Densho eNews - October

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

The shorter, cool days of fall bring back fond childhood memories of outdoor activities I did with my family. On some weekends we would drive deep into the damp forests of the Pacific Northwest to search for the elusive matsutake (pine mushroom). I remember my dad patiently trying to help me find one. He would call me over to "look around this tree" and then stop me before I clumsily stepped on the partially covered mushroom he wanted me to "discover." After we plucked the mushroom from the ground, he would show me how to replace the moss and dirt to restore the area. He told me it was important to do this so that more mushrooms would grow there for other people.

The stories and experiences of our elders are so important to remember. One way to help Densho preserve these stories is to support our only fundraiser of the year. The Sushi & Sake Festival ( on November 5 at the Seattle Westin is designed to be a fun, community building event. I hope to see you there. Also, on Saturday, Oct 11 we will hold a community event at Densho to look at redress through the stories of people involved. I will also share news about Densho, such as a recent NHK TV program about our organization. See below for details about Sushi & Sake Fest and the community event.

>> Read more about the NHK Japanese TV show at the Densho Blog

From the Archive

Prison within Prison: The Tule Lake Stockade

"It was a really terrible, inhumane thing that they did."
   -- Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Of the hastily erected buildings that figure in the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans, one especially notorious structure stood for nine months and then disappeared when its deplorable purpose was revealed. Between October and November 1943, tensions at the Tule Lake incarceration camp in northern California escalated to intimidation, repression, and military control. Up to 450 "troublemakers" (anyone the camp administrators considered a threat to peaceful order) found themselves imprisoned in an isolated stockade for as long as nine months without hearing or trial, and without contact with family or legal counsel. Though the men were held in jail cells and subjected to strip searches and beatings, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and the army did not call them prisoners. The "detainees" they held in the Tule Lake stockade were simply undergoing "administrative separation."

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Sushi & Sake Fest: Last Chance for Early Bird Tickets!

Don't miss your opportunity to buy lower-priced tickets to the popular Sushi & Sake Fest, taking place at the Seattle Westin Hotel on November 5. Individual tickets are now $75 ($45 tax deductible). After October 15 they will be $90 ($60 tax deductible). A Sponsor Table for ten people with wait service can be purchased for $2,000. Join friends and community members for an evening of delectable sushi, sake and beer tastings, a silent auction, live entertainment, and cultural displays. This fun and festive event, this year held the day after the presidential election, is sure to be your most enjoyable and memorable evening of the season.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake event website
>> Buy tickets online
>> Download a printable ticket form
>> Donate an item or find out about volunteering

Densho Community Meeting: A Look Back at Redress

On Saturday, October 11, enjoy a relaxing afternoon with light refreshments as Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda shares video reflections of people who worked to make the redress effort successful in the 1980s. Video segments from interviews conducted by Densho feature Norm Mineta, Cherry Kinoshita, Henry Miyatake, Mako Nakagawa, and others. Tom will also give an update on Densho's recent program activities, including our trips to other communities to build a national collection of Japanese American life stories. If you plan to attend this free event, please send email to [email protected] with October 11 in the subject line, and tell us how many will be attending. Or you may call 206.320.0095. The community meeting will be from 2:00 to 3:30pm, at the Densho office, 1416 S. Jackson Street, Seattle 98144.

>> RSVP for the community meeting
>> Get directions to the Densho office

Densho October Poll: Japanese American Writers

Students are back in school and it's time to load up the bookshelf. Have fun with our October poll -- tell us your favorite novels and memoirs by Japanese American authors. Do you lean toward Nikkei classics like No-No Boy or Nisei Daughter? Or are you a fan of Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine or the just-published memoir about multiracial identity, Holy Prayers in a Horse's Ear?

The results of the September poll are in. Our readers' top three Japanese American gold medal winners are 1) figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, 2) speed skater Apolo Ohno, and 3) triathlete Bryan Clay. One voter wrote, "They are remarkable athletes and role models." Others remarked that the Japanese American gold medalists from earlier years should be recognized for overcoming tough odds to succeed in Olympic competition.

>> Take the survey

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New to the Archive

Look inside the Archive: Kazuko Uno Bill Interview

Beginning this month, Densho visitors can glimpse at new offerings in the Densho Digital Archive of video interviews, photos, and documents. Short video clips and photo selections will be featured on the "About the Archive" webpage to show researchers the type of resources available to them with free registration. This month you can view a video clip of the interview we conducted with Kazuko Uno Bill, a remarkable woman who disregarded warnings of discrimination to become a successful doctor with a long career. Kazuko's interview is one of 40 new video interviews we produced this year in an improved HD (high definition) format.

>> See the featured sample from the Densho Digital Archive
>> Read the Densho blog description of our HD upgrade

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Support Densho

Donate to Densho through United Way

This fall, join others who support Densho through their United Way chapter. Please designate Densho as one of your chosen charities in your employer's workplace giving campaign. Our address is 1416 S. Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144. Densho's nonprofit tax identification number is 91-2164150. We can't continue to save precious life stories to educate young citizens without your help. Thank you for your support!

>> Find your local United Way

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