Densho eNews - September

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

During the summer, a Densho team -- Megan Asaka, Dana Hoshide, and I -- recorded forty new video interviews and collected hundreds of historic photographs in Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, Berkeley, and Watsonville, California. For details and photographs, see our blog: We're excited about expanding this interviewing and photo collecting program to more communities next year.

The most successful model we've found is to partner with a local organization. The local group provides knowledge of the community, referrals, and recommendations for good interview subjects. Densho provides oral history and technical expertise. This is a win-win situation, as both organizations gain professionally produced interviews with in-depth regional content. Contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in working with Densho next year to capture and preserve your community's stories and historical photographs.

A few weeks ago, Densho interviewer Megan Asaka left to start graduate school at Yale University. Before leaving, she wrote this month's article, "Inland Enterprise: Japanese Americans in Colorado and Utah." We wish Megan the best with her studies and hope to have her back next summer to produce more interviews!

From the Archive

Inland Enterprise: Japanese Americans in Colorado and Utah

This summer Densho staff traveled to Denver and Salt Lake City to capture the stories of Japanese Americans from these lesser known, yet historically relevant, communities. One of the more compelling themes that emerged from the interviews was how Japanese Americans made a living in areas away from the West Coast, where Nikkei often relied on large networks of fellow immigrants to sustain their livelihood. While urban Japantowns and rural communities certainly existed, and even thrived, in Colorado and Utah, Japanese American enterprise differed significantly inland. Farmers, professionals and small business owners all faced unique challenges and opportunities because of their geographic location.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Vote in the Densho Poll

This month Densho is launching a new interactive feature, the monthly Densho Poll. We want your input on who you think are the best and brightest members of the Nikkei community from yesterday and today, or perhaps your opinion on historical or current events. We will share the results each month in the eNews. For the first round of voting, we focus on your favorite Japanese American Olympic gold medal winners, a cohort of seven -- can you name all of them? --- with a brand new member in Bryan Clay, the 2008 Olympic champion decathlete.

>> Take the survey
>> Read Bryan Clay's biography

2008 Sushi & Sake Fest!

The 2008 Sushi & Sake Fest, in the running for Seattle's most popular nonprofit event, takes place November 5 (the day after the presidential election). Come join fellow sushi fans in sampling delectable selections from local chefs, accompanied by fine sake, live music, and a silent auction. A limited number of sponsor tables are still available. You can volunteer for this fun event by contacting us at [email protected] And would you or your employer like to donate a service or product for the silent auction? Popular auction items are restaurant and lodging certificates, gift certificates, fine wine and art. We look forward to seeing you on November 5!

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

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Donor Profiles

[ Donate Now! ]

Tribute Gifts Help Densho

Over the course of the year, Densho receives many donations in tribute to or memory of individuals. Often these tributes are solemn, as for friends we've lost, like redress activist Cherry Kinoshita. Other donations are joyous, made as wedding or anniversary gifts. This month we received a batch of fun, celebratory tribute gifts when Rose Harrell, mother of Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell, had her friends send donations to Densho in honor of her 75th birthday. Rose's generous friends donated nearly $1300. Happy birthday, Rose! We are grateful to your friends, and to all the donors who support our preservation and education work.

>> Learn about donating to Densho

Washington State Office of Public Instruction

Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program Grant

Densho has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program (WCLPEP), overseen by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The WCLPEP funding is a continuation of the education program initiated by the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Past grants funded the creation of Densho's social studies curricula, offered to teachers free of charge on our website. The new grant will support an evaluation of the lessons and assess student learning. Classroom observations and feedback from selected teachers will allow us to improve current and future curricula that will educate the public about:

  • the World War II mass incarceration of individuals of Japanese descent
  • related knowledge concerning democratic institutions and processes
  • the fragile nature of our constitutional rights

>> For more information about Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program

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