From the Director: Tom Ikeda
What does it mean to love your country? If you find fault with your country and try to make it better, does that mean you don't love it? I ask these questions in response to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's recent comment that he does "not believe that the President loves America" because Giuliani thinks the President criticizes the country more than his predecessors.
I disagree with Giuliani. To show you love and care for your country, it's important to see its flaws, especially inequality and injustice, and work for change. This is the spirit that lifted many in the Japanese American community during the redress movement to gain a government apology for the mistake of the WWII incarceration. This movement was much more than just righting a wrong, it was also about increasing awareness so that similar mistakes were not repeated with other groups. In 2015 there is still much work to be done in the United States as hate crimes continue because of race, religion, and sexual preference. Let me know what you think by sending me a message at [email protected].
Walt Woodward: Mass Removal on Bainbridge Island
During World War II, Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island, Washington, were some of the first to be removed. On March 30, 1942, they had to take a special ferry to Seattle and then went by train to the Manzanar concentration camp, California. At the time, Walt Woodward was editor of the island's newspaper, The Bainbridge Review. In this clip, he shares his memories of the day the Japanese Americans were removed. Walt Woodward's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.
>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive
>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on Bainbridge Island
Japanese American Confinements Sites (JACS) Newsletter Available
The 2014 JACS Newsletter is available online. This newsletter of the National Park Service (NPS) reviews the 21 grants awarded in 2014 along with the 17 grant projects completed in 2014. In 2014, Densho was awarded a grant to upgrade its award-winning oral history collection to allow video downloads. In 2014, Densho completed two JACS projects to "Teach the Teachers" and partner with museums and other heritage organizations to digitally preserve their collections.
>> Download the 2014 JACS Newsletter
Community News and Events
Honouliuli Becomes a National Monument
On February 19, President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation creating Honouliuli National Monument. The site of a POW and internment camp in central O'ahu, Honouliuli held Japanese American (and a handful of "German" and "Italian" Americans) internees as well as thousands of POWs from Japan, Okinawa, Korea, the Philippines, and Italy. The subject of research and archeological study for the past decade by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i and the University of Hawai'i at West O'ahu, Honouliuli will now be managed by National Park Service, which will put together a plan for the preservation and public access to the site in the years to come.
For more on Honouliuli, see the Densho Encyclopedia article by Alan Rosenfeld of UH West O'ahu as well as a special issue of Social Process in Hawaii on Honouliuli, which includes a contribution by Densho's Content Director Brian Niiya.
>> For more information on the Honouliuli National Monument
2015 Minidoka Pilgrimage Dates
The 2015 Minidoka pilgrimage dates are Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28, 2015. The pilgrimage officially begins in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Thursday evening, June 25, for dinner. Friday features a full day of educational programming. On Saturday, the group tours the Minidoka National Park Site followed by small group discussions to learn and share experiences of the incarceration experience. On Sunday morning, the pilgrimage concludes with a commemorative closing ceremony at Minidoka National Park Site. Bus transportation is available from the Seattle area.
>> For more information on the 2015 Minidoka Pilgrimage