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Japanese American Organizations Launch Oral History Project
From a press release
2018-03-18

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The Japanese American Service Committee ( JASC ) and the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society ( CJAHS ) have announced the launch of Untold Stories, an oral history project that documents experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II and resettlement in Chicago. This joint project will continue the collection of oral histories initiated during the recent exhibition, Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII, which was held at the Alphawood Gallery in Chicago from June 29, 2017 through November 19, 2017.

Thanks to a generous donation of equipment, collected material, and the support of Alphawood Exhibitions, Untold Stories will continue to record the experiences of those second generation Nisei and third generation Sansei Japanese Americans whom the incarceration and resettlement processes affected during World War II. Oral histories will be recorded on video or audio either in participants' homes or on-site at the JASC. The collected material will be edited and archived in both the JASC Legacy Center and CJAHS collections, and some will also be shared online with participant permission. Through a joint partnership with StoryCorps, audio recordings will additionally be preserved in the StoryCorps collections and the Library of Congress.

"Untold Stories will explore the continued impacts of the WWII incarceration process," stated Jean Mishima, President of the CJAHS. "In recognizing the urgent need to collect these stories to ensure their preservation, the JASC and CJAHS will work together to not only document these stories, but to make this information publicly available."

"For us in the Japanese American community, we have seen what can happen when racism, xenophobia, wartime hysteria, and a lack of political leadership are allowed to flourish," stated Michael Takada, JASC CEO. "We are committed to transmitting this message to a new generation, as we challenge ourselves to safeguard our civil and human rights in the protection of the most marginalized people in society."

Anyone who experienced the incarceration process in the US, was in Japan during World War II, or resettled in Chicago during and after the war is invited to participate in this project. For further information on the oral history project, please contact the Project Coordinator, Anna Takada, at atakada@jasc-chicago.org or ( 773 ) 275-0097 ext.229 .

The JASC engages people of all ages to experience Japanese American history and culture and to improve their wellbeing through innovative, high quality programs and services tailored to the multicultural community.

The CJAHS is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Japanese American community in Chicago. Through museum collaborations, historical research, and conservation, we aim to preserve the Japanese American legacy in Chicago


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