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.
To schedule or for more information:
The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center has re-opened. We will have normal visitor hours again starting Saturday, April 15th.
The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center will be closed on Saturday, May 6, for the Return & Remembrance program at the Portland Expo Center.
Return & Remembrance
Seventy-five years ago, on May 6, 1942, Japantown in Portland was empty of Japanese Americans by military decree. Those of Japanese ancestry residing in the local area upended their lives and moved into the former animal stalls of the Pacific International Livestock and Exposition Center. Four months later they joined 120,000 other Japanese Americans in ten hastily erected concentration camps across the United States.
Please join us as we return to the site of the Portland Assembly Center to honor those who were forced out of their homes and businesses, driven away by wartime hysteria and racism. Listen to the stories of Japanese Americans who were there in 1942 and how they came together despite great hardship.
This program is presented by Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Portland JACL. Return & Remembrance is sponsored by Portland Expo Center. Learn more on our activities page.
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.
News and Events:
Yellow Terror is a rare opportunity to view Roger Shimomura's artwork alongside his extensive collection of memorabilia and objects depicting racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans, recently donated to the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle. In his signature Pop Art style, Shimomura's paintings uncover and challenge the role of the media and material culture to define the American norm while establishing the perpetual Other. Visit our exhibits page to learn more.
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.
Tour our permanent exhibit:
To get involved in these activities, please contact Oregon Nikkei Endowment:
For information on administrative hours,
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