Densho eNews - April

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

As we all continue to watch and hear stories of the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Japan caused by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant disaster, we find ourselves wanting to do more to help. There is still a large displaced population who are suffering shortages of essential goods and according to news reports at the end of March, more than 173,200 people are living in shelters. The Seattle Mariners are encouraging support for those in need by matching up to $100,000 in donations from their fans to the Japanese Red Cross for the relief effort. Densho is urging our eNews readers to help reach this goal by making a donation to the Japanese Red Cross in the next two weeks. To participate in the Mariners' match, please send checks made payable to Japanese Red Cross to:

Attn: Disaster Relief
1416 South Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144

We must receive the checks by April 19, 2011. Because of the matching program restrictions, we cannot accept credit cards or online donations. We will tally the amount, bundle the received checks, and deliver to the Mariners for matching and shipment to the Japanese Red Cross on April 22nd. All proceeds will go to the relief effort. Thank you for your consideration and thank you Mariners for your generosity!

Featured Article

Yasutaro Soga Encyclopedia Entry

This month's featured article is a sample entry from Densho's forthcoming Encyclopedia of Japanese American Incarceration. Brian Niiya, the encyclopedia's editor, tells the story of Yasutaro Soga, Hawaiian Issei journalist and community leader incarcerated at various Army and Justice Department camps on Hawai'i and the U.S. mainland for the duration of the war, and author of the acclaimed incarceration memoir, Life Behind Barbed Wire.

>> Read the article

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Archive Spotlight

Rose Ito Tsunekawa: Christmas in Japan

Rose Ito Tsunekawa moved with her family to Japan in 1941 just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During the U.S. occupation of Japan, she worked as an interpreter in an office with U.S. military personnel. In this video clip, Ms. Tsunekawa describes receiving Christmas gifts which she shared with her younger siblings.

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

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Densho News

Densho Encyclopedia Update

When launched in the fall of 2012, the Densho Encyclopedia of Japanese American Incarceration (title still under construction) will be a website that presents free information on the Japanese American story during World War II, with articles linked to relevant images, documents, databases, and oral history interviews from the Densho archive and other websites. Brian Niiya, director of program development at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i and editor of the Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference in 2000, will serve as the editor of this new resource. Thank you to the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, the National Park Service, and the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program for providing the funding for this exciting project!

>> For more information
>> For information on contributing to the encyclopedia

National News and Events

Manzanar's 42nd Pilgrimage - April 30th

Mako Nakagawa, the primary author of the Power of Words resolution, passed in July 2010 by the National Council of the Japanese American Citizens League, will be the keynote speaker at the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Manzanar Committee and is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

>> For more information

Deaf Nikkei: The Incarceration of Deaf Americans in U.S. Concentration Camps during World War II

Historian Newby Ely explores discrimination that deaf Nikkei faced in WWII incarceration camps. He explains the effect of the Executive Order and the danger posed by the lack of communication with U.S. military internment camp staff. He will present slides and archival footage of the camps , as well as interviews in American Sign Language with Pacific Northwest deaf Nikkei and family members who describe the deplorable conditions and the resilience of the deaf Nikkei. This free program begins at 7pm, Thursday, April 28th at the Downtown Seattle Public Library.

>> For more information

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