Sharing and preserving Japanese American history and culture in Portland's Old Town neighborhood, where Japantown once thrived.
(photo courtesy Rich Iwasaki, 2004)
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 Japanese American Museum of Oregon are available. Learn more on our Education and Resources and Services page.
To schedule or for more information:
As of January 1, 2020, the new name for Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center is Japanese American Museum of Oregon.
We have launched the Lighting the Legacy capital campaign! Donate here, or visit our Lighting the Legacy page for more information.
News and Events:
Poetry and Book Readings
A Night of Poetry and Prose with Brandon Shimoda
Wednesday, January 8, 5-6pm
Brandon Shimoda, yonsei, is a descendant of Japanese American incarceration. His grandfather, Midori Shimoda—an immigrant/photographer from Hiroshima—was incarcerated in a Department of Justice prison in Missoula, Montana, under suspicion of being a spy for Japan. He is the author of several books of poetry and prose, most recently The Grave on the Wall (City Lights, currently long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award). Shimoda is the curator of The Hiroshima Library, an reading room of books on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.
Monster Colored Glasses
Poetry with Ken Yoshikawa
Sunday, January 12, 3-5:30pm
Poet Ken Yoshikawa will read from his newly published book, Monster Colored Glasses, a bilingual narrative exploring personal issues of trauma, vulnerability and personal transformation while addressing social responsibility themes. The evening includes a reception, book signing, and poetry readings by Ken and guest poet Juanito Cervantes, a Mexican poet and author of Voces de Libertad (Voices of freedom) book of poetry.
Learn more on our activities page.
Oshu Nippo Translation Project
In December 2017, Oregon Nikkei Endowment received an Oregon Heritage grant to translate ten special issues of the Oshu Nippo (Oregon Daily News), a Japanese newspaper printed in Portland's Japantown from 1906–1953. Professional translators from the Portland law firm Lane Powell, volunteers from Sapporo (Portland's sister city in Japan), and local Portland volunteers helped with the tremendous task of translating these rare documents that provide an inside look at the lives of Japanese immigrants in Portland in the early part of the 20th century.
This project has taken over a year to complete and involved the generous support of the Oregon Heritage Commission and the law of firm of Lane Powell. Special thanks to Yoko Gulde, Naomi Diffley of Lane Powell, Henry Ueno, Santiago Ravello, and Colin Takeo who helped get this project off the ground.
Please visit our Oshu Nippo page to learn more about the project, view the translations and pages from the original newspapers, and learn about the history of the Oshu Nippo.
Collections Up Close 2019/20:
On display November 7, 2019 - January 2, 2020
Japanese American Museum of Oregon's gallery has become an archival processing center to inventory, catalog, and photograph our permanent collection. This is an opportunity to observe collections staff and volunteers at work during the collections process, as well as to view never-before-seen artifacts from our collection that will be displayed in small rotating exhibitions.
The winter collection focus will be sports, including Jim Onchi's kendo gear.
Never Give Up! Educational Package
A new documentary on Oregon's own American hero, Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice, is now available for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations through the Japanese American Museum of Oregon. The Never Give Up! Educational Package includes the feature film, seven special bonus short films, a study guide, and primary sources (historical and legal documents). Visit www.minoruyasuifilm.org to learn more.
Museum in a Suitcase
Japanese American Museum of Oregon has developed a teaching aid for use in classroom presentations called Museum in a Suitcase. Our speakers will share the Japanese American experience in Oregon with your students by
bringing exhibits (visual images and artifacts) in a suitcase to your classroom. The exhibits cover the following topics: immigration, life in Portland's Japantown, and the WWII incarceration story. For more information, contact the Japanese American Museum of Oregon at 503-224-1458.
Tour our permanent exhibit:
To get involved in these activities, please contact Japanese American Museum of Oregon: