October 2020
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda
Dear friends,

As fall weather kicks in and we get deeper into an especially contentious election cycle, I find myself seeking out opportunities for community and connection. I am inspired by these words from the late Senator John Lewis:

“Each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up, and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community."

One thing I’ve learned over twenty-plus years of sharing Japanese American history is that it’s often in the most challenging moments that our connections to one another are strongest. It gives me hope to see people of all generations coming together to keep our elders’ memories alive and activate that history to stand up, speak up, and speak out today. 

I’m grateful to be part of such a resilient, engaged community. My staff and I have been working hard to plan a celebration of that community, and we sincerely hope you’ll join us on October 24th for the Densho Dinner @ Home. We consider all of you to be members of our Beloved Community and in this time of social isolation and political division, these moments of gathering together are especially important. 

With gratitude and in solidarity,

You’re invited to the Densho Dinner @ Home on Saturday, October 24th! Join Densho for a one-of-a-kind virtual event featuring artists, activists, storytellers, and creatives from around the country. 

Valarie Kaur, a civil rights activist, documentary filmmaker, lawyer, and faith leader will be joined in conversation by her lifelong friend and the granddaughter of incarceration survivors, Brynn Saito. Brynn is an organizer, poet, educator and co-founder of the Yonsei Memory Project. Brynn and Valarie will share inspiring lessons from their families’ story of solidarity and reflections on the power of radical unity in the face of challenging historical moments.

We will also be joined by poet and spoken word performer Kai Naima Williams, who will read a new piece of poetry and reflect on the revolutionary legacy of her great-grandmother, Yuri Kochiyama. Musician Zach Saginaw, who records as Shigeto, will share an original piece that digs further into his family history, exploring questions of identity and injustice. 

To make this gathering feel even more inspiring and engaging, Sean Miura and traci kato-kiriyama, co-founders of Tuesday Night Cafe, will be hosting live from Los Angeles.

Together we can transform this challenging time into a moment for powerful social change. Join Densho on October 24th for an inspiring evening of community, remembrance, and solidarity!
The Densho Dinner @ Home is going virtual, but in a nod to our traditional Sushi & Sake gatherings, we’ve got a few special treats lined up for you. 
  • Our friends in the Seattle area can now order Densho Dinner sushi kits from area restaurants Sushi Kashiba, Ten Sushi, and I Love Sushi on Lake Bellevue that you can enjoy at home while watching the Densho Dinner on October 24th. See full menus, prices, and ordering instructions here.
  • And for those of you located outside the Seattle area, we encourage you to support your favorite local restaurants or choose from one of the sushi restaurants compiled by our staff here
  • Try pairing your sushi with sake recommendations from the Sake School of America, and make sure to register for our Densho Sake School on October 15th at 4pm PDT.
The first three episodes of Campu are now available wherever you listen to podcasts! This new podcast, produced for Densho by Hana and Noah Maruyama, draws heavily upon Densho’s oral history archive to tell the story of WWII incarceration from the perspective of those who lived through it.

It is not to be missed, but don’t take it from us see what listeners have to say: 

“Like so many Japanese Americans, my family would not talk about camp. Thankful for this podcast and keeping our history alive, helping to keep compassion in my heart for those being incarcerated unjustly even today. These stories are the way to healing the grief of our ancestors.” 

“I can’t recommend this podcast enough. The first episode was thoughtful, well organized, interesting, and cleverly interwove oral histories about Japanese internment, histories of the natural world where the camps were built, and a touch of personal history.”

“I learned things in the 40 minutes it took to listen to this episode that I didn’t learn in almost 20 years of school. This was moving, educational, and phenomenally well made.”

>> Tune in and subscribe at www.densho.org/campu or on any podcast streaming platform.
Meet Densho's New Marketing Manager

Kristi Nakata (she/her) is the child of a Sansei and Japanese immigrant, born and raised in the Seattle area. Her paternal grandparents were incarcerated at Manzanar, and instilled the importance of nido to nai yoni, “let it not happen again.” She was introduced to Densho during her time as a member of the 2013 court of the Japanese Queen Scholarship Organization of Washington. 

Kristi is a graduate of Seattle University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology, with a minor in Political Science. She previously worked as the Digital Communications Manager for Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters.

Kristi will be contributing to Densho's digital marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts. We're all thrilled to have her on boardplease join us in welcoming her to the team!
Thank you, Humanities Washington!
Densho gratefully acknowledges program assistance we received this year from Humanities Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020. Grants like these, along with individual donations, helped us keep our virtual doors open this year. Thank you!
Community Corner
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) will present a live stream broadcast of its "19th Annual Evening of Aloha Virtual Gala" on Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 4:00 PM-5:00 PST. This event honors the valor of the American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry by highlighting their remarkable stories of courage, patriotism and sacrifice. This year GFBNEC will also feature the first virtual "Living Nisei WWII Veterans Photo Tribute" showcasing our brave veterans from around the country. 

The Gala can be viewed live on www.goforbroke.org, Facebook, or YouTube.