Thursday, December 11, 2014

Densho Online Giving Challenge Match for December

Earlier this year, Densho received the Vox Populi (Voice of the People) Award from the Oral History Association for our online 800+ oral history collection. Following the announcement of this prestigious national award, the National Park Service approved a $210,000 matching grant for an innovative project to make it easier for teachers and students to download and use Densho's video interviews in the classroom to make documentaries. What this means is that for every dollar you donate, the NPS will contribute two dollars to us. As a thank you, if you donate in December you'll receive a set of five custom first-class postage stamps with an image of the Tule Lake concentration camp. And if you donate $125 or more, you receive your choice of the DVDs, Conscience and the Constitution or The Legacy of Heart Mountain. If you donate $200, you receive both. 

To donate, please visit www.densho.org/give

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Joseph Frisino: Personal Reaction to the Bombing of Pearl Harbor

Joseph Frisino was serving in the U.S. Army when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He had grown up on the East Coast and, in 1941, struggled with not being able to differentiate between Japanese Americans and the Japanese soldiers who had done the bombing. Joseph Frisino's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Encyclopedia Articles, November 2014

Having worked in museums and similar organizations for most of the last twenty-five or so years, the work they do is close to my heart. Many museum exhibitions have told parts of the story of the Japanese American wartime exclusion and incarceration, and I've added a new Densho Encyclopedia overview article on that topic, along with separate articles on many of the individual exhibitions. Among the new individual exhibition articles are ones on the influential 1992 art exhibition The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942–1945, issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 by the Japanese American National Museum, UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Wight Art Gallery and the much traveled The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942–1946. These join many previously issued article on earlier exhibitions ranging from Ansel Adam's 1944 exhibition of Manzanar photographs at the Museum of Modern Art to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's A More Perfect Union: Japanese American & the U.S. Constitution. Many others will appear in subsequent weeks. There has been relatively little examination of these exhibitions over time, so I hope this makes a contribution to our knowledge of the topic. I've also tried to compile as complete a list of exhibitions as possible at the end of the article. If you know any that are missing please feel free to let me know.

Also added are two articles on landmark legal cases involving challenges of the so-called alien land laws after the war, Masaoka v. California and Kenji Namba v. McCourt, both by Greg Robinson. These join Greg's earlier articles on two other land law cases, Oyama v. California and Fujii v. California. Collectively, these challenges, launched in response to increased enforcement of the land laws during and immediately after the war, effectively ended enforcement of the laws that so dramatically affected the status of Japanese Americans. As part of her series of pieces on artists and writers whose work references the incarceration, Patricia Wakida adds pieces on photographers Clem Albers, Masumi Hayashi, Patrick Nagatani.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tosh Yasutake: Treating Soldiers with "Shell-Shock"

Tosh Yasutake served as a medic with I Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In this clip, he talks about how to treat soldiers, including the medic he replaced, who suffered from "shell-shock." Tosh Yasutake's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt
Read the Densho Encyclopedia article on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Henry Miyatake: An Essay Results in Expulsion From School

Henry Miyatake was a high school student during World War II. In this clip, he describes an essay he wrote for a high school civics class at Minidoka titled "American Democracy and What It Means to Me." His teacher would not accept the essay unless Henry rewrote it, which he refused to do. This resulted in a failing grade and he was unable to graduate from high school in camp. Henry Miyatake's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive. 

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Encyclopedia Articles, September 2014

In 1987, in the midst of the movement for redress and reparations for the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History debuted an exhibition titled A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution as part of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the constitution. Reinforcing the conclusions of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians four years earlier, A More Perfect Union presented an unambiguous example of the constitution gone wrong in the country's official history museum, where no doubt millions learned about this history in the seventeen years the exhibition was up. A new article by Abbie Salyers Grubb on A More Perfect Union highlights the new articles this month.

While many of us who are old enough remember A More Perfect Union, I suspect a lot of us don't know about a remarkable exhibition centered on the Japanese American incarceration that was on display at the Japanese equivalent of the Smithsonian, the National Museum of Japanese History (commonly referred to as Rekihaku) in 2010–11. Titled Japanese Immigrants in the United States and the War Era, this exhibition takes a very different view of the incarceration as viewed from the Japanese perspective, as described in the new article by Kaori Akiyama, a Japanese graduate student studying museum exhibitions in Japan and the U.S. There will be many more articles on these exhibitions coming shortly.

