Tools We Offer For You To Do Your Own Family History:

Are you interested in researching your Japanese American family history? Densho has extensive resources to help you on your journey.

Densho Digital Repository

Collections containing over 100,000 oral histories and historical materials. There is a good chance you may find stories or photos about your relatives in these collections. But even if you don’t find direct evidence of their lives here you may find records of the places they lived, neighbors they knew, or events that affected their lives.

Names Registry

A searchable database of the over 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. If your relative was incarcerated you will find entries for them with information from the WRA Form 26, the Final Accountability Rosters, Japanese American military databases, and you will also find links to objects in the Densho Digital Repository.

Densho Encyclopedia

Articles covering a wide range of topics in Japanese American and World War II incarceration history. An essential aspect of learning about your family history is to understand the context around your ancestors’ lives. Knowing about places, events, and laws that affected them will lead you to new discoveries and more nuanced understandings of their lives.

Sites of Shame

An invaluable resource for learning about the World War II incarceration facilities. Explore maps of the camps, look at the location of the barracks where your ancestors lived, the mess halls they were assigned to, and other details—like how far they had to walk to school or the hospital.

Incarceration Records

Any person looking into Japanese American genealogy must understand the history of incarceration during World War II. If your ancestor spent time in any incarceration facility during the war, you should work on gathering all the relevant records related to this time period.

Preserve Your Own Family Archives

As we continue our work to safeguard this critical part of American history, we also want to enable members of our community to be their own historians and archivists. Here are ways that you can preserve your own historical photographs, documents, newspapers, letters, and ephemera.

More Info


Finding Your Nikkei Roots in the U.S. and Japan: Digital Genealogy Series

Densho partnered with Linda Harms Okazaki, noted expert in Japanese American genealogy, to present a 10-part webinar series to help families research and preserve their history. Go in-depth on one subject like records in Japan, navigating genealogy websites, or doing your own oral histories. Watch one or all 10 and get ready to dive into your own research.

Watch Webinars


Koseki Retrieval and Translation Services

Densho’s Family History Program provides support to Japanese Americans exploring their heritage. In addition to our educational content, we offer assistance to families wanting to request their koseki (family registers) from Japan.

Learn More



Contact us at