Like many Sansei, I didn’t grow up with stories of WWII incarceration at home or in school. When I was a junior in high school, one of my teachers, Elaine Kimiko Wetterauer, a Tule Lake survivor, gave me a copy of No No Boy and encouraged me to begin learning more about my family’s history. That simple gesture taught me so much about the importance of passing this story on to the next generation.
Decades later, I was part of a small group of dedicated volunteers who started Densho as a scrappy, grassroots oral history project. We wanted to make sure that the stories of survivors like Ms. Wetterauer, and the lessons we can learn from their experiences, are kept alive for future generations. And in many ways, I think we’ve succeeded. Looking back now, in Densho’s 25th year, I’m humbled by the hurdles we’ve overcome to reach this milestone and the incredible community support that has allowed us to make our story heard.
With much gratitude,
P.S. You can check out our 2020 Annual Report here!