Other new articles also preview more of what's to come: Greg Robinson's pieces on the Fujii v. California alien land law case and mine on Esther Takei Nishio, the first "regular" Japanese American allowed to return to California in 1944 preview many more to come from the early postwar period. Patricia Wakida's on Nikki Sawada Bridges Flynn is one of many she is working on on Japanese American writers and artists strongly influenced by their incarceration experience. There are a few articles on the War Relocation Authority community analysts up already, but many more will be coming, including the newly posted one on John Radamaker, the analyst at Amache in 1943–44 that I collaborated with Cherstin Lyon on. (Rademaker was one of three Community Analysis Section staffers who ended up at the University of Hawaii after the war.) Finally, Stan Yogi contributes pieces on lawyers who worked on the either the wartime cases or coram nobis casesLorriane Bannai, Peter Irons, Dale Minami, and James Purcell—with more to come.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Garden of Stones and Historical Accuracy

The novel Garden of Stones is marred by many historical inaccuracies/implausibilities, but is a well told story that has no doubt introduced many to the story of Japanese American wartime expulsion and incarceration.

In the last decade and a half or so, there have been a lot of novels published that involve the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans as part of their plots. The same can be said for plays, movies and TV shows, documentary films, and other storytelling media. I'll save ruminating on the reasons for this for another time and instead focus on another issue: that of historical accuracy/dramatic license and its importance.

What brings me to this topic is a recent novel, published last year, titled Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield. Published by Harlequin, the book and author seem to have quite a following, and positive reviews abound.

At the same time, Alisa Lynch of the Manzanar National Historic Site pointed us at Densho to a review by Terry Hong of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center. While Hong found the book well written and gripping, she was troubled by the dramatic liberties taken by the author, in particular the depiction of widespread sexual abuse of women and children at Manzanar by white staff members, something there is no documentation for. "Fiction though Garden of Stones clearly is, that Littlefield chose a historical event, a real-life location and experiences (including actual staff positions!), surely requires accurate depictions," Hong writes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Giro Nakagawa: Searched by the FBI at an Oyster Farm Station House

Giro Nakagawa was working for the New Washington Oyster Company in South Bend, Washington, before World War II. In this clip, he describes a visit from the FBI while he was out on a station house, a building on stilts out in the water, where he lived and worked during the oyster harvesting season. Giro Nakagawa's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, August 2014

New to the encyclopedia this month are articles on writers and artists, Nisei soldiers during World War II, and a little known INS detention camp, among other topics.

Patricia Wakida, one of the encyclopedia's associate editors, has been interested in Japanese American writers and artists—and is one herself—and will be contributing many articles on this area in the weeks to come. New this month are her pieces on Los Angeles based Nisei sisters Louise and Julia Suski, the former a writer and editor and first English language editor of the Rafu Shimpo newspaper, the latter a well-known artist and musician, as well as Albert Saijo, whose exposure to Zen Buddhist at Heart Mountain eventually led him to become a key figure in the Beat Movement of the 1950s.

Abbie Grubb is contributing a number of articles on movies and exhibitions that tell the story of the wartime incarceration as well as pieces on Japanese Americans in the military during World War II. This month, she contributes pieces on the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Laura W. Ng has contributed an article on the East Boston Detention Station, where a handful of enemy aliens were held during World War II. I have also added pieces on pioneering Issei lawyer Takuji Yamashita; the Chandler Committee, one of several federal or state legislative bodies to investigate administration of the concentration camps during the war; wartime senator and governor of the state of Washington Monrad C. Wallgren; and the JACL's early postwar lobbying arm, the Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Making It Worse

Photo courtesy of MTV and Viacom International Inc.

By Densho's Content Director Brian Niiya

Japanese Americans often object when journalists, screenwriters, or others minimize or distort some aspect of the wartime incarceration. But should we also object when the incarceration is depicted in a way that makes it worse than it was? This question has come up most recently in criticisms leveled at the musical play Allegiance, most notably by filmmaker Frank Abe on his invaluable resisters.com website and blog. 

