January 2016
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda

Dear Friend,

2016 is a milestone year for Densho. Twenty years ago a group of community volunteers met in an old church building to talk about doing an oral history project. Our discussion started with an idea to interview a few Japanese Americans in Seattle about their experience during World War II. But the discussion quickly segued into recognizing the emergence of digital technology and how we could create an online historical resource with interviews, photographs, documents, and curriculum that could reach students and teachers across the country. 

Twenty years later the original vision of Densho is still in place thanks to the support of many of you who are reading this message. Your support, whether it’s sharing a historic image, forwarding a blog post, telling us about your action for social justice, or making a financial contribution has helped us create an award-winning, online historical resource about the World War II Japanese American experience that has been used by over a million visitors. And perhaps most importantly, your support and encouragement has given us a stronger voice in sharing the Japanese American story while speaking out against racism and bigotry. 

Please take a look at www.densho.org to see what we are doing and let me know at tom.ikeda@densho.org what you think of our online materials or anything else you want to share with me. Your ideas and fresh insights provide new ways for us to think. 

Happy New Year!


Tom Ikeda

Thank you! 

Thank you to all who contributed during our 2015 Winter Appeal.
We raised nearly $150,000 from your contributions! 

Tom Ikeda: Modern support for Japanese American World War II camps alarming

In this Seattle Globalist editorial, Tom Ikeda addressed troubling new support for Japanese American incarceration:

"None of us anticipated this reopening of old wounds, but now that it’s happened, I am committed to using it as an opportunity to speak out about the perils of racism and prejudice in times of fear...We are here in solidarity with the Muslim community knowing they need our support and the support of others during this time of fear."

Gidra: Now Available Online

During its 1969 to 1974 run, Gidra chronicled the dramatic changes in the Asian American community, and was itself a catalyst for many of these changes. To many, this monthly newsletter was the voice of the Asian American Movement. We are happy to announce that the full run of Gidra is now available in the Densho Digital Repository.

Oral History Spotlight

Shosuke Sasaki was a member of the Newspaper Guild in New York in the 1950s. In this clip, he talks about how he led the effort to eliminate the pejorative use of "Jap" in newspapers.
 Densho |  info@densho.org | www.densho.org