World War II Japanese American Incarceration, Why it Matters Today


2018 marks the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans.

Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda will be at the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust on Wednesday, February 7th at 7 p.m. to describe how this injustice happened during a time of fear and how we are seeing similar fears appearing in America today. Tom will discuss how immigration bans, discriminatory laws, and incarceration in an American concentration camp affected his Gold Star Japanese immigrant grandparents.  The public program is presented by the Friends of Mukai.

Tom Ikeda is a third generation Japanese American who was born and raised in Seattle. Tom’s parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho. He is the founding Executive Director of Densho. In addition to leading the organization over the past 21 years, Tom has conducted over 250 video-recorded, oral history interviews with Japanese Americans. He has received numerous awards for his historical contributions, 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 Integral Fellows Award.

Densho is a Seattle-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and

Tom’s Grandparents at Minidoka Concentration Camp

sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to deepen understandings of American history and inspire action for equity. Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy.

Friends of Mukai programs are supported by 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax Fund.