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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…

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…

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…

A group of Japanese American friends sitting together and smiling.

Notable Nisei Born 100 Years Ago

One hundred years ago, we were in the midst of a Nisei baby boom, and thus, there are many Nisei whose 100th birthdays deserve some special celebration in 2022. These…

Yoshiko Uchida signing a book for a young Asian girl while two adults and an older boy look on.

Yoshiko Uchida’s Remarkable—and Underappreciated—Literary Career

I have long been a fan of Yoshiko Uchida, a Berkeley-based writer best known for her children’s and young adult books about the World War II forced removal and incarceration….

Group photo of Okaeri members smiling and waving next to an Okaeri banner

Okaeri wants a world where all LGBTQ+ Nikkei feel safe, loved, and at home

Okaeri is a Los Angeles-based resource and support group whose mission is to create visibility, compassionate spaces, and transformation for LGBTQ+ Nikkei and their families by sharing our stories and…

At 90 years old, Chizu Omori is still fighting for justice

Activist and filmmaker Chizu Omori has spent most of her life advocating for the rights of marginalized peoples. And at the age of 90, she shows no sign of slowing…

Nisei Notables Who Would Have Turned 100 in 2021

1921 likely marked the peak year of Nisei births in the continental US. So with the arrival of 2021, there are a whole host of Nisei artists, activists, performers, civil…

In Memoriam: A Tribute to Lane Ryo Hirabayashi

Lane Ryo Hirabayashi was an innovator in the field of Asian American Studies, a historian and storyteller who dedicated his life to deepening public knowledge of Japanese American WWII incarceration,…

Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi: Creating Community and Building Bridges After WWII Incarceration

Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi was born in Los Angeles on October 17, 1921, the second of four children—and oldest of three sisters—of Hatsu and Tahei Matsunaga. She grew up in a…

Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority and Ahead of Her Time

Patsy Takemoto Mink was born in Pā`ia, Maui, on December 6, 1927, to Nisei parents Suematsu and Mitama Takemoto. Like many Japanese Americans growing up in Hawai`i at that time,…

Surviving Racism, Toxic Masculinity, and Some Gruesome Medical Ordeals

There’s a tendency during women’s history month to focus our celebrations on the women who accomplished great things as activists, artists, and thinkers. And indeed these women should be celebrated!…

Smashing the Patriarchy since 1895: The Anti-Violence Advocacy of Issei Pioneer Yeiko Mizobe So

Yeiko Mizobe So was born in Fukuoka on December 4, 1867 to samurai Nobuhara Mizobe and his wife Ino. She and her three siblings grew up in a fairly privileged…

From Poston to the Prison Industrial Complex: Mia Yamamoto’s Unwavering Fight for Justice

Mia Yamamoto was, in her own words, “born doing time” in Poston in September 1943, and spent the first years of her life confined in an isolated prison camp in…

Wordsmith and Renaissance Woman Guyo Tajiri

In honor of National Women’s History Month we are excited to introduce the Guyo Tajiri Collection, new to the Densho Digital Repository. Guyo Tajiri was a journalist and writer at…

Mary Mon Toy and the Nisei Entertainers Who Became “Chinese” During World War II

Mary Mon Toy (1916-2009) was many things. Singer, showgirl, Broadway performer, activist, thespian. The New York City based actress is best remembered for her break-out role as Minnie Ho in The…

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…

On Yuri Kochiyama’s 95th Birthday, 5 Enduring Quotes to Celebrate With

Happy birthday, Yuri! Yuri Kochiyama, who passed away in 2014, would have celebrated her 95th birthday today. (I’d like to imagine the K-Bears are throwing her a party somewhere, but…

Visionary Sculptress Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa is best known for her wizardry in weaving copper wire into enchanting, diaphanous forms. Her work, once at the vanguard of modernist sculpture, is still widely celebrated. This month, Asawa’s gossamer creations…

Mitsuye Endo sitting at a desk typing on a typewriter. She is looking at the camera with a slight smile.

Mitsuye Endo: The Woman Behind the Landmark Supreme Court Case

Mitsuye Endo was a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit that ultimately led to the closing of the concentration camps and the return of Japanese Americans to the West Coast in…

Memories of Toshiko Takaezu

Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) was one of America’s foremost ceramic artists and a highly regarded teacher of ceramics. She was credited with being one of the key figures in the mid-century…

Celebrating Mary Tsukamoto on her 100th Birthday

On what would have been Mary Tsukamoto’s 100th birthday, we take a moment to honor a woman who showed incredible resilience and leadership despite suffering poverty, poor health, and the…

The Living Legacy of Tamie Tsuchiyama

Today marks the 100th birthday of Dr. Tamie Tsuchiyama–the only Japanese American woman to work full-time for the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) Although she never published anything…