I thought of this when I recently viewed two episodes of dramatic TV shows largely devoted to plot lines that take place in American concentration camps during World War II. The first is an episode of Hawaii Five-0 titled "Ho'onani Makuakane" (Honor thy Father) that aired last December. The plot involves an elderly Sansei man named David Toriyama who is caught trying to shoot an even older World War II veteran. It turns out that Toriyama believes that the old man killed his father while the family was interned at the Honouliuli camp in central Oahu. The rest of the episode sees the police officers investigate and ultimately solve the crime, with frequent flashbacks of internment at Honouliuli in recreating the crime scene.

The second is an episode of the MTV drama Teen Wolf titled "The Fox and the Wolf" that first aired a couple of months ago. The show is about a typical teenager at a suburban California high school who also happens to be a werewolf. A major subplot of the series' third season is the apparent possession of key character by a nogitsune, a type of malicious Japanese fox spirit. This episode explains the origins of the nogitsune, which turns out to involve a secret Japanese American concentration camp and the mother of a newly arrived Japanese American student. As with the Hawaii Five-0 episode, we get numerous flashback scenes that take place at this camp.

New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, July 2014

By Densho's Content Director Brian Niiya

One of the neglected areas of Japanese American history is the story of Japanese Americans in Japan just before and during the war between the U.S. and Japan. Generally, this includes two broad groups: Nisei/Kibei who were in Japan prior to the outbreak of war, whether for employment, study, or to visit family and those who returned during the war on one of the exchange ships that also brought Americans in Japanese custody back home.* Members of the first group were referred to as "strandees" at the time, and I think that remains a useful term. I don't think there is a name for the second group. (I should note that my mother and her siblings are members of this group.)

A tragic subset of this population were those who were in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the atomic bombs fell. Because Hiroshima was one of the prefectures that sent the largest number of immigrants to the Kingdom of Hawai'i and the U.S., a particularly large number of Nisei and Kibei had been sent back to family there and were thus killed in the bombing. But a substantial number were also hibakusha—survivors of the atomic bomb.

One of the new encyclopedia articles is Naoko Wake's on these "Japanese American hibakusha." A native of Japan who is an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University, Naoko has spent the last several years doing research on these hibakusha, having interviewed more than a hundred, and will soon release a new book on the topic. We hope to work with her in the coming years to make these interviews available online, adding to the handful of such interviews we already have.

Other new articles include Alexandra Wood's on the California and Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Programs, both now defunct, but both of which helped to fund many projects, including a number of Densho's, that have brought greater attention to the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Alexandra, currently a visiting assistant professor of International Education at New York University, also has authored an article on K–12 Education on WWII Incarceration, based on her 2013 doctoral dissertation. Also new: Cherstin Lyon's pieces on the Denaturalization Act of 1944/Public Law 78-405 and the group of draft resisters imprisoned at the Tucson Federal Prison Camp who self-identified as the Tucsonians; articles by Stan Yogi on Ernest Besig, Edward L. Parsons, and Marilyn Hall Patel, the first of several he will be contributing on figures involved in the Japanese American wartime cases and the coram nobis cases of the 1980s; and my piece on the so-called Lim Report.


* Depending on how one defines "Japanese American," there were also many Nisei who were taken "back" to Japan as children by Issei who chose to return permanently to Japan from the United States prior to the war and who were subsequently raised as Japanese.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ruby Inouye: Treating Issei Patients

Ruby Inouye was a longtime family physician in Seattle after World War II. In this clip, she talks about her ability to speak directly to her Issei patients without an interpreter. Ruby Inouye's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shosuke Sasaki: "Escape" from Camp


Shosuke Sasaki was incarcerated at the Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, during World War II. In this clip, he remembers a humorous incident in which he cut through the camp's barbed wire fence. Shosuke Sasaki's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Loni Ding Collection

We are very pleased to have recently received a collection from the family of acclaimed filmmaker Loni Ding of the raw materials used to make her influential documentaries Nisei Soldier: Standard Bearer for an Exiled People (1983) and The Color of Honor: The Japanese American Soldier in WW II (1987). The large collection includes 738 pieces of media and will be processed over time and added to the Densho Digital Repository.

