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Nobuko Miyamoto, Attallah Ayyubi, and another marcher at a Republic of New Africa demonstration in 1973. They are holding signs that read "Free All Prisoners of War," "We are not US citizens, we demand a free pleblescite!" and "Free the R.N.A."

How the Asian American Movement Learned a Lesson in Liberation from the Black Panthers

As a musician, artist, and activist, Nobuko Miyamoto has long used art to create social change and solidarity across cultural borders. Her new memoir, Not Yo’ Butterfly: My Long Song…

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…

A group of cute and happy queers standing under a banner that reads "Asian/Pacific Queer n Proud"

Where to Learn the Queer Asian American History You Absolutely Missed in School

Let’s face it. It’s hard to find queer voices within Asian American history. They’re often erased from both mainstream (read: white) LGBTQ and Asian American narratives — but thanks to…

Japanese Americans waiting in a mess hall line in Manzanar. They are standing and sitting in the shade next to a barrack.

Ask a Historian: How Many Japanese Americans Were Incarcerated During WWII?

Do you have a burning question about Japanese American history? A piece of family lore you’re not sure is myth or fact? Brian Niiya, Densho’s Content Director and basically a…

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…

Japanese Americans walking between barracks at Manzanar. The Sierra Nevada mountains are visible in the distance.

A Mattress Factory, Female Administrators, and Other Unusual Things About Manzanar

The first of America’s WWII concentration camps to be built, Manzanar was first at a lot of other things as well: the first to have an official historic marker, the…

Fred Shiosaki standing next to a photo of himself and fellow Nisei soldiers taken during WWII.

A Tribute to Fred Shiosaki’s Remarkable Legacy

Fred Shiosaki was a remarkable man who led a remarkable life. We are deeply saddened to learn that he recently passed away — but incredibly grateful for the legacy he…

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…

Grilled Rattlesnake, Missing Toilets, and Other Things You Might Not Know about Jerome

One of two camps located in southeastern Arkansas—and less than thirty miles from Rohwer, the other such camp—Jerome was the earliest WRA camp to close, shutting down at the end…

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…

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…

Photo Essay: Day of Remembrance Caravan from Puyallup to Northwest Detention Center

This past weekend, we joined our friends at Tsuru for Solidarity for a Day of Remembrance caravan from the Puyallup Fairgrounds to Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center. About 60 cars bearing…

Dive into These YA Books on the Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans

In recent decades, many new books on the wartime experience of Japanese Americans have filled the shelves of bookstores and libraries. Of this ever-growing new crop of titles, many are…

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…

Join Densho for a Week of Action and Remembrance

This year we mark the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 with a full week of action and remembrance. Join us each day between February 14th and 21st as we dig…

Meet the Sansei Researcher Exploring the Intergenerational Impacts of Japanese American Incarceration

Once a taboo topic, the impacts of WWII incarceration on Japanese Americans who lived through it are well-documented and widely acknowledged today. Donna K. Nagata, a psychology professor at the…

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…

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…

Someone Tell Rep. Clay Higgins that Being Mad about the Election Results Is Not the Same Thing as Being in a Concentration Camp

Last week, Louisiana congressman Clay Higgins upped the ante on GOP claims that the recent presidential election was “stolen” by voter fraud, going so far as to compare it to…

Photo Essay: Yoshio Okumoto’s Views of Life in Heart Mountain

Many of the “iconic” photos of Japanese American incarceration that we are most familiar with today were taken by white photographers who worked as outsiders looking in. But, as the…

Black and white photo of a group of young Japanese Americans climbing Castle Rock in the snow. Three are walking up the hill holding hands, and three more behind them are pulling a sled.

Winter Events Calendar

Looking for ways to stay cozy and connected as the weather gets colder? Here’s a list of upcoming digital events offered by Densho and other community partners this winter. We’ll…

Photo Essay: Japanese American Military Service during WWII

Despite facing extreme race-based scrutiny and suspicion, Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during WWII in disproportionate numbers—even as many of their families were stuck in government-run concentration camps….

Photo of a parade review of the 442nd following the Bruyères-Biffontaine campaign. The soldiers are helmets and wearing army-issue coats over their uniforms, and stand in two rows facing the camera. In the front row are two color bearers holding flags and two color guards holding rifles over their shoulders. They are standing on a grass field covered in frost.

How We Remember the Rescue of the Lost Battalion

The rescue of the “Lost Battalion” holds a near-mythical place in Japanese American history. Over the years, dozens (if not hundreds) of films, novels, memoirs, history texts, exhibitions, and even…

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…