September 2018
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda
Dear Friends,

In the final weeks of 1995, Scott Oki, a fellow kid who grew up in Seattle's Rainier Valley and later became the marketing head at Microsoft, shared an idea with me that was simple, exciting, and somewhat daunting. He wanted to video-record the personal testimonies of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II and share these stories with everyone on what back then we called the World Wide Web. In the days following my talk with Scott, I spent many moments staring off into space asking myself, “What would happen if Japanese Americans unapologetically shared their stories?” The answer that came back to me   was that these stories, if they were known, would make the world a more just and equitable place. With that recognition, I knew we had to make this idea happen.

On November 3rd at the Densho Dinner , we have the opportunity to thank Scott for his vision and support by presenting him with the inaugural Densho Founder’s Award. Please join us as we give this award and also celebrate Scott’s 70th birthday!

Tom Ikeda
Taking the Archive to the Street
Through Art & Literature
Never Again is Now Mural

As we witness a spike in immigrant family separation and detention, civil liberties infringements, and a crisis of mass incarceration, this is a moment for big acts of resistance. We worked with Densho artist-in-residence Erin Shigaki to make our statement of resistance loud and clear on a busy intersection here in Seattle.

This project was funded, in part, by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

John Okada - A Celebration and Book Launch
September 22 / 2-3:30 PM / Seattle Public Library

Please join us for the book launch of "JOHN OKADA: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of NO-NO BOY" -- on the 95th anniversary of his birth in Seattle, and at the Central Library where he once worked as a reference librarian. Co-editor Frank Abe will present images from his new biography of Okada, and join contributors Shawn Wong and Stephen Sumida for a conversation moderated by Densho Director Tom Ikeda. 

Haunted Healing: Confronting Intergenerational Trauma through Film and Poetry / October 3 / 7-8:45 PM / Seattle Public Library

​Traces of America's dark history still haunt us today. Join us as we confront this haunting through art and conversation. The program will feature a screening of Daryn Wakasa's short horror film, SEPPUKU (2017), which treats the lingering effects of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans as a form of intergenerational haunting. Poet Melissa Bennett will share writing that explores the painful resonances of the boarding school and mental health systems that separate Native people from their culture, home land, language, faith, family, and community. Wakasa and Bennett will then discuss their work in conversation, exploring overlaps in Japanese American and Indigenous history, and creative possibilities for healing in community. The coming together of these two communities is an important alliance for the historical moment we find ourselves in now. The event will be followed by a short convivial gathering in order to create additional space for conversation and connection.

Densho Dinner: “Keeping Our
History Alive Through Art and Story”
Densho Dinner Pop-Up Art Exhibition: The Suitcase Project
If Japanese American/Canadian incarceration happened today, what would you bring with you? That’s the question at the heart of Kayla Isomura’s Suitcase Project . Featuring subjects from Vancouver and Seattle, Isomura's exhibition captures Yonsei and Gosei as they reflect on their family's WWII experience and the lingering effects of incarceration today. In partnership with the Nikkei National Museum, we are proud to present a one night pop-up of The Suitcase Project at our 2018 Densho Dinner.

The 2018 Densho Dinner will also feature a keynote by rising star Sean Miura, a premium silent auction, and surprise performances. We *promise* we'll make the trip to Bellevue worth your time. Tickets are going quickly so get yours today!
Announcing the First Densho Founder's Award

We are pleased to announce Scott Oki as the recipient of the inaugural Densho Founder’s Award. Scott co-founded Densho in 1996 and has served on the Densho board for over 20 years, including half that time as board president. Scott provided the original vision of using digital technology to preserve and share the Japanese American story. Please join us in honoring Scott at the Densho Dinner.

In future years, the Densho Founder's Award will be given to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to the preservation of Japanese American history.
Call for Volunteers
Help us make the 2018 Densho Dinner a success by volunteering to help out with the event! We need volunteers for event set-up, break-down, registration, and other small tasks. This is a fun way to meet people, get in some service hours, and support Densho while you're at it!

Oral History Spotlight: Wakako Yamauchi

It's with a heavy heart that we mark the recent death of pioneering playwright, short story writer and poet Wakako Yamauchi. Best known for her groundbreaking story-turned-play "And the Soul Shall Dance," Yamauchi wrote from a distinctly Japanese American perspective and often drew from her own experiences to depict the struggles and resilience of Issei and Nisei women. In this Densho interview, she describes finding early inspiration in the work of another Japanese American woman writer and the power of reading "something that was about us."

Come work with us!

Densho seeks a Project Coordinator to shepherd our  Examining Racism and Discrimination  curriculum from an in-person teacher workshop into an online course for secondary educators. Applications are due September 28th.

This position is being funded, in part, by grants from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kip Tokuda Memorial Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

Olympia, Wash. Casting Call

Seeking actors for a paid, non-union, original, educational theatre project exploring issues of identity and civil liberties. The project includes: a teacher workshop, school residencies (30-minute play, two drama-in-education workshops to be presented in multiple high school classrooms), and a videotaping of the play. Actors perform the play
and facilitate the workshops.

>> Read more .