Ten Little Known Stories About Topaz Concentration Camp - Part 1


The “Central Utah Relocation Center”—more popularly known as Topaz—was located at a dusty site in the Sevier Desert and had one of the most urban and most homogeneous populations of the camps, with nearly its entire inmate population coming from the San Francisco Bay Area. Topaz is perhaps best known …

Thieving Guards, Mass Food Poisoning, and Other Facts of Life in Fresno Assembly Center


The Fresno Assembly Center* (FAC) opened on May 6, 1942 and held a total of 5,344 Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the Fresno and Sacramento areas. One of fifteen dedicated short-term detention camps opened in the spring of 1942, the facility closed six months later when the population was transferred …

10 Little Known Facts of Life at Minidoka


Located in Southern Idaho, Minidoka concentration camp opened on August 10, 1942 and held some 13,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The incarcerees — most of whom hailed from Washington and Oregon — were accustomed to relatively mild climates and struggled to adapt to Minidoka’s extreme temperatures and relentless …

10 Little-Known Stories About Rohwer Concentration Camp


If there’s one true thing about studying history, it’s that there’s always more to learn. Less (in)famous than sites like Manzanar and Tule Lake, Rohwer was one of two WRA concentration camps located in Arkansas, where inmates were exposed to the unique climate and racial politics of the South, and …

What An Ungodly Place To Meet: Tales From Camp Toilets


Ship Jumpers, Border Crossers, and Other "Illegal" Issei Immigrants


Here at Densho, we often draw parallels between the forced removal and subsequent incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast and the treatment of marginalized groups today. Sadly, the need to do this has only increased in recent months. However the current crackdown on and scapegoating of immigrants—particularly those …

4 Bad Ass Issei Women You've Probably Never Heard of


If you’re into strong women who like to color outside the lines and aren’t afraid to take what’s theirs, then you came to the right place, my friend. Keep reading for a herstory lesson on some little-known Issei trailblazers who were slaying stereotypes, undermining the patriarchy, and proving immigrants #MakeAmericaGreatAgain …

Common Myths of WWII Incarceration: “More Than Half Were Children”


“Half or more of those removed from the West Coast and incarcerated in concentration camps were children.”

Photographer Russell Lee


Photographer Russell Lee (1903–86) is best recognized for his work with the Farm Security Administration (FSA). His photographic career extended from 1935 until his retirement in 1973. He worked for the largest federal documentary project in the history of the United States, and it was during this time that he …

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Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy. Our mission is to preserve and share stories of Japanese American WWII incarceration to promote equity and justice today. Since 1996, Densho has used digital technology to document the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II, before their memories are extinguished. We offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and educational resources, to preserve our history, explore principles of democracy, and promote equal justice for all. Our online resources -- including over 950 oral history interviews and 80,000 images and documents, a comprehensive encyclopedia of Japanese American history, and teacher training courses -- are available free of charge to anyone anywhere in the world. But we are also activating this history through art and storytelling that connects the Japanese American WWII experience to similar injustices today, and empowers future generations to say "Never Again."



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