January 2021
New Episode of Campu: Cameras

Densho’s podcast Campu returns today with Episode 4: Cameras. Pictures allow us to peer into the past, but those images are often far more complicated than what initially meets the eye. Photographs (and the people who took them) portrayed Japanese Americans as menacing threats, as hapless victims, as model Americans. But there were also covert acts of resistance playing out on both sides of the camera. In this episode, we talk about the visual record of WWII incarceration and the stories that unfolded behind the lens. About what you see—and what you don’t. 
Untold Stories of Nikkei New York

In his new book, "The Unsung Great: Stories of Extraordinary Japanese Americans," scholar and journalist Greg Robinson showcases the lives and achievements of relatively unknown but remarkable people in Nikkei history. "The Unsung Great" offers entertaining and compelling stories that challenge one-dimensional views of Japanese Americans. This collection breaks new ground by devoting attention to Nikkei beyond the West Coast—including the vibrant communities of New York and Chicago, as well as the little-known history of Japanese Americans in the US South.

Join us for a virtual book launch event on January 21 at 4pm PST/7pm EST. Robinson will explore the unknown aspects of the diverse and artistically vibrant Nikkei community in prewar and wartime New York. He will then be joined by artists Tomie Arai and Sheila Hamanaka in a conversation moderated by Brian Niiya, Densho Content Director.
Calling all educators!

Are you a teacher wanting to use the Campu Podcast in the classroom? Densho has created educational material designed for self-guided learning or to prompt discussion, geared towards high school and college-age learners. The discussion questions and lesson ideas are centered around each episode and meet curriculum goals correlated to standards in several subjects.
Blog Highlight: The First Manzanar Pilgrimage

On December 27, 1969, an intergenerational group of Issei, Nisei, Sansei, and a few Yonsei made the 220-mile trek from Los Angeles to Manzanar. It was the first organized pilgrimage to one of the former concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII — but it wouldn’t be the last. We take a look back at that historic day through the photos of one of those early pilgrims.

Oral History Spotlight: Archie Miyatake

Archie Miyatake grew up in Los Angeles, where his father, renowned photographer Toyo Miyatake, established a photo studio. The family was removed to Manzanar during WWII. In this clip, Archie describes how his father felt a responsibility to take photos in the camp to document their life "so this kind of thing will never happen again."


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