Densho eNews - October

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

I write this message as the federal government goes through a partial shutdown. Affected by this shutdown is the dedicated National Park Service staff that I've come to know and care about through their tireless work to preserve and share America's national parks with all of us. In particular I am grateful for the work being done to preserve and share the Japanese American incarceration story with the general public at Manzanar, Minidoka, Tule Lake and through the Japanese American Confinement Sites program. My hope is that the shutdown is brief so these individuals can go back to work.

On a happier note, I look forward to seeing many of you at the Sushi & Sake Festival on October 16th. This event is a great opportunity for me to find out (especially after people drink some sake!) how we are doing at Densho and what new things we should be exploring. As we approach Densho's 20th anniversary in two years, I am especially interested in what people think we should do to celebrate. I'm hoping the combination of good food and good sake will result in a good idea or two. Of course you don't need to drink sake to let me know what you are thinking. You can always drop me a line at [email protected].

Archive Spotlight

Mary Kageyama Nomura: A Five Year Old Singing for Issei

Mary Kageyama Nomura was removed to the Manzanar concentration camp, California, during World War II. There she was known as the "Songbird of Manzanar," frequently performing in camp. She was trained in music throughout her childhood, and in this clip she recalls singing in front of Issei at the age of five. Mary Kageyama Nomura's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on Music in Camp
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

Sushi and Sake Festival is Here

Final preparations are being made for a good time at the Sushi & Sake Festival on October 16, 2013, at the new Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at South Lake Union. There will be 15 different types of sushi prepared by Nishino, Sushi Zen, Kozue, Miyabi, and Hiroshi's. Dozens of different types of premium sake and Asahi beer will be available for sampling. And to keep things lively, Deems Tsutakawa will provide live music with a quartet of jazz musicians. Japanese Consul General Omura will also be there to present Executive Director Tom Ikeda with a special award (see next article.)

We are down to the last 80 tickets before this event is a sellout with all remaining tickets being sold at $100 each. Proceeds benefit Densho's education program. Tickets are available online.

>> To purchase tickets

Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation for Densho's Executive Director

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda as a recipient of the Foreign Minister's Commendations for 2013. The Foreign Minister's Commendation is awarded to individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The commendation will be presented to Tom by Consul General Omura at the Sushi & Sake Festival on October 16, 2013.

Great Results at Honolulu and Pullman Teacher Workshops

In Honolulu we were welcomed by 60 energetic teachers who changed how Densho will do its teacher workshops in the future. Now, more clearly than before, we see the importance of teaching the contrasting experience of the mainland from Hawaii. What drives Densho is the question: "How can we be at our best in times of fear?" For Honolulu, we added government documents, letters, and a news article about the islands which showed how political leadership and economics in Hawaii helped produce a very different outcome than the Japanese American mass incarceration experience on the West Coast.

A week later we were met with 35 local classroom teachers, students studying to be teachers, and university faculty on the campus of Washington State University in Pullman. This group showed how diversity in perspective can enrich discussions as this workshop had the most engaged discussions to date. So far we have trained 400 educators from 19 states and by the end of the year we will have trained over 600 educators. See below the list of workshops remaining this year.

Other teacher training workshops this fall are listed below:

  • Olympia, WA - October 5th in partnership with The Evergreen State College
  • Klamath Falls, OR - October 19th in partnership with Tule Lake Unit, National Park Service
  • Portland, OR - November 2nd in partnership with Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
  • Manzanar, CA - November 23rd in partnership with Manzanar National Historic Site, National Park Service
  • Montgomery County, MD - Dec 7th in partnership with National Japanese American Memorial Foundation

These workshops will examine how to use primary source materials to develop analysis and reasoning skills using thinking routines and content about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Funding for the workshop is provided, in part, by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service, and the National Park Foundation.

>> For more information or to register for a workshop

Major Photo, Document, and Newspaper Collections to be added to Densho Website

Last month Densho signed agreements to digitize tens of thousands of images from the Japanese American National Museum, the Pacific Citizen, and the Nippu Jiji Photograph Collection. More information about these projects will be shared in the next eNews.

New Oral History Project with Manzanar National Historic Site

Densho and the Manzanar National Historic Site are partnering to conduct, preserve, and make available 56 video-recorded oral histories about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. We are excited for the opportunity to continue our oral history partnership with Manzanar. If you want to nominate a person to be interviewed, please fill out our nomination form.

>> Download the interview nomination form

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