Densho eNews - January

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I love January because it is my birthday month and also gives me a fresh start to the new year. I become energized with thoughts of starting new projects and spending time in the gym to work off the extra holiday calories. Right before Christmas the Seattle Times gave Densho a nice gift by writing a complimentary editorial article. To read, please click here

This month's newsletter will update you on a big project: making all ten of the War Relocation Authority (WRA) concentration camp newspapers available on our website. On several occasions I have lost track of time and spent hours reading these inside-the-camp stories. In this newsletter, we also mention a useful web resource, which is a searchable database of people incarcerated in the WRA camps.

In Recognition of Tom Ikeda

The Densho staff would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Tom Ikeda. For over ten years, Tom has worked without pay, devoting his time and energy to nurture this organization. Not the typical executive director, Tom is involved in every aspect of the project including community outreach, oral history interviews and even hauling trash to the dump. Tom's vision has transformed Densho from a simple idea into the well-known organization it is today. Tom, you inspire us with your patience, dedication and integrity.

Thank you!
Dana, Geoff, Megan, Naoko and Virginia.

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New In The Archive

Manzanar and Minidoka Newspapers Online

Complete collections of the Manzanar Free Press and Minidoka Irrigator are now available online in the Densho Digital Archive. Both newspapers feature typed article titles, comprehensive indexing and a printable PDF of each issue. Densho is currently in the process of digitizing and making available to the public all ten War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp papers. This project will be completed in the summer of 2007. To view the press release, click here.

To access the Densho Digital Archive, please go to

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Web Resource

WRA Database On-Line

Now available on the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website is a database containing information on every person incarcerated in a WRA camp from 1942-1946. This searchable database is a powerful tool for those looking for more information about a relative or friend incarcerated during WWII. Some of the fields include: name, year of birth, assembly center/camp, birthplace and occupation of parents, time spent in Japan and religion. Note: the database does not cover individuals born in camp or those transferred from Department of Justice or U.S. Army internment camps.
To access the database at the NARA website, click here

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Community Event

Northwest Asian American Film Festival, 1/25 - 1/28

Attend the Pacific Northwest's largest showcase for Asian American films and videos. The festival will be held in Seattle at the Theater off Jackson and runs from Thursday, January 25, 2007 through Sunday, January 28, 2007. One of the films featured at this year's film festival will be The Cats of Mirikitani. Eighty-year-old Jimmy Mirikitani survived the trauma of WWII incarceration camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy's painful past. An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

For more information about the film festival go to

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