These two films are among the earliest, most decorated, and most influential cinematic accounts of the Japanese American World War II experience. A sociologist, television producer, and independent filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ding was inspired to do the film after attending the hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) in 1981. Supported by grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the California Public Broadcasting Commission, California Council for the Humanities, Washington Council for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Humanities, Ding embarked on what would become a five plus year project.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Yuri Kochiyama: Changing Perspectives on Racism and Prejudice

Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama was working for a USO office in Mississippi in 1944. Later, while working at a restaurant in New York, she talked to her black co-workers and became more aware of the racist climate facing African Americans. Yuri Kochiyama's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, May 17 to June 2

One of the often repeated stories that Sansei who grew up the '50s and '60s tell is of learning about the wartime removal and incarceration of their families during World War II in college or through reading a book or seeing a documentary film—and not by hearing about it from parents or other family members. Perhaps as a result, many of us have redoubled efforts to tell this story to children, whether our own or to groups of children in schools or on field trips. One of the tools we have to do this are books for children and young adults. Once few in number, we have seen a tremendous upsurge in titles on the incarceration, such that even those of us who pay attention to this subject can lose track.

Over the past year or so, Jan Kamiya, a young adult librarian here in Honolulu, has been reading the dozens of new and old children's books on some aspect of the incarceration story and has produced an excellent encyclopedia article on these books: Children's and young adults' books on incarceration. In addition to the narrative overview in the article, she has also worked to create as comprehensive a list of children's/young adult books as possible, divided into several categories. (There is one category of books that is missing, at least for now: the many that are published outside of mainstream publishing houses, a group Jan is calling the independent/e-book/self-published category. We'll be adding list of these books to the article later on.)

If you are at all interested in these books, take a look at the article and list. Are there any other books you know about that are missing? Jan will be adding separate articles that include more information on many of these books in the weeks to come.

Other newly added articles address other legacies of the camps, starting with one of the most popular fictional accounts of the incarceration, Jamie Ford's novel The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. The Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund is an organization formed by Nisei who were able to leave camp and go to college with the help of many good samaritans and who have chosen to honor their benefactors by helping young people today. Adding to his contributions on key postwar legal cases, Greg Robinson writes about Oyama v. California, the Supreme Court case that effectively ended the power of the alien land laws. Finally, we've added two new articles by UC Berkeley Ph.D. student Jeffrey Yamashita on Fort Snelling, the second home of the Military Intelligence Service Language School, and on Frank "Foo" Fujita, a Nisei soldier who was a prisoner of war of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Records about Japanese Americans relocated during World War II

[There is an enormous amount of information on the Japanese American removal and incarceration available online even beyond the resources that Densho provides. This abundance is both a blessing and curse; a blessing because one can do an enormous amount of research online that once required travel to archives located in various parts of the country and a curse because the sheer volume of material makes it hard to figure out what is unique and truly useful and what is of limited use or even misleading. Every once in a while, I'll be posting on some of the most useful non-Densho web resources.]

Many years ago, when I worked at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), in the early to mid 1990s, one of the most popular attractions in the old "Legacy Center" of the historic building—before the construction of the new building—was a computer file we colloquially referred to as the "camp database." For a small donation one could look up and print out "camp records" that indicated what camp a given person or family had been in, along with a host of other information including prewar location, occupations, age, schooling, and so forth. In those largely pre- (or at least limited) Internet days, it seemed kind of miraculous. For many visitors, it must have felt like a validation that yes, this did happen, and here are the government records that prove it. Though perhaps seeming less miraculous to our jaded post-internet eyes, this database—officially titled "Records about Japanese Americans Relocated during World War II—is available online through the National Archives and is still a useful tool for various kinds of research.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Encyclopedia Articles, April 19 to May 9

The so-called "Citizen Isolation Centers" in Moab, Utah, and Leupp, Arizona—essentially War Relocation Authority maximum security prisons that held those deemed too dangerous for their run-of-the-mill concentration camps—have always had an air of mystery due both to the general neglect of the topic in the academic literature and the absence of photographs or other visual representations. Eileen Tamura's excellent new book, In Defense of Justice: Joseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality, includes a chapter on Kurihara's time at the two camps that is one of the best accounts of the camp yet published. Adding to that is Art Hansen's detailed article on Moab and Leupp, just published to the Densho Encyclopedia, which further illuminates the two camps. We still don't have period photographs, but the accounts by Tamura and Hansen at least start to conjure an image of the places in the mind's eye, shedding some light on a slightly less dark topic.

