Densho eNews - November

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Last month President Obama signed into law the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Nisei who served in the Military Intelligence Service. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor awarded to an individual or groups for outstanding deeds or service to the United States. Recipients include George Washington, Neil Armstrong, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Other WWII group awards include the Tuskegee Airmen and the Navaho Code Talkers. Obviously this is a big deal and to give you an inkling of how well deserved this honor is, we've included in this month's eNews a detailed account of how the 100th/442nd RCT rescued the Lost Battalion during WWII. This article was written by Colonel Derek Hirohata and published in a recent email from the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA). After you read the article you will want to thank a veteran for his or her service. Remember Veterans Day.

And for those of you in Seattle, remember November 10th is Densho's Sushi & Sake Gala at the Seattle Sheraton. I hope to see you there!

Featured Article

Rescue of the Lost Battalion by Col. Derek K. Hirohata

This month's featured article is a piece published by Colonel Derek K. Hirohata, a Japanese American US Air Force Judge Advocate senior officer. He is a member of JAVA (Japanese American Veterans Association), a non political, non profit national veterans organization, and this article first appeared in a JAVA email message to its members.

>> Download a PDF of the article

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Archive Spotlight

Masamizu Kitajima: A Child with Heavy Responsibilities in Wartime

Earlier this year Densho traveled to Hawaii and interviewed Masamizu Kitajima, a Nisei from Ookala, Hawaii. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, his father, a prominent Buddhist minister, was arrested by the FBI and interned in various facilities. With little community support and five children to raise, Masamizu's mother decided to accept the U.S. government's offer and move the family from Hawaii to the Jerome incarceration camp, Arkansas, to reunite with Masamizu's father. In an excerpt from his interview, Masamizu describes his sudden understanding that his father wasn't coming home after being arrested. He realized that as the oldest son, he now had to assume the role of father-figure to his family, despite being only eight years old.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

Densho is Challenged!

Last month the Tateuchi Foundation challenged us to raise $50,000 to help us conduct more interviews with Japanese American elders. Early this month we were challenged by the Nibei Foundation to raise an additional $41,500 to help us create an online encyclopedia about the Japanese American experience. The total amount raised plus the foundation challenge will then be tripled with a $2 for $1 challenge grant from the National Park Service. The bottom line is that for every $1 we raise, we receive $6 in benefit. If we are successful, Densho will receive $549,000! The stretch for us is that we have to raise $91,500 by the end of the year to receive all of the challenge matches.

$300,000 from a successful campaign will be used to video record, transcribe and publish 140 interviews of Japanese American elders from across the country. $249,000 from a successful campaign will be used to create a new, multimedia encyclopedia for students to access compelling, accurate information about the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans. Please give now on a secure online server or mail a check: Densho, 1416 S Jackson, Seattle, WA 98144. Lots of small amounts add up. Please give what you can to help us take advantage of this great opportunity!

>> Donate to Densho online
>> Learn more about the Tateuchi Foundation

Nov 10th Densho Sushi & Sake Gala

Final preparations are being made for the Densho Sushi & Sake Gala on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, at the Seattle Sheraton. This year's event includes a festive sushi & sake reception, live music, and a silent auction. And for the first time, this year guests will enjoy a sit-down dinner and dessert during which they can visit with friends and hear an update on Densho's activities. Online tickets may be purchased through November 8th. Please visit our event website for more details about the event. We hope to see you there!

>> Purchase tickets
>> Learn more about the Sushi & Sake Gala

New Teacher Resource CD Available

A new teacher resource CD is now available. This free CD brings useful, standards-based activities to the classroom including a wealth of primary sources gleaned from the Densho Digital Archive. The four in-depth learning units that are included on the CD are:

* Learning with Primary Sources (middle school and high school)

* Constitutional Issues: Civil Liberties, Individuals, and the Common Good (high school)

* Dig Deep: Media and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II (middle school)

* Immigration Journeys: Changes and Challenges (elementary school)

You can request the CD by emailing [email protected]. Please include your mailing address and how many CDs you would like.

>> Learn more about 4Culture

20 New Interviews in the Bay Area

This month we begin conducting the first of twenty new interviews in the Bay Area. These interviews will focus on the prewar and wartime experiences of Japanese Americans in the Bay Area, and the postwar activities that emerged. The first set of interviews will be conducted at the remodeled and recently reopened Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj). These interviews are made possible through a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) and additional funding from the Manzanar National Historic Site.