June 2019
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda
Dear Friends,

Over the past couple of months, I have shared with community groups in California and Washington State an audacious goal for every American to know and understand the injustice of Japanese American WWII incarceration by the year 2042 , the 100th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. I’ve described how grassroots organizers, media partners, teachers, students, artists, filmmakers, and writers are connecting with Densho’s online platform to make this audacious goal a reality.

People enjoy seeing a plan with a successful record of accomplishment and have been eager to help. During the community group sessions, I tell people one way of helping is to share their wisdom about potential barriers to reaching our 2042 goal. The most frequent comments are about a lack of interest or inclusion in school curricula, technological failures, disinterest from the broader population, diminished youth engagement, political upheaval, disappearance of the Japanese American community, and funding concerns. We take these insights to heart, and over the next two years we’ll be traveling across the U.S. to gather additional input to help chart Densho’s future path.

An interesting insight from these discussions is some participants’ perception that Densho doesn’t need help, including financial help. The reality is that, like other small non-profits, we work from a scarcity model—meaning that staff is underpaid and overworked, that we are often forced to turn away meaningful and impactful projects for lack of capacity, and that we use older equipment and furniture. On the bright side, we do a lot with what we have!

Please consider giving beyond what you normally do during Densho’s mid-year appeal. Even if you haven’t donated before, please make the choice to start now. And I want to hear from you! Please drop me a note at tom.ikeda@densho.org to tell me about why you support Densho and ideas you have about reaching our 2042 goal.

In gratitude,

2018 Densho Annual Report
Thank you to everyone who donated to Densho in 2018! More than any other time in our history, Densho is being called upon to bring the story of World War II incarceration to a national stage — but we truly can’t do it without you. From all of us at Densho, a heartfelt thank you to the supporters who enable us to continue this vital work. Take a look at some of the things your donations have allowed us to do:

Join us for the annual Densho Dinner —the largest Pacific Northwest Japanese American party of the year—on Saturday, November 2, 2019 , at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. This year’s event features Densho’s signature Sushi & Sake reception, an expanded Silent Auction, and an action-packed dinner program with keynote speaker Satsuki Ina as well as other yet-to-be-announced highlights. We promise to make it an evening to remember, but we need our amazing community — that means you! — to make the Densho Dinner a success. Please consider joining or supporting this event, whether you live near or far:
Join us in California for stories of life after camp

Regarded as “worse than camp” by many Nikkei, the immediate post-incarceration period is often overlooked in Japanese American history. This month, Densho Content Director Brian Niiya and Japanese American National Museum Collections Manager Kristen Hayashi will present two public lectures in California focusing on the experiences of Japanese Americans who returned there after being released from WWII incarceration.

Oral History Spotlight: Hatsuko Mary Higuchi

During World War II, Hatsuko Mary Higuchi was a child at the Poston, Arizona concentration camp. After leaving camp, she and her family returned to her parents' prewar farm in Lawndale, California. In this clip, she recalls her mother’s reaction upon finding their belongings stolen and vandalized, and the family’s struggle to rebuild their lives.

>> Watch the clip .
Densho Blog: Immigration Bans Are Object Lessons in Weaponized White Fears

The Immigration Act of 1924 created a national origins quota for the first time in U.S. history, and a complete and total ban on Japanese immigration. Building on a half-century of anti-Asian laws and policies, the bill enacted what we might today call a “Japanese Ban.” Almost 100 years later, as lawmakers continue to criminalize and exclude non-white, working-class immigrants, the history behind this early immigration ban should be both a warning and a call to action.

>> Read more .
Next Stop on the Densho Community Listening Tour: Bellevue, WA
Densho is hitting the road to meet with community members across the country, and our next stop is Bellevue! Join us at the Bellevue Library on Thursday, July 11 from 10:30 am - 12 pm for morning snacks and the latest news about why stories of Japanese American incarceration history are needed now more than ever, and what we’re doing to tell them — including an audacious goal for 2042, the 100th anniversary of EO 9066. We’re also collecting your candid and creative input in regard to Densho’s future and how to keep Japanese American history alive for decades to come.

Please excuse our (digital) dust!
The  Densho Digital Repository Densho Encyclopedia , and  Resource Guide  will be temporarily offline Thursday, June 13, from 10 am to 12 pm PST while we do some important updates and upkeep. We know you'll miss us, but don't worry, we'll be back online as soon as we can with a shiny, speedy, and fully up-to-date platform -- and you'll still have access to the blog and all other content at Densho.org.

Apologies in advance for the inconvenience, and feel free to send questions or comments to  info@densho.org .