Densho eNews - August

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Twenty years ago our country apologized to Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated by their own government during World War II. This historic apology resulted from an unprecedented grass roots effort by the Japanese American community to seek remedy in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of our government. No one person can take credit for the decades-long effort, as thousands either singly or in many organizations worked toward the collective goal of redress.

Each city has its heroes who worked unselfishly to right a wrong. Last week Seattle lost one of its heroes. Cherry Kinoshita, thank you for your commitment, genius, and integrity. You will be missed but not forgotten.

>> Read Cherry Kinoshita's Obituary

From the Archive

An Extraordinary Ordinary Citizen: Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

"Everything proved that the government had unconstitutionally taken away the rights of Japanese Americans, deprived them of liberty, all those wonderful things the Constitution gives to us."
   -- Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

As Japanese Americans observe the 20th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, signed by President Ronald Reagan on August 10, we celebrate the many community volunteers, grass roots activists, civic organizations, civil rights lawyers, elected leaders, and friends of all backgrounds who took separate paths that ultimately merged in the passage of that historic redress legislation. One ordinary yet truly extraordinary citizen who contributed tremendously to the final success of the redress movement is Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig. A self-taught and self-motivated researcher, she discovered irrefutable proof that the government suppressed and destroyed evidence in order to justify incarcerating Japanese Americans without due process of law.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Teacher Resources: New Lesson on CD and Online

Densho is offering a free new curriculum unit for high school history classes on the conflicts arising from immigration. With a grant from the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program, Densho produced the three-week unit on "Causes of Conflict," a classroom based assessment (CBA) for Washington State social studies. Teachers may order the curriculum on CD or download the file from the Densho website. The lesson asks the essential question "How do conflicts over immigration arise from labor needs and social change?" Using primary sources from the Densho Digital Archive and other resources, the student activities examine the history of Mexican and Japanese immigration and the related questions of labor rights and legal equity.

>> Email request the lesson on CD
>> View the curriculum

2008 Sushi & Sake Fest!

Densho invites you to attend the 7th annual Sushi & Sake Fest, held at the Seattle Westin Hotel on November 5, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. General admission is $75 (until October 15). Sponsor tables for ten are also available. Enjoy a beautiful selection of sushi prepared by renowned local sushi chefs, delicious Japanese appetizers, and delectable desserts. Sample a range of premium sake and Japanese beer while listening to live music. For the silent auction, we invite our supporters to donate items such as gift certificates for hotels, restaurants, professional services, or fine wine and artwork. You will be automatically entered to win two complimentary tickets to the event when you purchase tickets before August 31, 2008.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake event website
>> Buy tickets online
>> Download an auction donation form

Densho on the Road and in the News

Densho's most recent trip to collect interviews was covered by the Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 30. In the last week of July, Tom Ikeda, Dana Hoshide, and Megan Asaka traveled to Watsonville and Berkeley to conduct interviews with Nisei men and women who recall their California communities before World War II. In the Densho blog, staff shares details about the interviewees - and the menu of the potluck dinner hosted by the Watsonville JACL chapter. Spam musubi!

>> Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article
>> See Densho's blog about the California trip

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Recommended Resource

Preserving California's Japantowns

The website Preserving California's Japantowns educates visitors about the legacies of historic Japantowns and the thriving communities of the three remaining Japantowns in the state: San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles. This is the first statewide project to document the historic resources of over forty pre-World War II Japantowns. The site includes an interactive map of the San Francisco Japantown, a virtual tour of San Jose's Japantown, plans for documenting Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, and information about preservation efforts for these and other invaluable cultural and community resources.

>> Visit the website

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