Densho – Japanese American Internment

Densho is a website dedicated to telling the story of the Japanese Americans interned throughout the US during World War II.  Their archive contains over 500 videotaped interviews with the people who lived through these events, as well as more than 10,000 historic photos, documents, and newspapers that chronicle the broader history of Japanese American immigration to America.

Aside from the archive, the “Causes of Incarceration” section of the site provides an inquiry, sprinkled with video clips and historic images, into the causes of internment.  The “Learning Center” offers lesson plans for all grade levels that integrate video clips and other documents from the archive. This is also where one can find additional historical background and two interactive online exhibits.  With such an extensive collection of interviews to draw on, the personal experiences of the internees are always front and center in the site’s materials.  This personalizes the unimaginable events being described and makes for compelling content that students will likely find appealing.