Densho eNews - July 2009www.densho.org

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Working for a community nonprofit organization can easily put a burden on family life. The pay is low or nonexistent, the hours are long, and there is always that big project that needs work over the weekend.

This month Sara and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and all I can say is that I am a very lucky person. Not only is my wife understanding; she is my best critic, who knows and tells me when I am straying off course with a new idea. And when I am discouraged she reminds me of what is possible. But more than giving me valuable feedback, she is my life partner who has generously supported my thirteen years at Densho.

It is hard on Sara when I travel a lot or when I become mentally distant because I worry about fundraising or get nervous before I give a presentation. But rather than be resentful or give up on me, she works at making me pause and notice the life around me. And when I become too set in my ways, she encourages me to try new things to stretch me out of my comfort zone. I can't imagine working at Densho without Sara. Thank you, Sara, and happy 25th anniversary!

From the Archive

Families Untied: The Effect of Camp Life on Parenting

"We don't have any family table anymore."
   -- Eiichi Edward Sakauye

Of the countless ways in which the World War II incarceration negatively affected Japanese Americans, the damage to family life ranks among the saddest. Several thousand Issei men were interned separately from their families. Nisei children exited the camps before their parents to attend college, take sponsored jobs, or serve in the military. The badly conceived loyalty registration created fissures between parents and children and among siblings. Not only the traumatic events strained family ties, but stressful daily living conditions taxed family relations. Crowding whole families into a single room paradoxically resulted in splintering families apart.

>> Read more of this article

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Densho News

Federal Grant Award and Call for Interviewees

Densho is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of $112,500 from the Japanese American Confinement Sites program, administered by the National Park Service. With this funding we will produce forty video interviews with Japanese Americans and others who can speak about the ten War Relocation Authority camps on the mainland as well as detention sites in Hawaii. Congress established this grant program to preserve and interpret the sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II in order that present and future generations may learn and gain inspiration from these sites. The intent is to demonstrate the nation's commitment to equal justice under the law.

Please help us find subjects to interview, former detainees or others who can help us document life at the wartime confinement sites. You can recommend an interviewee online through our Archive FAQ page, or see the links in the blog referred to below.

>> Learn more and nominate an interviewee
>> Download Densho's Interview Nomination Form


Sushi & Sake Fest Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

Densho invites you to attend the extremely fun (and delicious) 8th annual Sushi & Sake Fest, held at the Seattle Westin Hotel on November 5, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Enjoy an inventive 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. Bid on enticing auction items like art, wine, travel, and entertainment. Sponsor tables for ten are available. General admission is $75. But the first 400 tickets cost only $50. Buy now and save.

>> Visit the Sushi & Sake Fest webpage
>> Buy tickets online


Follow Densho on Facebook and Twitter

Become a fan of our Facebook page to view news, photos, and video selections. Tell us what you think of Densho's programs. Send us interesting news items and announcements. You can also follow us on Twitter and instantaneously get Densho news, large and small--and always short.

>> Visit Densho's Facebook page (free registration required)
>> Read our tweets on Twitter (free registration required)


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New to the Archive

Look Inside the Archive: Too Close to Pearl Harbor

In early June, the Densho interview team traveled to Honolulu to collect life stories that shed a different light on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. While there was no wholesale detention of the Nikkei population in the Islands, more than 600 were interned in Hawaii and nearly 2,000 were sent to mainland detention camps. Densho has interviewed the children of internees who as minors accompanied their parents into captivity.

One new addition to the Digital Archive is the interview with Grace Sugita Hawley. As a ten-year-old living on the outskirts of Honolulu, Grace was terrified to see Japanese fighter planes flying overhead (see link to video below). Grace recalls coming home in February 1942 and seeing FBI agents tearing up the family's Shinto shrine. She says, "We had no clue why they were doing that…then they said they had to take my father in for questioning and just took him like that without packing anything. He never came home, he never came home." Her father, a U.S. citizen, was held at Sand Island before being sent to the Jerome, Arkansas, incarceration camp. The family followed to be reunited with him.

>> See the featured sample from the Densho Digital Archive
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive


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National News and Events

University of California Gives Honorary Degrees to Nisei

The University of California Board of Regents on July 16 voted to grant special honorary degrees to hundreds of Japanese American men and women forced to leave their studies at the University of California as a result of the World War II mass removal and incarceration. Approximately 700 students enrolled at four UC campuses -- Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Davis -- were expelled from campus after the signing of Executive Order 9066. All of those students, whether living or deceased, will be awarded honorary degrees. UC President Mark Yudof declared, "This action is long overdue and addresses an historical tragedy." The University of California is encouraging family members and others to help identify students who were unable to graduate because of the "evacuation" and asking that e-mails with information be sent to [email protected] or call (510) 987-0239.

>> Read the UC Press Release


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