Tom Ikeda

Tom Ikeda is Founding Executive Director of Densho and has conducted more than 200 video-recorded oral history interviews with Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. He also created classroom curriculum from these materials and helped design Densho’s award-winning website. Before founding Densho, Mr. Ikeda was a General Manager at Microsoft in the Multimedia Publishing Group. He has received numerous awards for his contributions in the humanities, education, and nonprofit sectors, including the Humanities Washington Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Public Humanities, the National JACL Japanese American of the Biennium Award for Education, and the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellows Award.

Updated November 2013 

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Khizr Khan’s words echo for Japanese American World War II Gold Star families

I could feel myself getting choked up as I watched Khizr and Ghazala Khan address the Democratic National Convention last week. And when Mr. Khan—a distinguished man of the Muslim faith—described how his U.S. Army Captain son sacrificed his life to save his men and how his son represented “the best of America,” the tears started streaming down my cheeks.

What I was thinking at that moment was how Mr. Khan was giving voice to what my grandparents might have thought and said 72 years ago while being handed the American flag for the death of their eldest son, Staff …

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Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity

Japanese Americans in Seattle

I’ve been asked to talk about the history of Seattle’s Japanese American community. And because Densho has 750 oral history interviews and thousands of historic photographs, I thought it would be easy to pick out a few stories to share with you today. But the more I thought about the task, the more overwhelmed I became over the many choices.

For example, I could talk about the Issei pioneers who came to Seattle in the 1880s and who worked in the lumber mills, salmon canneries, and railroads.

Or I could talk about how Japanese farmers dominated truck farming and the …

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