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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Objects cut from paper and painted in watercolor, laid out on a table before being added to the memory net. Some of the objects include a head of napa cabbage, an evacuation tag, origami crane, wooden rice paddle, baby bottle, and a silkworm on a mulberry leaf.

Explore the Memory Net Remembrance Project

Last month we joined our community in a flurry of Day of Remembrance events to mark the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. After some thought-provoking discussions about why this…

Lauren Ito's grandmother holds a fish

Lauren Ito: “Arrival As We”

To celebrate Women’s History Month this year, we invited a select group of writers to submit short responses to photographs of women in the Densho archives or in their own…

Painting by Kenjiro Nomura of Minidoka concentration camp

Book Review: Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist

Densho Content Director Brian Niiya reviews Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist: An Issei Artist’s Journey, a beautifully illustrated exhibition companion book and biography that completes Barbara Johns’ invaluable trilogy on major…

Lauren Iida holding up a memory net paper cut out

Introducing the Memory Net Remembrance Project

In recognition of the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Densho is launching a new community art initiative: the Memory Net Remembrance Project. In collaboration with Densho resident artist Lauren…

In Conversation: Artists Lauren Iida and Erin Shigaki

Earlier this year, Densho artist-in-residence Lauren Iida sat down with Erin Shigaki — a longtime Densho friend, designer, and artist — for a conversation about how their art is influenced…

Announcing Densho’s 2021 Artists-in-Residence

We are thrilled to introduce you to Lauren Iida and Molly Murakami, the talented artists who will be joining Densho for our third annual artist residency program. Both Lauren and…

Photo Essay: The Amache Silk Screen Shop

The Amache concentration camp in southeastern Colorado was, in many ways, similar to other War Relocation Authority camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II: rural and rugged,…

Japanese American artist leaning over a canvas painting

Healing the Intergenerational Trauma of WWII Incarceration through Art

As one of Densho’s 2019 artists-in-residence, Mari Shibuya recently completed a mural that visualizes the histories of three Pacific Northwest Japanese American families. In this guest blog post, she reflects…

Highlights from Densho’s 2019 Artist Initiative

As we witness everyday reminders that “Never Again” is right now, it’s become clear that stories of Japanese American WWII incarceration matter today more than ever. Last year we launched…

Introducing Densho’s 2019 Artists Initiative Recipients

We’re pleased to introduce the two artists who will receive 2019 Densho Artists Initiative funding! Out of a wide selection of gifted artists and their powerful proposals, Brynn Saito and…

Japanese American Artists Behind Barbed Wire

Following the forced exile from the West Coast under Executive Order 9066, many incarcerated Japanese Americans turned to art as a way to cope with their harsh prison environment. Stripped…

Densho’s Artist-in-Residence Program

Densho is first and foremost a history organization but as we have gotten more vocal about today’s political climate, we’ve become more acutely aware of the fact that art can…

Picturing Incarceration: The WWII Sketches and Paintings of Kango Takamura

Photographs and moving images of World War II incarceration have helped keep memories of that era alive for decades. But since cameras were largely forbidden inside the camps, few images…