Also recently added was Sheila Chun's portrait of Kumaji Furuya, a Issei businessman and poet in Honolulu who was among those arrested on December 7, 1941, and held for the duration of the war in a bewildering succession of detention camps both in Hawai'i and the continental U.S. He published a memoir of his internment in 1964 titled Haisho tenten, which roughly translates to "An Internment Odyssey." Chun, a volunteer at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i, has been working with Tatsumi Hayashi on a translation of this valuable first person account that provides unique views of relatively little documented camps such as Camp Forrest, Tennessee, and Camp Livingston, Louisiana. The cultural center hopes to publish it later this year, completing a trilogy of Issei internment volumes that includes Yasutaro Soga's Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei, translated by Kihei Hirai (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008) and Family Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family, edited by Gail Honda (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 2012).

Finally, Greg Robinson returns with new articles on Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and the landmark Takahashi v. Fish and Game Commission case. The first two are of course famous figures, but their actions regarding Japanese Americans are less known. The Takahashi case was one of a string of early postwar legal cases that broke down legal discriminatory barriers for Japanese Americans and other ethnic minority groups. Adding to the article are photographs of Torao Takahashi, the suit's plaintiff, contributed by his granddaughter, Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker, who had earlier contributed an article on Terminal Island to the encyclopedia.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Roy H. Matsumoto: Shouting Military Orders in Japanese to Confuse the Enemy

In 2003, Densho interviewed the 90-year-old Roy Matsumoto who recounted his incredible story of fighting in the jungles of Burma with Merrill's Marauders against the Japanese. Roy saved his unit with heroic actions and he was later inducted in the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame. We are sorry to report that Roy passed away on April 21st at the age of 100. This clip comes from Roy's 2003 interview where he describes a mission to hold Nhpum Ga hill in Burma, in which he shouted military orders in Japanese to confuse the attacking Japanese soldiers. Roy's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Monday, May 5, 2014

Oddball Camp Stories in Popular Culture: Early Children's Books

For whatever reason, there has been a flood of children's and young adult books on various aspects of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans in the last decade or so. Some of it is no doubt due to the increased interest in topics related to civil liberties issues in the years since 9/11, and I suspect funding for incarceration related projects from the federal government and from state governments also has something to do with it. There are some really good books out there, both fiction and non-fiction, which is certainly a welcome turn of events.

There are also a surprising number of older books as well. Yoshiko Uchida is a pioneering figure, with her 1971 Journey to Topaz being the first children's book written by a Japanese American on the wartime incarceration experience and coming at time when the community was just starting to emerge from its period of silence about the World War II years. Uchida authored several other books on the topic in the succeeding years, but was about the only one doing so for a couple of decades. In the 1990s, Ken Mochizuki's Baseball Saved Us (1993) and Graham Salisbury's Under the Blood Red Sun kicked off a succession of books in the 1990s, leading up the explosion of titles we've seen in the 2000s.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nisei Vue and Scene Collection Added

Nisei Vue and Scene were resettlement era Nisei pictorial magazines based in Chicago that reflected the hopes and dreams of at least a segment of the Nisei population in the years after World War II. In collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum, Densho is happy to make approximately seventy issues of these magazines available in digitized form. You can access the issues in our new Densho Digital Repository.

Though both were large format pictorial magazines emanating from Chicago, they were actually separate and competing publications. Nisei Vue was the first to appear, its debut issue dated Spring 1948. About a year later, Scene debuted. If you didn't know they were separate magazines it would be easy to confuse them, since their look and contents were very similar. Both highlighted "successful" Nisei and ideal Nisei life, mixing in articles about Japan and Japanese culture. Both usually featured attractive Nisei women on the cover and neither was above the occasional cheesecake feature. For its first few years, Scene also included a Japanese language section. By all accounts, both lost money. Nisei Vue tried to go monthly starting in February 1949, but that proved to be short lived. It limped along for another year before folding in March 1950 after less than two years. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Densho Encyclopedia Articles, April 5 to 18

If one were to make up lists of important or influential Japanese Americans viewed from an ethnic community perspective and from an external, mainstream American perspective, one would likely end up with very different lists. Some of the most significant figures in the history of the ethnic community—people like Abiko Kyutaro, Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, or Sue Kunitomi Embrey—are not well known outside the community, while some of the most famous Japanese Americans of their time in the mainstream world—e.g. Yasuo Kuniyoshi, James Shigeta, or Kristi Yamaguchi—didn't play large roles within the ethnic community. (There are a few who would make both lists, led by Daniel Inouye and George Takei.)

Two of the most famous Japanese Americans of mid-20th century were furniture maker George Nakashima and architect Minoru Yamasaki. Both gained great acclaim for their work in mainstream circles, but didn't have close connections with the ethnic community and lived in areas largely devoid of co-ethnics as adults. (Both did grow up around other Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest, Nakashima in Spokane and Yamasaki in Seattle.) Based in New York before the war, Yamasaki avoided mass incarceration and eventually settled in the Detroit, Michigan area, while Nakashima was held at Minidoka, from which he resettled in New Hope, Pennsylvania. You can learn more about each in new articles by University of Hawai'i Ph.D. student Sanae Nakatani, who does a fine job of discussing the impact of the war and their Japanese American ethnicity on their life and work and makes a case for the significance of each to the Japanese American community. Sanae is working on a dissertation on Nakashima, Yamasaski, and Isamu Noguchi. Though born and raised in Japan, she has familial roots in the Seattle area and hopes to do research on the history of the Seattle community and on her family history.

Also recently added is a exhaustively researched article on sports in camp by another Ph.D. candidate, Terumi Rafferty-Osaki of American University in Washington, D.C. It comes out of Terumi's research for a dissertation to be titled "'Strictly Masculine': Reforming and Performing Manhood at Tule Lake, 1942–1946." His strong personal interest in sports and sports history comes through in his piece. Also just added are three articles by Portland, Oregon based public historian Morgen Young on Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee; the Oregon Plan; and on Nyssa, one of the camps that housed Japanese American who left the camps to do agricultural work throughout the West. Morgen's research on this generally neglected aspect of the wartime incarceration is also featured in a photography exhibition titled Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War IIand in a recently published article titled "Russell Lee in the Northwest: Documenting Japanese Farm Labor Camps in Oregon and Idaho" in the Fall 2013 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Finally a newly added article by Dana Ogo Shew of Sonoma State University tells the story of the Amache Silk Screen Shop, one of several enterprises set up in the concentration camps to do war related work for the U.S. military and which includes some great photographs of the shop and images of their work.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Frank Kitamoto: Effects of the Incarceration Experience on Children

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Kitamoto. Frank was one of Densho's founding volunteers who helped define Densho's mission of keeping the Japanese American story alive. Frank's memorial service will be at 2pm on April 6th at the Woodward Middle School on Bainbridge Island. Densho interviewed Frank in 1998, and in this clip from his interview, he discusses the impact the World War II incarceration experience had on his life, even though he was young. Frank Kitamoto's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cherry Kinoshita: The First Day of Remembrance

Cherry Kinoshita was a longtime Seattle activist and contributor to the Japanese American Citizens League and the redress movement. In this clip, she talks about the first Day of Remembrance in Seattle and Puyallup, Washington, and its effect on the Japanese American community. Cherry Kinoshita's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Michiko Frances Chikahisa: Addressing Social Issues in the Japanese American Community After the War


Michiko Frances Chikahisa was a social worker in Los Angeles and Chicago directly after World War II. In this clip, she talks about the types of problems she observed among Japanese American youths and their parents upon returning home after the war. Michiko Frances Chikahisa's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

View the Archive Spotlight interview excerpt