NW 2nd Ave
Sharing and preserving Japanese American history and culture in Portland's Old Town neighborhood, where Japantown once thrived.
Group tours of the museum and/or the Japanese American Historical Plaza, speaking engagements for classrooms or other community groups, and research appointments at the Legacy Center are available. Learn more on our Education and Resources and Services page.
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Oregon Nikkei Endowment Response to Japanese American Internment (Incarceration) as Precedent
On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 set in motion one of the darkest chapters in American history—the unjust and unlawful incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, the majority of whom were American citizens.
In 1982, the U.S. Congress issued findings that condemned the incarceration. The Congressional Commission declared that it was not justified by military necessity but was instead based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." As a result, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 in which formally acknowledged and apologized for this grave injustice committed by the U.S. government. This act both recognized American human and civil rights violations and protected against future betrayals, racial profiling, and violations of religious freedom.
The suggestion that Japanese incarceration camps are a precedent for the creation of a Muslim registry is an outrageous assertion and demonstrates ignorance of American history. We, the Japanese American community, strongly condemn and denounce this divisive rhetoric. We must not let fear, hate, and prejudice prevail. We must not allow our country to be defined by its darkest instincts.
Along the Willamette River in Tom McCall Waterfront Park is Portland’s Japanese American Historical Plaza (a.k.a. Bill of Rights Memorial). This plaza stands as a permanent reminder of the fragility of our freedom and the enduring importance of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It reminds us to stand united with vigilance and resolve.
Together, we make a commitment to hold our citizens and elected officials accountable to the rights, liberties, freedom and ideals that are the foundation of our great nation. What happens to one of us happens to all of us.
Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow, Executive Director, Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Oregon Nikkei Endowment is a non-profit whose mission is to preserve and share the history and culture of the Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest, educate the public about their experience during WWII, and advocate for the protection of civil rights for all.
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Omiyage Gift Shop
Shop and support Oregon Nikkei Endowment at our museum gift shop, Omiyage! Choose from Asian inspired gifts and crafts created by local artisans, designers and authors. Omiyage features jewelry, fashion and home accessories, cards, origami ornaments, arts and crafts, Anime-inspired merchandise, books, and a selection of curated vintage items.
The gift shop is open during museum visitor hours. Proceeds from Omiyage sales supports our local vendors and the programs, exhibits, and mission of Oregon Nikkei Endowment.
Come join us for this free, family-friendly day at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center and learn more about Captain Hardy and his trip with Commodore Perry to Japan. On this last day of Captain Hardy & the Black Ship Scroll, we will unroll the entire Black Ship Scroll which depicts the 1853 Perry expedition.
Admission to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center will be free on Sunday, January 15. Learn more on our activites page. This program is partially funded by the Oregon Heritage Commission.
Minidoka Center Field Project
Baseball played a key role in sustaining the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center from 1942-45. Many camp residents—youth and adults, male and female—played baseball or softball on one of the many fields throughout the camp.
Field-In-A-Day is based on the 1952 Farm-In-A-Day event on property that was part of the historic Minidoka site. Approximately 1500 volunteers built a two bedroom home, dug irrigation canals, built corrals, and planted crops — all in a single day. On Saturday, May 28th, individuals and groups are invited to join Friends of Minidoka and park staff in rebuilding one of the baseball fields that were interspersed among the 44 residential blocks.
Support the Minidoka Center Field Project by volunteering for Field-In-A-Day, making a donation, or purchasing a special commemorative baseball (a portion of sales supports the Center Field Project). The baseball ($10, case costs extra) is available for purchase at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Please visit www.nps.gov for more information.
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