Densho eNews - September

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

I just watched an interesting TED Talks by Angela Lee Duckworth whose studies show that a good predictor of success is grit. I was interested in the video because Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, talks with Duckworth, saying that he thinks grit is the key to the team's success. Duckworth defines grit as "sticking with your future, day in and day out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years." When I listened to her talk I couldn't help but see the similarities between grit and the Japanese term gambatte and its meaning to do your best and never give up. Gambatte is a word that comes up in our oral history interviews with our Japanese American elders, especially when they talk about dealing with adversity.

Densho aspires to this gambatte spirit while it works to keep the Japanese American story alive, knowing the journey will be long and arduous. Densho's production manager, Dana Hoshide, in true gambatte spirit, has helped produce 800 interviews totaling over 1,600 hours of video on our website. She has been doing this work for over 16 years, has video-recorded and transcribed most of our interviews, and digitally preserved and indexed all 800 interviews. The quality and quantity of this collection of in-depth, first-person testimonies of the World War II Japanese American experience will keep scholars, writers, students and teachers busy for many generations.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Sushi & Sake Fest on October 1st at MOHAI. This is Densho's only fundraising event of the year and your support really matters. So buy your tickets online now! Thanks, and as always, drop me a line at and let me know what you are thinking.

Archive Spotlight

Giro Nakagawa: Searched by the FBI at an Oyster Farm Station House

This past April, Densho conducted our 800th interview with Giro Nakagawa. Giro was working for the New Washington Oyster Company in South Bend, Washington, before World War II. In this clip, he describes a visit from the FBI while he was out on a station house, a building on stilts out in the water, where he lived and worked during the oyster harvesting season. Giro Nakagawa's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

2014 Sushi & Sake Fest is Almost Here!

Please join us at Sushi & Sake Festival on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at South Lake Union. This will be a great opportunity to see old friends, meet new friends, and find out more what Densho is doing and planning for the future. The food will be fabulous with 15 different types of sushi prepared by Nishino Restaurant, Kozue Japanese Restaurant, Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, Hiroshi's Catering, and I Love Wasabi. Dozens of different types of premium sake as well as Asahi and Kirin beer will be available for sampling. Tickets are $100 each and are available online.

>> Buy tickets
>> Download the volunteer form
>> More information about the event

New Articles in Densho's Encyclopedia

New to the encyclopedia this month are articles on writers and artists, Nisei soldiers during World War II, and a little known INS detention camp, among other topics.

Funding for the encyclopedia was provided, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The encyclopedia will expand to over 1,000 articles when completed.

>> View blog post: New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, August 2014

Visual History Collection Reaches 800 Interview Milestone

Last month, Densho published eight more oral histories on its website, bringing the total to 803 interviews corresponding to 1,608 hours of viewable video. Densho, with funding support from the 4Culture Heritage Collections Care Program, also completed the transfer of all original interview footage on tape to archival quality Blu-ray data discs for long-term preservation. Thank you 4Culture!

Summer Interns Digitize Photograph and Document Collections

Three paid summer interns digitized and catalogued the following collections: Masao Sakagami Collection, Henrietta Schoen Collection, Hamanaka Family Collection, Tanabe Family Collection, Newell Star Collection, Tule Lake Cooperator Collection, Tulean Dispatch Collection. This project was supported, in part, by an award from the 4Culture Heritage Projects Program. Thank you Adriana Flores, Paige Minister, Valerie Vega and 4Culture!

>> For more information about 4Culture

Heart Mountain Documentary Screening

Densho presents a free screening of The Legacy of Heart Mountain, an award-winning documentary, on October 13th at 7:30 p.m., at the Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle's International District. Following the film will be a question and answer session with producers David Ono & Jeff MacIntyre. The event is free of charge and no tickets are required, but please RSVP to

>> For more information

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