February 2018
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda
Dear Friends,

When we started Densho 22 years ago, a Japanese American community organizer told me how sacred the Day of Remembrance (DOR) was for her. She told me it was a day for community members to gather, remember, connect, and inspire each other to take action. Back in the 1990’s most DOR participants were Nisei who were incarcerated during WWII, and the events had the feeling of a reunion. Because of the passage of time, fewer Nisei are able to attend, and Japanese Americans are often in the minority, especially if the event is not on the West Coast. And with those changes, the messaging has evolved to reflect today's efforts to connect and share the Japanese American story with a wider audience. We've stayed true to our roots, but also gained understanding, compassion, and a spirit of generosity as we stand in larger, more diverse communities to #RememberTogether.

I hope you'll join the DOR event in your own community. And if you don't have one nearby, host a group and watch the livestream of Densho's DOR program on February 19th.


Tom Ikeda
Join us for our 2018 Day of Remembrance Event with Khizr Khan and Kishi Bashi

In honor of the 2018 Day of Remembrance we will recognize Japanese American service members, survivors, resisters, and upstanders of World War II. We are thrilled to host Gold Star father  Khizr Khan  and musician  Kishi Bashi  in Seattle as our featured Day of Remembrance presenters. We will also live stream this event for those unable to attend in person.

February 19, 2018 | 2:00-3:30
Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion  

*World War II incarceration survivors and Nisei veterans are encouraged to attend and will be honored during the event — if you plan to attend, please email info@densho.org  with your name and the names of your accompanying family members so that we can issue VIP tickets to you. 
Densho in New York City

International Center of Photography

NYC friends, the World War II incarceration photographs of Toyo Miyatake, Ansel Adams, and Dorothea Lange are featured at New York City's International Center of Photography  through May! Check out the " Then They Came For Me" exhibit and join Densho's Tom Ikeda, poets Christine Kitano, Kimiko Hahn, and others there on March 27 .

NYC Call for Materials

While we're in NYC, we'll be on the hunt for historical materials to digitize and add to our online archive. Let us know if you have photographs, documents, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, artwork, films, or other items related to Japanese American history.

Oral History Spotlight

Takashi Hoshizaki grew up in Los Angeles, California. When he and his family were incarcerated at Pomona detention facility during WWII, their former neighbors—an African American family with a catering business—brought them pie and ice cream. Decades later when he was telling Densho the story, he was still moved by the memory.

Blog Highlight: The Last Alien Land Law

Most of the discriminatory laws passed during the early 20th century to discourage Japanese immigrants from settling permanently in the United States have been repealed—but did you know that there is still one state that has an alien land law on its books? That state is Florida, and Asian American community leaders there are trying to get it removed.

Keep Densho in Your Social Media News Feed!

As you may have heard, changes to the Facebook algorithms are making it harder for organizations to stay in touch with their followers. If you follow us on Facebook , please take these simple steps to keep our stories in your feed:
  1. Log into Facebook. In the left-hand column of your home screen, look for ‘news feed’ at the top of the list and click the three dots beside it.
  2. Selected ‘edit preferences’ at the bottom of the pop-up menu. This will open a new window with the controls.
  3. Select ‘Prioritize who to see first.’ You will see a list of pages and profiles you “like” on Facebook.
  4. Look through the list and choose the pages that has content you want to see on your feed regularly. The pages you select will be marked with a blue star.
  5. Hit ‘done’ in the bottom right corner of your screen to save. (credit: Dallas Morning News / Center for Asian American Media)

From February 8 – March 4, Seattle Children's Theater will present The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, the story of a young boy whose life is changed forever when the U.S. Government forces his family and 120,000 other Japanese Americans into concentration camps.

Seattle Asian American Film Festival, February 22-25
Resistance at Tule Lake, Co-Presented by Densho at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival

Resistance at Tule Lake  tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration during World War II. Branded as ‘disloyals’ and re-imprisoned at Tule Lake Segregation Center, they continued to protest in the face of militarized violence, and thousands renounced their U.S. citizenship. Giving voice to experiences that have been marginalized for over 70 years, this documentary challenges the nationalist, one-sided ideal of wartime ‘loyalty.’

Join us at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival on Saturday, February 24th 2:30 p.m.

Proof of Loyalty, Co-presented by the Seattle Chapter of the JACL

Proof of Loyatly: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial role in World War II. Drafted just before the war, Kazuo became part of the renowned 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up entirely of Nisei from Hawaii. Their success was spectacular, but Kazuo was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of Japanese. His journey led him to the Pentagon, to a secret facility in northern Maryland, and finally to serving under Eisenhower in Europe. His incredible work was instrumental in shortening the war in the Pacific.

"Proof of Loyalty" will screen with " An American Hero: Frank Nishimura" (2016) on February 23 at 9 p.m.

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