrances about Hirabayashi. Included will be the presentation of Hirabayashi's Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded posthumously to Hirabayashi by President Obama in 2012, to the University of Washington by the family.

>> For more information

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