Discover the History ofWWII Incarceration

120,000 Japanese Americans were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. Learn about this unprecedented denial of civil liberties and why it still matters today.

Explore Personal Stories

Learn about Japanese American history and the legacy of WWII incarceration by exploring personal stories from those who lived through it.

Promote Equity Today

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. Join us in putting the lessons of Japanese American WWII incarceration into action today.

Upcoming Events

We’re kicking the year off with virtual and in-person events featuring artists, writers, and filmmakers doing incredible work to deepen and expand our understanding of WWII Japanese American incarceration.

January 27 | Manzanar, Diverted: A Public Screening and Discussion with Director, Ann Kaneko

Join us for an in-person film screening followed by a discussion with director Ann Kaneko with Dana Arviso, Sage Romero, and Alex Miranda.

January 28 | Katie Yamasaki discusses Shapes, Lines, and Light

Learn more about the life and legacy of Minoru Yamasaki, the architect who designed Pacific Science Center at this all-ages event at the Seattle Public Library.

February 1 | Beyond the Betrayal: Arthur Hansen in conversation with Frank Abe

Arthur Hansen, the editor of Yoshito Kuromiya's "Beyond the Betrayal", will discuss the first book-length account by a Nisei World War II draft resister with local author and editor Frank Abe.

Densho Catalyst: History, Essays, & Opinion

Dive into hidden histories and learn why these stories matter today with the latest essays and opinions from Densho and other community voices.

A mother and child walking down a dirt path between barracks at Minidoka concentration camp.

Ask a Historian: How Did Alaska Natives Wind Up Inside Japanese American Concentration Camps?

Brian Niiya delves into the hidden history of a group of Alaska Natives caught up in the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans in our first “Ask a Historian” entry of...

In Conversation: Artist and Author Katie Yamasaki

Artist and children’s book author Katie Yamasaki has traveled around the world creating murals and stories that explore issues of identity and social justice. Her latest book, Shapes, Lines, and...
A large group of picture brides arriving at the Angel Island immigration station, c. 1910.

This Classic Novel by Yoshiko Uchida Chronicles the Dreams and Struggles of Japanese Picture Brides

In an excerpt from her foreword to a new re-release of Yoshiko Uchida’s Picture Bride, Elena Tajma Creef shines a light on the unsung history of the women who inspired...

Introducing Naomi Ostwald Kawamura

Densho is excited to share that Naomi Ostwald Kawamura will be our next Executive Director! Naomi brings a rare combination of experience in education, museums, nonprofit leadership, and a passion for Japanese American history and memory work.

Campu: A Podcast

Campu weaves together the voices of survivors to spin narratives out of the seemingly mundane things that gave shape to the incarceration experience: rocks, fences, food, paper. Follow along as hosts Hana and Noah Maruyama move far beyond the standard Japanese American incarceration 101 and into more intimate and lesser-known corners of this history.

Encyclopedia

Thousands of articles about the history of the Japanese American WWII exclusion and incarceration experience. Here are a few to get you started:

Sue Kunitomi Embrey

Activist, educator, writer and longtime chair of the Manzanar Committee, which helped to establish the site into a National Historic Site and institutionalized an annual pilgrimage.

Oyama v. California

The 1948 U.S Supreme Court case Oyama v. California struck down certain provisions of California's notorious Alien Land Act as applied against U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry.

Medical care in camp

Instead of fully operational hospitals, patients and medical staffs were greeted with rudimentary first aid stations and infirmaries.