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Ask a Historian: Where to Find Records on Family Members Sent to DOJ Camps

In this month’s installment of Ask a Historian, Densho Content Director Brian Niiya advises a reader on how to track down records of Japanese Americans arrested as “enemy aliens” and…

Red tinted photo of a Japanese child looking at a building destroyed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Thousands of Japanese Americans Were in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The US Government Still Won’t Recognize Them.

Early in the morning on August 6, 1945, an American warplane cut through the cloudless sky over Hiroshima and dropped a single, devastating bomb, obliterating the hospital directly below the…

Several Japanese Americans seated at a table with microphones. Closest to the camera is William Hohri, who is reading a written statement into a microphone.

Photo Essay: Japanese Americans Demand “Justice Long Overdue” at 1981 Redress Hearings

In July 1981, congressional hearings on Japanese American WWII incarceration began in the nation’s capitol. For two days, witnesses spoke out to expose the cruel facts and painful memories surrounding…

A street in between barracks at Manzanar. A man is sitting on the front steps of a barrack, and another is walking down the street. There are mountains visible in the distance.

Ask a Historian: What’s the Story Behind Ansel Adams’ Famous Manzanar Photos?

Each month, Densho Content Director Brian Niiya will answer your questions about the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans — the small details of life in camp, the rumors and myths…

Graphic with a collage of photos and artwork from Gidra. Text reads "Truth is not always pretty. A radical history and zine making workshop. August 19, 11am-1pm."

“Truth Is Not Always Pretty”: A Radical History and Zine Making Workshop

High school students (ages 14-18) are invited to join Densho for a hands-on history and zine-making workshop on August 19th, 2021. Drawing upon the lessons handed down to us from…

Sites of Shame traces the paths of Japanese Americans forced into camps during WWII

Joe Yasutake was only nine years old when his father was apprehended by the FBI and interned as an enemy alien. In a matter of hours following the attack on…

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…