Densho eNews - May

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

It's springtime in Seattle and flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere I look. It's a similar feeling at Densho as projects we've been working on for months are now available for viewing. For example, this week we launched a new online course to help educators use primary sources in the classroom to teach about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. We created six interactive activities and 13 videos to engage teachers in this five-hour course. We redesigned our YouTube channel so that it is easier to view and share some of our video interviews by topic. For example, in addition to videoclips about life in a concentration camp, military service, and defying the government, I like the "Stories Less Told" category with videos that look at stories of women during WWII, camp through the eyes of children, and being stranded in Japan during the war.

A couple of weeks ago we published an educational supplement with The Seattle Times that will be used by thousands of students and teachers in the Seattle area. This eight-page supplement looks at the journey of Japanese Americans from the Seattle area and uses maps and data that we recently compiled from government documents. We've also hired a new Communications Manager, Natasha Varner, who will increase our social media presence by posting information and news about Japanese American history on a much more frequent basis.

A simple way you can help is to take a look at these materials and let me know what you think by sending me a message at [email protected]. If you like what you see, please share and forward to others. Tell teachers about our online course and the educational supplement. Choose a video from our YouTube channel and share it on Facebook, and if you haven't done so already, please join Densho's Facebook page and start following us on Twitter. And if you like the direction we are taking, please consider giving today through the Seattle Foundation's GiveBig campaign and have your donation matched.

Archive Spotlight

Frank Yamasaki: Former Teacher Visits Camp

Frank Yamasaki was sent to the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, in 1942. In this clip, he talks about a time when his former high school teacher visited him in camp. Frank Yamasaki'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 the Puyallup Assembly Center

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From the Blog

The Rago Arts Auction Controversy

Last month, citizen and community activists succeeded in preventing the auction of 450 photos and artifacts from WWII era Japanese American concentration camps. The Densho Blog featured two posts that drew upon our encyclopedia and archives to shed light on the history behind the controversy.

>> Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Book at the Center of the Rago Arts Auction Controversy

>> Crafting Beauty: Dissent by Design in Japanese American Concentration Camps

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Densho News

Announcing New Online Teacher Training Program

This month we launch an innovative online teacher training course. Educators now have access to a free training program and curriculum for teaching about the World War II-era incarceration of 120,000 innocent people of Japanese descent through historic photographs, documents, newspaper articles, political cartoons, films, and oral histories. This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture and by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> For more information


Today, May 5th, is The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG day, an annual one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live. If you appreciate the work we do here at Densho, please show your support by following this link and making a donation.

>> Donate to Densho through the Seattle Foundation
>> For more information about GiveBIG 2015

Seattle Times Educational Supplement

Our educational supplement about Japanese American incarceration in King County--World War II Odyssey of King County's Japanese Americans--ran in the April 12 edition of The Seattle Times. Click on the link to see a flipbook version of this eight-page educational supplement.

The educational insert was made possible through funding from the National Park Service, 4Culture, Gobo Enterprises, Union Bank, Delta Air Lines, and the Seattle Times Newspapers in Education program.

>> View the educational supplement

New Densho Staff Member

Last month, Natasha Varner joined the staff as Densho's Communications Manager. She will be bolstering our social media presence and spearheading new efforts to raise awareness about Densho and Japanese American incarceration. As a PhD candidate in history at the University of Arizona and with a decade of experience in public relations and community building, Natasha will be a dynamic addition to our team. We are thankful to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture whose support made it possible to bring Natasha on board.

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