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Japanese American teens gathered around a table reading at Minidoka

15 Books About Japanese American WWII Incarceration For Readers Of All Ages

Looking for some summer reading for the students—and learners of any age—in your life? Densho Content Director Brian Niiya recommends some graphic novels and youth-friendly books with plotlines related to…

Japanese Americans walking in a street between barracks at Heart Mountain concentration camp. Heart Mountain is visible in the distance.

Frozen Hair, Work Stoppages, and Other Lesser-Known Stories from Heart Mountain

Perhaps you know the Heart Mountain, Wyoming, concentration camp for stories of boyhood-friends-turned-congressmen Norman Mineta and Alan Simpson, for the draft resistance of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, for…

A photomontage created by Dean K. Terasaki from two images. One is a detail of the Poston Concentration Camp Monument. The other is a request for inkstone, ink and brushes in a Japanese-language letter sent to T.K. Pharmacy.

Community Curator Spotlight: Dean Terasaki on Memory and Mystery

Erin Shigaki, Seattle-based artist and Densho’s inaugural Community Curator, caught up with photographer Dean Terasaki to learn how he’s turned his lens toward an 80 year old family mystery.

A Japanese American family standing in front of barracks at Minidoka.

Intern Spotlight: Kathleen Singleton on the Power of Archives

Kathleen Singleton is a mixed Yonsei, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. They graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in Professional and Creative Writing with a minor in…

A page in a photo album with several photos of a Japanese American family.

Intern Spotlight: Ron Martin-Dent on Hidden Connections in the Archives

Densho Archives Intern Ron Martin-Dent shares some lessons learned and surprises uncovered during his time adding new collections to the Densho Digital Repository.

Six kibei siblings in Japan. They are standing in a row, one wearing dark colored hakama and haori, another in a western suit, and the four younger siblings in school uniforms.

The Kibei Story Is “The Biggest Unexplored Episode In The History Of Japanese Americans.” Here’s Where To Learn More About It.

A recent episode of NPR’s Code Switch explores an often forgotten chapter of Japanese American history: the Kibei story. Kibei were Japanese Americans who were born in the US to…

Japanese Americans reading in the library at Tanforan Assembly Center.

Counting Down Our Top 5 Most-Read Densho Encyclopedia Articles

Since launching the Densho Encyclopedia in 2012, we’ve published 1,500 articles on Japanese American history written by expert scholars and public historians — making it the go-to resource for many…

A Japanese American teen performing a flag salute during an Independence Day parade at Tule Lake. She has a big smile and is holding a baton and leading the parade.

Ask a Historian: Why Do Some Survivors Say Camp Was “Fun”?

Densho Content Director Brian Niiya responds to a question from a descendant of the camps who wonders why his Nisei father often shared “happy” memories of the wartime incarceration.

Graphic with the cover of Love in the Library superimposed over an aerial photo of the Minidoka concentration camp

Author Maggie Tokuda-Hall Takes a Stand Against Censorship and the “Deeply American Tradition of Racism”

Earlier this month, author Maggie Tokuda-Hall received a troubling offer from publishing giant Scholastic: they would license Love in the Library, her acclaimed children’s book based on her grandparents’ experiences…

Arrested for Selling Poetry: Shig Murao, Howl, and the Erasure of a Beat Scene Bookslinger

Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti are household names among the leftist literati, but you’ve probably never heard the name Shig Murao. You’re not alone. Despite the fact that Shig…

Densho’s Public Comments on the Lava Ridge Wind Project

The proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project adjacent to the Minidoka National Historic Site would disrupt the site’s historic significance to survivors of WWII incarceration and their descendants. Densho submitted public…

People marching with signs at the Wounded Knee occupation. Signs read "Unity for Survival" and "United People for Wounded Knee."

50 Years Ago, Asian Americans Took a Stand at Wounded Knee

In February of 1973, American Indian Movement activists began the occupation of Wounded Knee. Over the course of the 71-day occupation, Indigenous activists and allies – including a delegation of…

Diana Tsuchida as a baby with her father and grandparents. Her grandmother is holding Diana in her lap, sitting at a table next to her grandfather, while her father stands behind them.

