Upcoming Events

Memory Net Remembrance Project

Memory Net Remembrance Project

In recognition of the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Densho is launching a new community art initiative: the Memory Net Remembrance Project. Together with Densho resident artist Lauren Iida, we invite submissions of “memory objects” that symbolize hope, strength, and/or resistance for you or your ancestors during WWII Japanese American incarceration.

Lauren will select from these objects to incorporate into a 30-foot-long cut paper net to be hung as a semi-permanent installation in Densho’s community room. Please join us in this powerful act of remembrance! The Memory Net will be unveiled on February 19th at 3pm PST.

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Lemonade by Lauren Iida

Lauren Iida | Citizen’s Indefinite Leave

ArtXchange Gallery presents Citizen’s Indefinite Leave, a new series of intricate paper cutaways by Lauren Iida incorporating historical scenes from the unjust incarceration of 126,000 people of Japanese ancestry in the USA during World War II. With the assistance from Seattle-based organization, Densho, Iida was able to dive deeper into her own family’s history and create a narrative exhibition that explores questions of citizenship, belonging and home. With access to Densho’s vast digital archives and personal assistance from their archivists and historians, as well as her family’s personal collection of photos, Iida created works with references to real places and real people, blending them with surreal painted backgrounds and dreamlike characters that embody the fears, anxieties and hopes of the time.

The narrative thread running throughout Iida’s exhibition is the story of Clara, the older sister of Iida’s grandmother. While investigating her family’s personal archives, Iida came across Clara’s “indefinite leave” pass, giving her early release privileges from Tule Lake, CA where she was incarcerated. The artworks in Citizen’s Indefinite Leave pay homage to the struggle of Iida’s grandparents and great-grandparents and explores how the trauma of this era has influenced her own relationship with her Japanese American cultural heritage. Iida writes, “Having been robbed of my cultural heritage by the unjust incarceration of my ancestors, and the subsequent lack of education they were able to offer me as a child, I have had to turn to historical artifacts to learn about my own ethnic roots as an adult, through my own art-making process and research.”

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Conversations about Nomura

Join Tom Ikeda and art historian Barbara Johns in a conversation about Kenjiro Nomura at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, WA on February 13. Johns is the author of Kenjiro Nomura, An American Modernist: An Issei Artist’s Journey, her fourth book about immigrant-generation Japanese American artists in Seattle. Ikeda and Johns will discuss Nomura’s World War II experience and the impact on his life and art. Expect a lively conversation!

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Past Events

Organizing Your Family History Research

Organizing Your Family History Research with Linda Harms Okazaki

Researching your family history is a labor of love. But do you sometimes feel like you are drowning under a pile of paper, have no idea what to do with all of your findings, or can’t even find those records on your hard drive? There are as many ways to organize your data as there are researchers. The only “right” way to organize your genealogy is to do it in a way that you will consistently follow!

In this latest webinar in Densho’s Family History series, genealogist Linda Harms Okazaki will help you tackle that growing mountain of data. She will share strategies to help you start your research, keep track of your findings, and establish naming conventions for both digital and paper files. Join us on January 20th at 11am Pacific.

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Black + Japanese American Reparations Book Club

Join the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture for Black + Japanese American Reparations, a special virtual events series and book club. Many Black reparations advocates have pointed directly to...
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Densho Anniversary Gala: 25 Years of Story

2021Twenty-five years ago, Densho started documenting oral histories from Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. With the support of our incredible community, we have grown from a...
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Tadaima Panel - Mystery After Manzanar

Tadaima! Mystery After Manzanar: A Conversation Between Naomi Hirahara and Brian Niiya

Author Naomi Hirahara appeared in conversation with Densho’s Brian Niiya to discuss her new mystery novel, Clark and Division. Set in 1944 Chicago, Clark and Division follows the story of...
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J-Town Tadaima

Tadaima! J-Town Is Not for Sale: Displacement and Community Resilience in Japantown

Japantowns, or nihonmachi, have been important cultural and community hubs for generations of Japanese Americans and others who live, work, and find connection in J-town. Shaped by a history of...
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Sites of Shame Virtual Launch

On July 28 we hosted the Sites of Shame virtual launch event! This innovative new mapping tool from Densho gives users an unprecedented view of the landscapes and dislocations of...
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Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown

Facing the Mountain: Virtual Book Launch Event

On May 11, 2021, Densho hosted the official book launch of Facing the Mountain, a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. The virtual event featured a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda, who has conducted oral histories with many of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015.

Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons. While some fought on battlefields as members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, others fought to defend the constitutional rights of a community. Regardless of where their battles played out, these individuals were exemplifying American patriotism under extreme duress by striving, resisting, standing on principle, and enduring.

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Unexpected Sites of WWII Incarceration

Many of us are familiar with the ten major concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII, and maybe even some of the dozens of other Department of Justice-run...
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Nisei Radicals: A Book Launch and Conversation with Diane Fujino and Mitsuye Yamada

In her new book, Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake, Diane Fujino reveals a radical lineage of Japanese American activism through the lives of...
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Tsuru for Solidarity Day of Remembrance Car Caravan

On February 21, 2021, Tsuru for Solidarity, La Resistencia, the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, Seattle JACL, and Puyallup Valley JACL came together for a car caravan from the Puyallup Fairgrounds...
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Why the Lessons of the WWII Incarceration Still Matter Today: A Conversation with Dale Minami

What Constitutional rights were promised to Japanese Americans during World War II? Why weren’t these promises kept and protected? What forces weaken the protections of the Constitution? What can you...
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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 deeper into...
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Untold Stories of Nikkei New York

In his new book, “The Unsung Great: Stories of Extraordinary Japanese Americans,” scholar and journalist Greg Robinson showcases the lives and achievements of relatively unknown but remarkable people in Nikkei...
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