Today I went to go take a visit to the Wing Luke Museum. This was a very interesting
museum to me because it had a lot of history compiled into one building and Seattle
has the only Asian American Museum in this country. I thought that it was going to be
a regular museum that just shows you the basics but this museum was different. Once
I went into the museum I did not want to come out because it was so fascinating and
exciting to walk around and view history. Coming out of the museum made me want to
learn more about history! Not just history of Asian Americans but history of everything
in this world. I was not able to take the tour but exploring all of the exhibits was all that
I need to fall in love with the museum. My favorite exhibit was the One Song, Many
Voices: The Asian Pacific Experience, and Densho: The Japanese Legacy Project.
The permanent centerpiece of the Wing Luke, One Song, Many Voices showcases the
200 year history of the immigration of Asian and pacific islanders to Washington state.
The exhibit documents the immigration from the first Hawaiian settlers to the new
Southeast Asian refugees. The exhibit encompasses as many as 10 Asian Pacific
American groups, including Cambodians, Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese,
Laotians, Pacific Islanders, South Asians, Southeast Asian hill tribes and Vietnamese.
The display is said the be the only one of its kind in the nation, because it integrates so
many different experiences from these groups into a singular story of the
determination, honor, and sacrifice of Asian Pacific Americans. The One Song, Many
Voices exhibit includes pictures and items belonging to many early local businesses,
like restaurants, barber shops, and laundries. There are photos of local Asian sports
teams, clothing, and festivals. Also housed are musical instruments, clothing and
eating traditions. Also, they have a scale model of the Puyallup assembly center,
where thousands of Seattle born citizens were imprisoned during the Japanese
Internment that occurred during the Second World War.
The Exhibit titled "Densho: The Japanese Legacy Project" is a large interactive
multimedia archive, housing artifacts from local japanese before, during, and after
WW2. The Densho project interviews and films individuals, and has them tell stories of
thier parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. This is such an important project,
to preserve the japanese american history so that future generations can share the
history of thier ancestors and people.
The Densho Project's first hand accounts bring the history to a new generation as told
by the people who were actually around to witness it. As an addition to the digital tape
library, the Densho Project has digital copies of over a thousand photographs,
documents, and letters. All of this is available from any computer capable of
connecting to the internet. The Densho Project is a highly capable database, with full
search capabilities. What this means, is that you could watch someone's interview, and
then search for old baseball team pictures of them, or even old love letters. All this
combines into a very powerful tool for learning about the people who were there, and
effected by the internment, the war, and just life in the Pacific Northwest. The archive
captures a valuable piece of history, and safeguards it against being lost forever.
The creators of the Densho Project chose to focus it toward two different viewer
groups: scholars and educators. For the scholar they have an gigantic digital
storehouse of information, peserving stories from community elders. They try to record
information that isn't currently available, focus on viewpoints that aren't given a chance
to be heard very often. For teachers, the stories in the Archive offer a more personal
way to get...
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