Diana Emiko Tsuchida On How Her Grandmother’s Story Helped Her Write Her Own

In this guest post for Women’s History Month, Diana Emiko Tsuchida, creator of the journal and oral history project Tessaku, writes about how her grandmother’s experiences during WWII have shaped…

Two small children walking down a dirt path between barracks at Minidoka.

The Proposed Lava Ridge Wind Farm at Minidoka Is Part of a Larger—and Ongoing—Pattern of Erasing Marginalized Histories

A proposal to build a 76,000-acre wind farm surrounding the former Minidoka concentration camp threatens to erase the site’s historic legacy. The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments…

The top tier of the Nishimotos' wedding cake inside a display box. On top of the cake are a set of wooden bride and groom figures.

What an 80-year-old cake can tell us about love – and loss – in Japanese American concentration camps

When Frances Nishimura died in 2019 at the age of 102, she left behind a mystery that might never be solved. On a warm spring day in May 2021, Elaine…

Collage of photos of Japanese Americans. Right to left: a woman working in an art studio, an elderly couple posing for a portrait, three young men standing with their arms wrapped around each other, a young woman holding a snowball.

#WhoWeRemember: A Collective Memory Project for Day of Remembrance 2023

Last week, Japanese Americans across the country gathered to remember a day that will forever be impressed upon our collective memory. February 19, 1942 — when FDR signed Executive Order…

Watercolor paintings of the rocks collected by Alison Moritsugu's grandfather on display at the "Moons and Internment Stones" exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Community Curator Spotlight: Alison Moritsugu’s “Moons and Internment Stones”

Artist Alison Moritsugu’s work explores our relationship with nature and how the stories we tell about landscapes—often idealized to hide what lies beneath the surface—shape our conceptions of the world…

A mother and child walking down a dirt path between barracks at Minidoka concentration camp.

Ask a Historian: How Did Alaska Natives Wind Up Inside Japanese American Concentration Camps?

Brian Niiya delves into the hidden history of a group of Alaska Natives caught up in the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans in our first “Ask a Historian” entry of…

In Conversation: Artist and Author Katie Yamasaki

Artist and children’s book author Katie Yamasaki has traveled around the world creating murals and stories that explore issues of identity and social justice. Her latest book, Shapes, Lines, and…

A large group of picture brides arriving at the Angel Island immigration station, c. 1910.

This Classic Novel by Yoshiko Uchida Chronicles the Dreams and Struggles of Japanese Picture Brides

In an excerpt from her foreword to a new re-release of Yoshiko Uchida’s Picture Bride, Elena Tajma Creef shines a light on the unsung history of the women who inspired…

Children at a birthday party in 1956.

Happy 100th Birthday to These 17 Nisei Notables

The early 1920s were the peak of the Nisei baby boom and, according to War Relocation Authority records, the year 1923 saw the second largest number of Nisei (and undoubtedly…

Naomi Ostwald Kawamura and siblings with their father when they were children

How Naomi Ostwald Kawamura’s Family History Shaped Her Life: An Interview with Densho’s New Executive Director 

Densho’s new executive director Naomi Ostwald Kawamura brings with her a deep knowledge and passion about public education’s role in ensuring that the stories of Japanese American WWII incarceration reach…

Remembering Roger Daniels

Roger Daniels passed away on December 9th, shortly after celebrating his 95th birthday. Daniels was regarded by many to be the pre-eminent historian of his generation on the Japanese American…

Caution This object is protected by copyright. You must ask permission from the rights holder if you re-use or publish it elsewhere, unless your project falls under a fair-use exception. Learn more... AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook Share to TwitterShare to More PARTNER CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project Visit partner OBJECT ID ddr-csujad-26-92 (CSUJAD Local ID: mei_05_029, CSUJAD Project ID: ucsb_mei_0092) PARENT COLLECTION UC Santa Barbara Robert Billigmeier Collection DESCRIPTION Two young Japanese American boys doing schoolwork write in notebooks. A chalkboard is blurred in the background.

Counting Down Our Top 10 Reads from the Densho Catalyst in 2022

As we approach the end of 2022, we’re looking back at the highs — and lows — of the past year. Here are this year’s top ten most-read pieces from…