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UW Nikkei Alumni Awards Youth and Leader

Scholarship Recipients [L to R]: Jace Curtain, Brandt Tosaya, Jamie Emoto, Kayla Butler; not pictured Nanami Tsumura. Photo courtesy of UW Nikkei Alumni Association

By The North American Post Staff

The UW Nikkei Alumni Association met last Saturday at NVC Memorial Hall to present the UWNAA Distinguished Alumnus Award alongside five scholarships. Keynote speaker Tom Ikeda was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the event.

Ikeda is the founding Executive Director of Densho, heading the Densho Project. The Densho Project conducts numerous interviews and collects related resources made accessible to “preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished,” according to the project’s mission statement.

Ikeda has led the organization for the past 20 years with over 1,600 hours of recorded interviews with first-hand accounts of Japanese Americans now accessible at Densho.org for preservation, education and betterment of the global community. His own parents and grandparents having been incarcerated during World War II, Ikeda has made extensive contributions to the Japanese American legacy with his personal experiences and a prior career in technology.

He graduated UW with a BA in Chemical Engineering, a BS in Chemistry and an MBA.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.