April 2016
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda

Dear Friend,

It is my great honor to invite you to join us in celebrating Densho's 20th anniversary at a gala on September 24th in Seattle.  

Twenty years ago, we conducted our first practice oral history interview in a dusty, old classroom in a historic Japanese language school. The camera was large and cumbersome and used a clunky, pre-digital tape cartridge. To edit the interview, we bought a special “MPEGator” circuit board to put in what was considered a state-of-the-art computer but that had a fraction of the computing power of a smartphone today. Although the equipment may have been primitive, there was an excitement in the room as we watched a Nisei tell her story from a computer monitor. We imagined that someday people on other computers would be able to watch and learn from that same interview.

Today, our website reaches across the world with 900 video oral histories; 50,000 historic photos, documents, and newspapers; 1,000 encyclopedia articles; and myriad other free online materials. Over a million people have visited this award-winning online resource to learn about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

We could not have done this without you. From the individuals who opened their doors to us and let us record their personal stories, to our many partnering organizations, as well as our dedicated community of volunteers and donors. Our 20th anniversary gala is an acknowledgement of the strong community and support that has made Densho and its accomplishments possible. 

We sincerely hope you can join us in celebrating the past two decades and also hear our exciting plans for the coming two decades.

With gratitude,

Tom Ikeda

p.s. Let me know at tom.ikeda@densho.org if you want to help with the gala by donating an auction item, through sponsorship, or by sharing an idea!

Densho's 20th Anniversary Gala 

Join us Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Sheraton Seattle Downtown for a catered dinner, keynote, as well as live and silent auctions. The evening's program will highlight the accomplishments of the past two decades as we look to the future. 

>> More information and tickets

Seattle Book Event
Join us for a reading with author Mira Shimabukuro who will discuss her book,  Relocating Authority: Japanese Americans Writing to Redress Mass Incarceration. Densho director Tom Ikeda will appear  in conversation with the author.

May 5 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Wing Luke Museum for the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle. Free and open to the public.

Densho in the News 

Many thanks to Yes! Magazine for publishing Nina Wallace's herstory lesson about five women whose World War II incarceration inspired them to fight back. 

Take a look: 

5 Japanese-American Women Activists Left Out of U.S. History Books

Mark Your Calendars: GiveBIG on MAY 3

May 3rd is The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG day, an annual one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live. If you appreciate the work we do here at Densho, please show your support by following this link and making a donation.

>> Donate to Densho through the Seattle Foundation

Densho Teach-In 

May 1-6, 2016

We were delighted to see how well-received our first digital Teach-In was, so we scheduled an encore next month.  

Join us for our second digital Teach-In, to be held the first week of Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, May 1-6, 2016. Brush up on your knowledge of Japanese American history and its relevance to current events through six simple lessons delivered straight to your inbox.

If you enjoyed the Teach-In back in February, please consider recommending it to others by sharing this link. 

Oral History Spotlight

Willie K. Ito was a boy growing up in San Francisco when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He developed an early interest in animation and the art of cartooning, and after the war went on to work for Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers. In this clip, Willie remembers witnessing FBI members search his family home and his fears about losing a prized possession.


Women's History Month Archive

To celebrate March's Women's History Month‬ we published daily profiles of women from the Densho archives, encyclopedia, and blog. We've now compiled an archive of all those women so that you can continue to be inspired by their amazing stories.

View the Women's History Month archive

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