The Densho Encyclopedia is a free and publicly accessible website that provides concise, accurate, and balanced information on many aspects of the Japanese American story during World War II. It is designed and written for a non-specialist audience that includes high school and college students and instructors, multiple generations of Nikkei community members, confinement sites preservation groups, amateur and professional historians, librarians, journalists, documentarians, and the general public.
The Encyclopedia is thoroughly cross indexed and articles are linked to relevant primary and secondary materials from the Densho archive and from other websites that include still and moving images, documents, databases, and oral history interview excerpts as well as standard bibliographical sources.
The editor of the encyclopedia is Brian Niiya, director of content at Densho. Niiya has previously served as the editor of the Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference, published in 2000. The blue ribbon advisory committee for the first phase (positions listed are as of that time) consisted of Eiichiro Azuma, the Alan Charles Kors Term Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Roger Daniels, Charles Phelps Taft Professor of History Emeritus in the University of Cincinnati; Lane Hirabayashi, George and Sakaye Aratani Professor in Japanese American Redress, Internment and Community and chair of the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA; Tetsuden Kashima, professor, American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington; Franklin Odo, former director of the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution; and Greg Robinson, Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, who also serves as associate editor.
This first two year phase resulted in an encyclopedia containing approximately 360 articles that went online in the fall of 2012. A second phase that brought the article count to over 1,000 went online in 2015. In 2017, the Densho Resource Guide to Media on the Japanese American Removal and Incarceration went online. The Encyclopedia is envisioned as a long-term, living resource that will continue to grow over time. Additional articles and features will be added, and the project governance structure is being designed to emphasize sustainability.
Major 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 State Library through the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:
Office of Equal Opportunity
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Densho strongly believes in free and open access to knowledge. We want to make it as easy for you to share and reuse our materials. To make this possible, we are offering the text and most of the primary source photos, documents and videos under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License).
This means you are free to use, share and remix our content as long as you:
(For more information, see the license details at Creative Commons.)
To properly cite articles and primary source content, be sure to include the name of the article, the author(s), the publication name, "Densho Encyclopedia," the url of the article page, and the date/time that you accessed the page. In APA format, an example citation would look like this:
Odo, F. (2012). Varsity Victory Volunteers. Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved on July 31, 2015 from https://encyclopedia.densho.org/Varsity%20Victory%20Volunteers/.
For more information and examples in other citation formats, click on the Cite Help link located on each page.
Where indicated, some primary source content in the Encyclopedia is not under Creative Commons terms. You must contact the original rights-holder directly for permission to license their content.
We are interested in hearing your comments, suggestions and questions, especially during this first phase of the Encyclopedia project. You may contact us at:
Unless otherwise noted, all content in the Densho Encyclopedia is offered for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). For more information, see Using and Citing Articles.
Some content is the property of third-party owners. Densho is using these materials either by prior arrangement with rights-holders or under the auspices of fair-use doctrine. If you are a rights-holder who believes that your materials are being used improperly, please contact Densho.
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