January 12, 2009

Densho is receiving more web hits and comments from Japan these days. The connections continue to grow between Densho’s work with Japanese American history and contemporary relations with the land of our families’ ancestors. For instance, our director Tom Ikeda has just returned from meeting with Japanese diplomats in Washington, D.C. (I will ask Tom to blog about the trip.)

One image keeps recurring as Japanese readers contact us: The program description for an NHK TV show featuring Densho last year says, “The government is counting on the Japanese American community to play the role of bridge builder.” Now a Tokyo-born San Francisco-residing web visitor who saw the NHK show links to the Densho website from an article (parts 1 and 2) on his blog. He tells us, “I do believe that Japanese Americans and Japanese living in US hold keys to bridge between US and Japan tighter.”

Most of our Japanese immigrant ancestors didn’t return to visit their homeland. No one would use the word “bridge” for the long boat ride they took across the Pacific in the early 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, Densho is pleased to offer a bridge of digital technology that connects the life stories of Americans with Japanese faces to Japanese with American friends.