May 2019
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda
Dear Friends,

Last month, I attended the 50th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage with 2,200 other pilgrims on a hot—at least for this Seattleite—90-degree day. While standing in my sweat-soaked, black Densho t-shirt, I thought about the Bainbridge Islanders who came from the cool, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest and what they must have thought and felt about being incarcerated in this high desert far from home.

Framed by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range, keynote speaker Dale Minami urged us towards activism. I felt like he was talking directly to me when he said just knowing and sharing the history of the Japanese American incarceration was not enough. We have to marry this knowledge with grassroots activism to create changes for a just and equitable world. I heard these words while surrounded by a diverse audience of Japanese American, Muslim, Asian, and Latinx citizens, immigrants, teachers, and students who made the long trek to remember what happened during WWII and connect with others to learn what they can do today.

This powerful moment, coupled with the talk of another speaker who I heard later in the air-conditioned NPS interpretive center, provided me with inspiration and hope. Duncan Williams, who is both a University professor and Buddhist minister, reminded us of the symbolism of the lotus flower growing out of muddy water: The beautiful lotus will not grow out of sterile water. In a similar way, our advancement as a society will only emerge from the muck and danger of fighting to change our current political environment. To move forward, we have to get outside our comfort zones, connect with other communities, and support a new generation of thinkers and leaders.

In solidarity,
Support Densho during Seattle's annual day of giving!
Seattle's annual GiveBIG event is tomorrow, May 8, so please show us some BIG love and give BIG (or small—we appreciate gifts of any amount) to Densho! Stories of Japanese American WWII incarceration are needed now more than ever, but we can't do this important work without your support.

Satsuki Ina to Keynote 2019 Densho Dinner
Save the Date: November 2, 2019

We're busy planning a stellar program for this year's Densho Dinner. Tickets and more information will be available soon, but for now we're thrilled to announce that Satsuki Ina will be our keynote speaker!

Satsuki was “born doing time” at Tule Lake—she’s gone on to become an award-winning filmmaker, author, activist, and psychotherapist who specializes in collective trauma. She’ll be talking about her work in co-organizing the March 2019 Tsuru for Solidarity protest outside the South Texas Family prison, as well as her years of research into the impacts of incarceration on children. Our history matters now, and Satsuki's dedicated work sets an example for us all.

We hope you can join us in welcoming Satsuki to the Pacific Northwest this fall!
Join Densho at one of our 2019 community listening events!
Over the course of the next two years, Densho will be hitting the road to meet with community members across the U.S.! We'll share the latest news about our educational and archival resources, talk about the relevance of Japanese American incarceration history to current events, and tell you about our future plans, including an audacious goal we've set for 2042, the 100th anniversary of EO 9066. We are also listening! We want to hear your candid and creative input in regards to Densho’s future and how to keep Japanese American history alive for decades to come.

Oral History Spotlight: Kazuko Nakao
Kazuko Nakao was born on Bainbridge Island, Washington and forcibly removed with her family to Manzanar concentration camp during WWII. In this clip she describes arriving in Manzanar and coping with the harsh, high desert climate after growing up in the temperate Pacific Northwest.
>> Watch the clip .
Densho Blog: It’s Time to Retire WWII-Era Euphemisms for Japanese American Incarceration
Words matter—not just for the sake of accuracy, but for a future free from the kind of violations and violence that demand euphemisms in the first place. To avoid repeating the mistakes of our past, we must be able to see them clearly.
>> Read more .
Community Post: Volunteer at the Seattle Asian Art Museum!
Docent applications for the Seattle Asian Art Museum are now open. Docents are in the galleries, leading tours, engaging with visitors and helping SAM in its mission to connect art to life.
To apply:  Please visit  or  click here  to submit an application and be prepared to upload a document with responses to the following short-answer questions. Respond to each prompt in 100-400 words.

1.       Why do you want to become a docent at a museum dedicated to Asian art?
2.       What relevant experience, education, or training would you like to share?
3.       One of the museum's core values is Equity: We are responsive to cultural communities and experiences, and we think critically about the role art plays in empowering social justice and structural change to promote equity in our society. We are dedicated to racial equity in all that we do.
How do you foster an equitable and respectful space for people and their differences?
4.       What do you feel is the role of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in the community, particularly in a region with a significant Asian American history?