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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…

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…

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…

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…

Anti-Asian Violence Isn’t Un-American. It’s a Racist Tradition That Goes Back Over 150 Years.

In the wake of the heinous murders in Atlanta and a sharp uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes, Congress held its first hearings on discrimination against Asians in more than 30 years. Among…

Black and white photo of a grocery storefront. The words "Fruits and Vegetables" and "Wanto Co." are painted on the windows, and a large white sign with black lettering that reads "I AM AN AMERICAN" is posted on the building. A car is parked on the street in front of the store.

This Election Day, Asian Americans must refuse assimilation and loudly dream of a world that serves us all

Guest post by Miya Sommers On December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor, Tatsuro Matsuda commissioned and installed the famous “I AM AN AMERICAN” sign on his family business…

The Karma of Becoming American

In this guest post, scholar and Soto Zen Buddhist priest Duncan Ryūken Williams reflects on celebrating his first 4th of July as an American citizen in the midst of a…

Why Japanese Americans Should Join the Fight for Abolition

Guest post by Sara Onitsuka The last few weeks of protest, sparked by the murder of George Floyd and rising out of 400+ years of slavery, genocide, and other white…

Photo Essay: Minidoka National Historic Site Unveils New Visitor Center

Earlier this month, about 325 people gathered in southeast Idaho for the 17th annual Minidoka Pilgrimage. Over the course of four days, pilgrims learned about the history and legacy of…

SANSEI: On Being Japanese American in a Time of Crisis

This guest post is adapted from a speech delivered by Stanley N. Shikuma at the 2019 Day of Remembrance Taiko Fundraiser organized by the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee and co-sponsored…

My Kimono is Not Your Couture

Items called “kimono” are having a moment in the fashion world. But as guest blogger Emi Ito points out, this trend revolves around appropriation and erasure of histories that are…

The First Day of Remembrance, Thanksgiving Weekend 1978

Guest post by Frank Abe This week marks the 40th anniversary of the very first Day of Remembrance. It was invented here in Seattle, at a pivotal moment when the…

The (Ongoing) Ruins of Japanese American Incarceration: Thirty Years After the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

By guest author Brandon Shimoda  This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act, with which the United States closed the book on Japanese American…