Densho eNews - June

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

The ability to grow in the face of adversity is a trait that I admire. Yuri Kochiyama, who passed away earlier this week, earned my admiration many times over as she continually helped others while facing personal hardships. Right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor her sick father was picked up by the FBI, detained for 6 weeks without his medication, and died the day after he was released. The family was told they couldn't bury their father in the local San Pedro cemetery and had to find another place where Japanese could be buried in Los Angeles. She was then incarcerated at the Santa Anita racetrack and the Jerome concentration camp in Arkansas along with her family and other Japanese Americans. And yet during this difficult time she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher organizing letter writing campaigns to hundreds of Japanese American men who were fighting in the war. This time period was also an awakening for Kochiyama to the injustice of race relations in the United States. Yuri Kochiyama was one of the most prominent Asian American activists of the 20th century. Her life is featured in her memoirs, Passing It On (2004); the biography, Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama (2005); and two documentaries, Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice (1993) and Mountains that Take Wing (2009), as well as in hundreds of articles and films.

>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on Yuri Kochiyama that was written by Diane Fujino, the author of the 2005 Kochiyama biography

>> NPR News Story about Kochiyama's Passing

Archive Spotlight

Yuri Kochiyama: Changing Perspectives on Racism and Prejudice

Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama was working for a USO office in Mississippi in 1944. Later, while working at a restaurant in New York, she talked to her black co-workers and became more aware of the racist climate facing African Americans. Yuri Kochiyama'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 Yuri Kochiyama

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Densho News

Encyclopedia Blog Posts

Among the newly added articles to the Densho Encyclopedia are pieces on key postwar legal cases, the little known War Relocation Authority "Citizen Isolation Centers" Moab and Leupp, and the many children's and young adult books on the wartime incarceration. Read about these and many other new articles--as well as the story of an online database of inmates in WRA concentration camps--in the latest blog posts by content director Brian Niiya.

Funding for the encyclopedia was provided, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The encyclopedia will expand to over 1,000 articles when completed in the fall of this year.

>> View blog post: New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, April 19 to May 9
>> View blog post: Records about Japanese Americans relocated during World War II
>> View blog post: New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, May 17 to June 2

Support Densho' Online Campaign and Receive the Story of Ranger Roy Matsumoto

Receive the new award-winning film, Honor and Sacrifice, about the life of American hero Ranger Roy Matsumoto who used courage, his Japanese language skills and quick mind to save hundreds of American soldiers in the jungles of Burma during World War II by donating $125 or by asking friends to support Densho. Also receive custom-made first class postage stamps of the Amache concentration camp and free editions to the Pacific Citizen newspaper. This online campaign ends on July 18th.

>> For more information or to donate

Order a Free Densho Educational Resource CD

Densho created an Educational Resource CD of the materials used during our "Teaching with Primary Sources" teacher training workshops that were conducted with 625 educators over the last two years. Contained on the CD are the historic newsreel, photographs and documents used during the workshops. Also included are videoclips from the Densho oral history collection and activities about how to examine primary sources. While supplies last you can have a free CD shipped to you. Funding for these CDs was provided, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> To request your free CD

Thank You to the City of Seattle

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is generously providing ongoing support for this month's eNews and other core programs. Thank you!

>> Learn more about the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

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