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Graphic with the cover of When the Emperor Was Divine over a background photo of Japanese American children in a concentration camp classroom.

Hey Muskego-Norway School Board, Your White Fragility is Showing

Julie Otsuka’s novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, has received numerous distinctions: an Alex Award from the American Library Association; a Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, and…

Illustration showing a large Japanese American family on the shores of Terminal Island.

A Peek at Densho’s First Graphic Novel by Molly Murakami

We’re excited to share a new graphic novel by 2021 Densho artist-in-residence Molly Murakami! Tide Goes Out takes an intimate look at the lesser-known history of Terminal Island, a Japanese…

The interior of preserved barracks at present day Heart Mountain

“Show Me The Way To Go to Home”: Photo Essay by Sandy Sugawara

Three years ago, Sansei journalist and photographer Sandy Sugawara set out to visit each of the War Relocation Authority camps where Japanese Americans, including her parents and grandparents, were incarcerated…

Aya Hori Masuoka in the 1960s. She is wearing sunglasses and a plaid blouse with a white scarf wrapped sylishly over her hair.

A Japanese Picture Bride in Montana: The Story of Aya Hori Masuoka

In this guest post, Kathryn Tolbert, creator of the oral history archive The War Bride Project, shines some light on the experiences of Japanese immigrant women in Montana through the…

Painting of two men playing go in Minidoka.

Meet Densho’s 2022 Artists-in-Residence

We’re delighted to introduce Densho’s 2022 Artist-in-Residence cohort! This year’s call for artists garnered more submissions than ever before and it was incredible to see all the creative ways y’all…

Photo of Kuromiya in barracks for use with "Conscience and the Constitution" documentary

Book Review: Beyond the Betrayal

Yoshito “Yosh” Kuromiya is best known as one of the sixty-three men from Heart Mountain convicted in 1944 for refusing to report for induction in the largest mass trial in…

Old man standing next to a sign that reads "No Japs allowed to reside in Kane County"

We Need Critical Race Theory in our Schools Now More Than Ever

Here at Densho we talk a lot about the importance of preserving the history of WWII Japanese American incarceration. But we are well aware that this one moment in history…

Danielle Higa with two Densho colleagues and community members at the 2019 Heart Mountain pilgrimage.

A New Chapter for Densho Fund Development Manager Danielle Higa

We’re sharing the bittersweet news that Densho Fund Development Manager Danielle Higa is taking on a new role as a Senior Associate at the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. While we’re…

Norm Mineta speaking at a podium

Remembering Norm Mineta

We mourn the passing of Secretary Norm Mineta. Densho Director Tom Ikeda remembers him for his impressive political career, as an important member of the Japanese American community, and as…

Eugenie Clark surrounded by shark teeth

Eugenie Clark Swam with Sharks and Blazed a Path for Women in Science

Famed marine biologist Eugenie Clark, or “Genie” as she was known to friends and family, was born in New York City on May 4, 1922. Her father, Charles Clark, died…

Collage with a typed poem and photos of fences, inmates, and guards at Japanese American concentration camps.

The Unsolvable Mystery of “That Damned Fence”

The barbed wire fence is an enduring symbol of the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. As Hana and Noah Maruyama point out in Episode Three of the Campu podcast, the…

Manzanar cemetery monument. It is a white stone obelisk with kanji that reads "monument to console the souls of the dead."

How Japanese Americans Fought to Make Sure We Never Forget Manzanar’s History

This National Park Week, we want to uplift the story of how Manzanar became the first of the US concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII to become…

A Japanese Peruvian family on a plantation.

Photo Essay: Japanese Peruvian Lives Before World War II

During World War II, the United States colluded with several Central and South American nations to imprison some 2,200 Japanese Latin Americans on US soil. The majority—nearly 1,800—were abducted from…

Book covers of several Japanese American novels and memoirs with African American characters.

Japanese American Literature Traces Changing Relationships between Nikkei and African Americans Over Time

Co-authored by Brian Niiya and Greg Robinson In our many combined years of doing research on Japanese American history and literature, we each noted a striking fact with regard to…

Japanese American artist leaning over a canvas painting

Densho 2022 Artist Residency Program: Call for Proposals

Densho’s 2022 artist program theme, Answering the Archive, pulls focus on the individual and collective responses that archival materials elicit, and on the actions they call upon us to take….

Sarah Yomogi Okada standing in front of a barrack in Jerome concentration camp wearing a graduation cap and gown.

Lane Tomosumi Shigihara: “Vocal Young Woman”

In this final piece from our 2022 Women’s History Month writing challenge, gosei poet Lane Tomosumi Shigihara shares a haiku inspired by his grandmother’s courage in standing up for her…

Patricia Wakida: “Four Suns, These Issei Women”

The latest addition to our Women’s History Month writing challenge comes from yonsei artist, writer and community historian Patricia Wakida, who shares a photo from her great-grandmother’s 88th birthday and…

Three Japanese American men standing in front of a wall with posted exclusion orders.

Tell Congress to Pass the Japanese American Confinement Education Act

Over the past fifteen years, the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) federal grant program has funded 268 projects increasing public knowledge about Japanese American WWII incarceration. But that funding is…

A young Japanese American woman posing next to a statue of Seabiscuit at the Santa Anita Assembly Center.

Karen L. Ishizuka: “Why, Oh Archive?”

Karen L. Ishizuka is a writer and chief curator of the Japanese American National Museum. In response to our Women’s History Month writing challenge—in which we ask writers to share…

Japanese Americans working in an administrative office at Minidoka concentration camp.

We’re Looking for Our Next Executive Director—and We Need Your Help!

We are excited to announce that Densho has officially launched the search for our new Executive Director. You can view the full position profile here.

Japanese American girl lying in the grass and reading.

Nine Nikkei Women Writers You Need to be Reading Right Now

We asked writers, teachers, artists, and activists to help curate a special Women’s History Month reading list featuring books by Nikkei women authors. They came up with a phenomenal list…

Brynn Saito: “What exists outside the frame”

Brynn Saito is a Korean American and Japanese American poet, educator, and organizer, born and raised in Fresno, California. In response to our Women’s History Month call for writers to…

Japanese Americans reciving typhoid vaccinations while registering for forced removal in 1942.

Ask a Historian: Did Japanese Americans Have Access to Vaccines in WWII Incarceration Camps?

Densho Content Director Brian Niiya answers a question about vaccination efforts in WWII concentration camps from a survivor who experienced them firsthand. Junko Mizuta writes: With the vaccine mandates being…

A young Japanese American woman on a motorcycle in the 1920s.

Nikiko Masumoto: “How to Wonder”

This Women’s History Month, we asked writers to submit short responses to photographs of women in the Densho archives or in their own family collections. Today’s submission comes from Nikiko…