Densho eNews - April

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

I hope last week's April Fool's edition of the eNews gave you a laugh. The edition was our fun gift to readers, one that we had a good time preparing! Kudos to Brian Niiya, Densho's Content Director and the editor of the Densho Encyclopedia Brian did an excellent job of crafting funny stories while weaving in historical references, for example, the JACL, the loyalty questionnaire, and archaeology of the camps.

Last week we also heard the good news that the National Park Service (NPS) awarded Densho $494,403 in grant funds to keep the Japanese American incarceration story alive. We are fortunate to be awarded these funds, especially during these difficult economic times. See below for more information about the grant awards. And as always, please feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts and ideas at [email protected].

Archive Spotlight

Ruth Y. Okimoto: Snakes and Scorpions in Camp

Ruth Y. Okimoto was a child at the Poston (Colorado River) concentration camp, Arizona, during World War II. In this clip, she talks about encountering the local wildlife in camp. Ruth Y. Okimoto's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on Poston
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

Densho Awarded $494K in NPS Grants

Densho has been awarded two grants totaling $494,403 from the National Park Service (NPS) through the Japanese American Confinement sites (JACS) grant program. The NPS awarded 10 JACS grants totaling $1.4 million to help preserve and interpret the World War II confinement sites of Japanese Americans. Densho's first grant award of $300,000 will fund work to create a massive online repository of video oral histories and historic photographs, documents, and newspapers. When completed in 2015, the project will improve the search features of the Densho Archive and increase the size of the archive to over 100,000 items.

Densho's second grant award of $194,403 will fund work to create an online course for classroom teachers to learn how to find and explore the rich primary sources in the online Densho Archive. This online course will reach thousands of teachers across the country and in international and military schools overseas. Content for the online course will be refined from Densho's current Teach the Teachers program which is currently training over 600 teachers in six states.

>> Read Densho's press release

Densho Teacher Training in Portland

Online registration is open for our teacher training workshop on Saturday, May 18th from 10:00am-3:30pm in Portland, Oregon. Densho is partnering with Oregon Nikkei Endowment (O.N.E.) to bring this workshop to the Portland area. Participation in the workshop is free, with a $100 stipend if teachers report back on how they use workshop materials in the classroom. Funding for the workshop is supported, in part, by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service. Contact [email protected] for more information or to organize a teacher workshop in your city.

>> For more information or to register for the Portland workshop

Essay about the Army's Poor Treatment of Nisei Soldiers

Roger Daniels shares a short essay about how many Nisei soldiers were treated badly by the Army during World War II. In the essay, Professor Daniels references Linda Tamura's book, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence (2012) and Shirley Castelnuovo's book, Soldiers of Conscience. In the essay he writes,

"The shocking story of the mistreatment suffered by those the Army kept in the special labor units, many of whom were Kibei, is revealed in the Tamura and Castelnuovo books. Some were convicted of mutiny and sent to federal prisons. Others were kept in the special labor units, and, despite having clean military records, were given so-called blue discharges which denied them the veterans' benefits to which their service entitled them. It is a story that needs to be read about and remembered."

>> Read the essay

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Community News and Events

Registration for June 20-23 Minidoka Pilgrimage is Open

Buses will leave the Seattle area on June 20, 2013 for the 11th annual Minidoka Pilgrimage. Online registration is available including scholarships for individuals 80 years old and above. Registration also includes a day of participation at the Civil Liberties Symposium in Twin Falls.

>> For more information

Register Now for JANM Conference in Seattle

On July 4 through July 7, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, the Japanese American National Museum will present its fourth national conference--SPEAKING UP! DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE, DIGNITY. The Conference will explore the historic and contemporary connections of the Japanese American experience to local, state, and national histories. Online registration is available.

>> For more information

Researcher Interested in Childhood Memories of Books in Camps

Yuri Brockett is conducting research about books available in assembly centers and incarceration camps and any interaction between children in camps and people, such as librarians, or groups who delivered books to children. This research will be published in a small magazine specializing in children's literature in Japan. Anyone who would like to share their related experience can contact Yuri directly by email [email protected] or by phone 425.869.7157.