Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rae Takekawa: FBI Raid and Mother's Outrage

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Rae Takekawa remembers waking up to the commotion of an FBI raid of family home. Rae Takekawa's interview was conducted in 1998 and is available in the Densho Digital Archive.
View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sen. Daniel Inouye: Injured in Battle

Senator Daniel Inouye, longtime Senator from Hawaii, served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. In this clip, he describes a battle in which he lost his right arm, earning a Distinguished Service Cross which was later upgraded to the United States Medal of Honor. Senator Inouye's interview was conducted back in 1998, and is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Densho Encyclopedia Sample Article: Children's Village

The Densho Encyclopedia is a free and publicly accessible website project launching in the fall of 2012 that will provide concise, accurate, and balanced information on many aspects of the Japanese American story during World War II. We have started to release sample entries to showcase the content and give you a chance to preview the encyclopedia while it is still under development.

For this installment, we are featuring an entry about a lesser-known part of the concentration camp infrastructure. As the largest population centers in some of the desolate regions where they were created, the camps became like small, self-contained cities. Did you know that Manzanar even had an orphanage? Learn more in the entry, "Children's Village"...

Funding for the first phase of the encyclopedia is being provided by grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service, and by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Atsumi Ozawa: A Japanese Peruvian's Story

During World War II, Atsumi Ozawa, a Japanese Peruvian, was removed with her family from her hometown of Huancayo, Peru, and taken to the Crystal City internment camp, Texas. Her father had been arrested and taken beforehand, and in this clip, Atsumi describes a difficult train ride with her mother and sisters on their way to reunite with her father on the ship to the United States. Atsumi Ozawa's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Friday, September 9, 2011

Joe Yasutake: Thoughts from a Nisei after 9/11

Joe Yasutake talks about the loss of civil liberties in the political climate following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Mr. Yasutake's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Densho Job Openings

Densho is seeking to fill four positions in the coming months. To apply for the job openings listed below, please send your resume (Word, PDF, or Plain text) and a cover letter describing your interest to [email protected] by Friday, September 30, 2011. Please put the title of the position to which you are applying in the subject field. All applications will be held in confidence. All submissions and questions should be sent via email -- please no phone inquiries.

Office Manager

Densho seeks an Office Manager to organize the day-to-day operations of the Densho office, perform general administrative tasks, and assist the Executive Director as needed. This individual will also provide key support for Densho's Education Program, and fundraising and outreach efforts.

Full job announcement:

Photo and Document Collections Manager

We are also seeking an individual with a strong working knowledge of Japanese American historical content to manage Densho's collaborative National Digital Repository Project. The Photo and Document Collections Manager will work with donors and institutional partners to acquire new content, provide training and support to Repository partners, and assist in the digitization process of photos and documents.

Full job announcement:

Outreach and Communications Manager

We need a Communications and Outreach Manager to help develop a creative communications strategy for a national network of educators, and manage and contribute content for Densho's social media channels and external communications. This person will work not only to enliven Densho's external media presence but also to strategize outreach and further engagement in the Education Program.

Full job announcement:

Web Application Developer

We are looking for a Web Application Developer to provide technical support for Densho's public website and its digital archive of video interviews, photos and documents. This contract position will be responsible for the design, implementation and subsequent maintenance of custom web applications supporting Densho's expanding organizational needs.

Full job announcement:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jack Dairiki: Witnessing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Jack Dairiki was born in Sacramento, California, but went to Japan with his father in 1941. He was unable to return to the U.S. because of the onset of World War II, and was attending school in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. In this clip, he describes the chaos in the city in the aftermath of the bombing. Mr. Dairiki's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.
View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disaster in Japan

The tragic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 was a shocking event. The scope and scale of the devastation is difficult to believe. All of us at Densho express our deep sorrow for those who lost their lives, and are keeping the Japanese people in our thoughts as they begin to cope with what will be a long and difficult period of recovery.

Those of us on the staff have many friends and some family members living in Japan. Fortunately, we have been able to contact most of them and everyone is safe thus far. We were particularly happy to hear that our special events manager and finance specialist Naoko Magasis's mother, who is older and lives alone, was unhurt and is doing well.

All of us very much appreciate the messages of concern we've been receiving from Densho's supporters. Many of you have asked if there are ways that you can provide assistance to those who have been affected. While Japan has a large, well-organized emergency management system, there are several disaster relief NGOs who will be providing important support to the overall efforts. Densho has joined with other Seattle-area non-profits to mobilize funds for these NGOs:

In addition, the non-profit Network For Good has set up a portal website for disaster relief at:

Network For Good Japan Quake & Tsunami Relief

We also ask those of you who live in Washington State or other areas along the west coast of the Americas to take this opportunity to prepare for seismic events like this one. You can start by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website, or your local emergency preparedness authority.

(Photo courtesy of TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hiroshi Terry Terakawa: Wartime Experiences in Salt Lake City

Recently Densho conducted a series of interviews in partnership with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. One of the gentlemen interviewed was Hiroshi Terry Terakawa, who was living in Salt Lake City, Utah, during World War II. In this clip, he describes the protection he and other Japanese Americans received from the local Mormon police force.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aiko Tengan Tokunaga: Celebrations in Okinawa

In this video clip, Aiko Tengan Tokunaga describes community gatherings after World War II in which villagers would create dance costumes and musical instruments using whatever materials they had on hand. Ms. Tokunaga was born in Okinawa during the war and barely survived infancy due to the devastation and dangerous conditions endured by her family. Ms. Tokunaga's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gladys Koshio Konishi: Celebrating New Year's Day in Colorado

To start off 2011, Densho presents a clip from a visual history interview with Gladys Koshio Konishi, who grew up in Fort Lupton, Colorado, where her family ran a produce farm. When she was growing up, her mother would brew homemade sake in a still in the basement to share with family and friends. In this clip, Gladys recalls her family's New Year's holiday tradition, in which sake played an important part.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt