Densho eNews - November

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

I am pleased to announce three major projects, which in the coming months and years, will be adding over 100,000 historic photographs, documents, and newspapers to Densho's website for public viewing and access. From Hawai'i, we will be adding over 25,000 photographs from the Nippu Jiji Photograph Collection. The Nippu Jiji was the oldest and largest Japanese language newspaper in the United States before the war and its photographs and captions provide rich documentation about life in Hawai'i before, during, and after the war. In California we are partnering with the Japanese American National Museum in a year-long project to scan and web-host tens of thousands of photographs and documents from the extensive JANM collection, arguably the most comprehensive collection of Japanese American artifacts in existence. And finally, we are working with the Japanese American Citizens League to digitize and web-host archival editions of the national Japanese American newspaper, the Pacific Citizen from the years 1929 – 1995. The Pacific Citizen provides an unparalleled look at Japanese American life from the prewar, wartime, resettlement, and redress periods. All three projects are funded, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Program.

These materials will complement the already extensive holdings on the Densho website, including over 750 video-recorded interviews, digitized copies of the 4,000 newspaper editions published in the ten WRA concentration camps, and thousands of government and personal photographs and documents about Japanese Americans. We are excited to make all of these materials available for their historic value and as a means of exploring issues of democracy, justice, historical thinking, and the responsibilities of citizenship in our increasingly global society. Let me know at [email protected] if there are other collections we should be digitizing, or new projects we should be exploring.

Archive Spotlight

Masao Watanabe: Feelings About Being Placed in an "Assembly Center"

Masao Watanabe grew up in Seattle, Washington, and during the war was initially sent to the "assembly center" at the fairgrounds in Puyallup, Washington. In this clip he talks about his initial reactions upon arrival. Masao Watanabe's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on the Puyallup Assembly Center
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

Sushi and Sake Festival: "What a great event!"

Five hundred people gathered at the new Museum of History & Industry to eat sushi, drink sake, have fun, and raise over $70,000 for Densho at our annual Sushi & Sake Festival. Take a look at photographs of the people, sushi, sake, venue, and festivities. Thank you to title sponsor Tateuchi Foundation, the other sponsors, the sushi restaurants, the sake vendors, and all of the guests for participating in the best Sushifest yet!

Training Teachers at Olympia, Tule Lake and Portland

In the past month, Densho trained another 118 teachers in Washington, Oregon, and California. On a rating scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, the average teacher rating for the workshop is 4.9 for the 500+ teachers from 22 states who have taken the Densho workshop.

We have two more teacher workshops scheduled this year. One will be at the Manzanar National Historic Site and will include a National Park Service tour of the site. The other workshop will be in Silver Spring, Maryland, our first workshop on the East Coast.

  • 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 examine how to use primary source materials to develop analysis and reasoning skills. The workshops are designed around 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 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> For more information or to register for a workshop

Support Densho by Shopping at AmazonSmile!

Just in time for the holiday season, Amazon has a new program to help support nonprofits. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a 5 cent donation to Densho for every $10 you spend. Visit, sign in using your account, and designate Densho as your nonprofit.

>> Visit AmazonSmile

National Park Service Grant Applications Due November 19th

The application deadline for the FY2014 Japanese American Confinement Sites grant applications has been extended to Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to preserve and interpret U.S. Confinement Sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.

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Community News and Events

Honor & Sacrifice Film Screening

A free film screening of Honor & Sacrifice: The Story of Roy Matsumoto will take place on November 10, 2013, at NVC Memorial Hall, 1212 S King St, Seattle. The film tells the story of Roy Matsumoto who became a hero fighting against the Japanese with Merrill's Marauders. Roy, who turned 100 years old this year, will be in attendance.

>> For more information

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