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A Japanese American man and French woman sitting together at a beach in France circa 1944 to 1945.

Intern Spotlight: Kathryn Perry Walters on How Archives Can Be a Platform for Social Justice Work

Kathryn Perry Walters is a graduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a Master’s in Information and Library Science (MLIS), and recently completed an internship with Densho’s archives team….

Two Densho staff members at a computer workstation looking at a printed photograph

The Densho Legacy Archive Offers a Glimpse into Hard Work and Passion That Built Densho

Densho Project Archivist Will Allen has been helping to create Densho’s Legacy Archive, an archive of Densho’s organizational records since its founding in 1996. Will shares some highlights from this…

This 150 Year Old Bonsai Holds the Incredible History of One Japanese American Family

The Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way, Washington connects people to nature through the living art of bonsai. The Densho communications team recently had the chance to visit the museum…

Kaneji Domoto pruning a bonsai

How Kaneji Domoto’s “Compassionate Architecture” Highlights The Contradictions Of Camp

As an intern at Densho, I have spent this past summer and fall processing new additions to the Kaneji and Sally (Fujii) Domoto Collection. During that time, I enjoyed getting…

Page from a photo album with several images of the Fukayama family and extended family

Intern Spotlight: Kelsie Flack on Learning History from Those Who Lived It

Kelsie Flack gained a love of archival work during her undergraduate degree when she worked in special collections at the University of Utah’s J.W. Marriott Library. This experience pushed her…

A Japanese American family standing in front of barracks at Minidoka.

Intern Spotlight: Kathleen Singleton on the Power of Archives

Kathleen Singleton is a mixed Yonsei, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. They graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in Professional and Creative Writing with a minor in…

A page in a photo album with several photos of a Japanese American family.

Intern Spotlight: Ron Martin-Dent on Hidden Connections in the Archives

Densho Archives Intern Ron Martin-Dent shares some lessons learned and surprises uncovered during his time adding new collections to the Densho Digital Repository.

Illustration from "Jingle, Jingle, Jangle" by Mine Okubo showing aliens in Santa suits crossing a street at a crosswalk in New York City.

Mine Okubo Illustrated a Book About Invading Alien Santas That You’ve Probably Never Seen…Until Now

Mine Okubo was best known for her 1946 illustrated memoir, Citizen 13660, which depicted her incarceration at Tanforan and Topaz. While that book brought her the most acclaim, Okubo was…

The Miwa family sitting on a couch and smiling, circa 1970s.

Archives Spotlight: The Miwa Family’s Transnational WWII Journey

The James Seigo Miwa Family Collection is a new and fascinating addition to the Densho Digital Repository. It includes family photos and documents relating to Miwa’s detainment as an “enemy…

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…

Archives Spotlight: Remembering Nisei Veterans

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military. Nearly 80 years later, as the number of Nisei veterans with firsthand memories of this history dwindles,…

Archives Spotlight: The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple Collections

In honor of American Archives Month, we feature a guest post from Densho Digitization Tech, Christen Greenhill Robichaud. In this essay, Robichaud details her team’s work on an exciting new…

Densho’s Oral History Program Is Back after a Pandemic Pause

Like many oral history projects, we’ve spent much of the last 18 months adapting and adjusting to meet the challenges of the pandemic. Knowing that elders and communities of color…

People gathered around the Manzanar cemetery monument, with barbed wire in the foreground and mountains and dramatic clouds in the distant background.

Photo Essay: The First Manzanar Pilgrimage

On December 27, 1969, an intergenerational group of Issei, Nisei, Sansei, and a few Yonsei made the 220-mile trek from Los Angeles to Manzanar. It was the first organized pilgrimage…

T. K. Pharmacy Was a Lifeline for Incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII

T. K. Pharmacy was one of few Japanese American businesses that remained open during World War II. Operating out of Denver—outside the so-called “exclusion zone”—it offered a lifeline to Japanese…

Photo Essay: Japanese American History Through the Eyes of Everyday Families

Personal collections are a critical component of Densho’s archives. These collections, donated by families and individuals, provide amazing insights into Japanese American history that might otherwise be forgotten, while allowing…

Commemorating Redress in the Archives

On this anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 we’re highlighting some recent additions to Densho’s archives that focus on the Redress Movement. Along with our…

‘It was my first grown-up feeling of responsibility’: Student Views of Life in a Japanese American Concentration Camp

We’re fortunate today to have access to hundreds of testimonies from Nisei elders who were incarcerated as children during WWII. But the perspective captured in these oral histories is that…

Tule Lake Pilgrimage, 1974

In this American Archives Month guest post, Densho Digital Archivist Caitlin Oiye Coon looks at a recently published collection of photos by Gerald Kajitani. The photos document the second pilgrimage…

This is What We Talk About When We Talk About Community Archives

Stereotypes of archivists as bespectacled introverts navigating unending caverns of file cabinets and stacks are largely exaggerated. But it’s true that, as a lot, we generally enjoy our quiet time…

25 Times Gidra Was Goddamn Glorious

From 1969 to 1974, Gidra, the unofficial voice of “the Movement,” chronicled changing tides and unfolding dramas within the Asian American community. Taking its name from a giant three-headed dragon…

“Democracy is for the Unafraid”

As a chronicler of American race relations, writer Chester B. Himes was deeply impacted by the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. In his 1945 debut novel, “If He Hollers Let…

Ikeda Family Photo Album

In this guest post, Densho intern Odette Allen traces the story of one family through photos collected in family albums. 

Gidra: Now Available Online

By Brian Niiya, Densho Content Director  During its 1969 to 1974 run, Gidra chronicled the dramatic changes in the Asian American community, and was itself a catalyst for many of these…