September 2015 
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda

How can a diverse group of organizations from different parts of the country work together to preserve the confinement sites that held Japanese Americans during World War II? This is a question that representatives from the National Park Service, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Tule Lake Committee, Japanese American Citizens League, Topaz Museum, Japanese American National Museum, Friends of Minidoka, Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies, Densho, and another dozen individuals and organizations asked themselves at a meeting at the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage. One of the ideas from the meeting was to form a consortium designed to build the capacity of organizations across the country to preserve, protect, and interpret historic sites, artifacts, and experiences, while also elevating the social justice lessons of the Japanese American WWII experience.  

We are excited with the idea that by working together we can amplify the story of what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II and learn from this story while addressing current social justice issues. I’ve agreed to be on the planning committee for the consortium and we are planning a meeting in May 2016 in Washington D.C. of all organizations who want to participate. Contact me at if you have ideas for this emerging consortium.

Thank You for Your Support!

Our 2015 Summer Appeal has just concluded and we are happy to report that this year's drive brought in $85,475 from 272 donors!

We want to give a big thanks to all who contributed to the annual fund drive. Individual contributions are essential to Densho's operations--we wouldn't be able to do the work we do if we didn't have the incredible support of our community!

Densho Encyclopedia Publishes Its 1,000th Article

The Densho Encyclopedia published its 1,000th article last month—a milestone made possible by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, as well as more than 900 individual donations.

Read about the content and significance of our 1,000th entry from Densho Content Director and Encyclopedia editor, Brian Niiya:
Densho Featured in City Arts Magazine

In connection to Densho's Mayor's Arts Award, City Arts Magazine published a profile of the organization:

For nearly 20 years, the story of one of the most painful chapters in American history—the forced incarceration of over 110,000 Japanese Americans in US concentration camps during World War II—has been kept alive by Seattle-based nonprofit organization Densho. Now the nonprofit’s innovative usage of technology to archive, preserve, and educate is being honored with a 2015 Mayor’s Arts Award for cultural preservation...

Photo Essay: Colorado’s Amache Concentration Camp

On August 27, 1942 the Amache concentration camp opened its doors to thousands of Japanese Americans who had been uprooted from their lives in California and transported to the remote, windswept plains of Colorado. For the next three years, Amache detainees endured weather extremes that ranged from freezing winter snow to summertime heat and dust storms.

Visit the Densho Blog for a photo essay that provides a glimpse into everyday life at the Amache concentration camp.
Oral History Spotlight

Joe Ishikawa was sent to the Granada (Amache) concentration camp, Colorado, during World War II. After the war, he left camp to attend the University of Nebraska, then worked as a curator in the university's art museum and for the City of Lincoln, Nebraska. In this clip, he recalls an incident in which he worked with community groups to desegregate a public swimming pool.
Call for Temporary Loan of Family Photos and Documents

Have you or a family member been interviewed by Densho for our oral history archive? If so, we ask that you consider temporarily loaning us photographs and documents related to the Japanese American experience before, during, and after World War II so that we can digitally preserve them. Your items will become part of one of the largest and most diverse online educational collections about the Japanese American experience.

We're looking for: artwork; scrapbooks; personal photographs; letters and diaries; government documents; audio/visual recordings; newspapers (complete issues) and magazines.

To find out more about loaning materials, please contact Caitlin Oiye, Photo and Document Collections Manager: / (206) 320-0095.

Thank you, City of Seattle!

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is generously providing support for this month's eNews and other core programs. Thank you!

Learn more about the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
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