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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…

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…

Japanese American girl lying in the grass and reading.

Nine Nikkei Women Writers You Need to be Reading Right Now

We asked writers, teachers, artists, and activists to help curate a special Women’s History Month reading list featuring books by Nikkei women authors. They came up with a phenomenal list…

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…

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….

Ask A Historian: How Did Japanese American Mothers Feed Their Babies in Camp?

Densho Content Director Brian Niiya answers a fascinating question from a 99 year old camp survivor who worked in an “assembly center” milk station providing food for infant incarcerees.

A woman farmer standing in a field next to her son. The woman is wearing protective clothing and holding a basket of strawberries, and her son is wearing a U.S. Army uniform.

Issei Mothers Played an Important—and Largely Forgotten—Role in the Japanese American Draft Resistance Movement

The resistance of nearly 300 young men who refused to be drafted into the U.S. military out of U.S. concentration camps has become a prominent part of the Japanese American…

The Nisei Women Who Fought—and Won—an Early Redress Battle in Seattle

On February 27, 1942, the Seattle School Board accepted the forced resignations of 27 Nisei women working as clerks for the school district. Four decades later, those women fought for,…

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…

Sexual Violence, Silence, and Japanese American Incarceration

In recent months, an outpouring of stories of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault has sparked long overdue conversations around the prevalence of sexual violence and the policies, attitudes, and silences…

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…

Photo Essay: Japanese American Mothers During WWII

Mothers’ Day is around the corner—which means most of us are busy getting ready to show some love and affection to the women who raised us. (Y’all should really be…

4 Bad Ass Issei Women You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you’re into strong women who like to color outside the lines and aren’t afraid to take what’s theirs, then you came to the right place, my friend. Following the…

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…

5 Bad Ass Japanese American Women Activists You Probably Didn’t Learn About in History Class

Since history tends to sideline the central role so many women played in the major social movements of the 20th century, here’s a little herstory lesson about five women warriors…