Densho eNews - May

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Keeping the Japanese American incarceration story alive is important to America because it informs discussions related to the balancing act between civil liberties and national security. For example, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Time Magazine's current cover story is titled, "Homeland Insecurity: Do We Need to Sacrifice Privacy to be Safer?" This issue becomes more complicated when the person accused of the bombing belongs to an ethnic minority or a non-Christian religion because the human mind wants to simplify complexity by placing individuals into groups, and then generalize the characteristics of that group.

During World War II, Japanese Americans were demonized as a group. This led to the mass removal and incarceration of 120,000 innocent people. To its credit, in the 1980s the U.S. government reviewed its actions against Japanese Americans, found these actions to be wrong, and apologized. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this apology. The government learned that national security wasn't the real issue, but that fear, prejudice, and a lack of political leadership led it down the wrong path.

Archive Spotlight

Cherry Kinoshita: The Significance of the Redress Movement

Cherry Kinoshita was involved with the Japanese American Citizens League during the 1970s and '80s, especially during the campaign for redress. In this clip, she talks about the significance of the apology and reparations payments by the U.S. government. Cherry Kinoshita's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

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

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Densho News

Oddball Stories about Camp in Popular Culture: California Generation

Densho Encyclopedia editor Brian Niiya occasionally comes across interesting stories that don't become encyclopedia articles. We've encouraged Brian to share some of these stories in the Densho Blog. This month, Brian shares an article about a 1970 novel that mentions the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

>> Read the blog post

Looking for Photographs and Documents to Digitally Preserve

If your family or community organization has photographs or documents related to the Japanese American experience during and surrounding World War II, please consider loaning them to Densho for digital preservation. Your collection will contribute to one of the largest and most diverse online educational collections about the Japanese American experience. We are interested in photographs, letters, diaries, artwork, government documents, etcetera. Densho does not retain materials for a physical collection. Instead, we seek to create high quality digital copies for preservation purposes and for web/online access. We return the materials after the processing is complete. If you have something to loan, please contact Densho's Collections Manager Caitlin Oiye ([email protected] or 206-320-0095). Materials will be reviewed and accepted at the discretion of the Collections Manager.

Densho Awarded Three 4Culture Grants

Densho was recently awarded three grants from 4Culture. 4Culture is the cultural services agency for King County, Washington. The 4Culture grant awards ranged from a $5,000 Heritage Equipment grant to install an air conditioner for our server room, a $6,000 Heritage Special Projects grant to hire summer interns to help scan and catalogue photographs and documents, and an $18,000 Heritage Sustained Support grant for general operations. Thank you 4Culture!

>> For more information about 4Culture

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, and the Teaching with Primary Sources Program of the Library of Congress. 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

GiveBIG on May 15th

Densho is part of the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG fundraising event. This one-day online event raises funds for over 1,400 nonprofits in Seattle. Donations to Densho through the Seattle Foundation on May 15, 2013, will be matched with a "stretch pool" of funds. If you donate through GiveBIG, you could be randomly selected for a Golden Ticket that wins you a $100 Starbucks gift card and gives the nonprofit of your choice an extra $1,000 from The Seattle Foundation and other sponsors!

>> Donate to Densho through the Seattle Foundation
>> For more information

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Community News and Events

Register Now for JANM Conference in Seattle

On July 4 through July 7, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, the Los Angeles-based 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

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