Oregon Nikkei Endowment

Japanese American History Museum
A project of Oregon Nikkei Endowment

121 NW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR  97209
(503) 224-1458

Museum hours:
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.

$5 adults, $3 students/seniors
free for Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment


Tours and School Programs

Tours at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center are designed to tell the story of people of Japanese descent (Nikkei) in Oregon before, during, and after World War II. Tour themes and activities are designed to connect with curriculum and Common Core Standards in the areas of Language Arts, Social Science and American History. Inquiry-based tours at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center are thematic and are lead by our trained volunteer docents. Scheduling details are below.

Tour and Speaker Request Form

In addition to self-guided tours (please confirm availability in advance), the following options are available for docent-guided tours:

Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community (permanent exhibition)
Our standard tour is designed to tell the story of people of Japanese descent (Nikkei) in Oregon and their struggles before, during, and after World War II. This exhibition gives students the opportunity to learn about a specific time in history, while also exploring universal ideas such as community, identity, immigration and civil rights.

Identity (Recommended for grades 3-5)
Students will discuss the concept of identity in relation to the story of the Oregon Nikkei. They will draw on their own understanding of "identity" to explore these questions: What identifies you and makes you who you are? What can change or shape your identity? Is identity something we take with us no matter where we go? How do you think the Japanese American's identity might have changed after living in the internment camps?

Civil Rights (Recommended for grades 7-12)
Students will explore the concept of civil rights in relation to the story of the Oregon Nikkei. They will discuss the Bill of Rights and what they mean for all Americans. Students will uncover the stories of Nikkei who were stripped of their civil rights, as well as the role of the government during a difficult time in American history.

Japanese American Historical Plaza
The Plaza is an internationally recognized, award-winning public park located at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. Located two blocks from the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, the Plaza is a memorial to the 120,000 men, woman and children held against their will in internment camps during WWII. A guided tour of the Plaza will help students interpret historical events and provide an opportunity to reflect on the past.


Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in the Classroom

Museum in a Suitcase Program - developed by the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, with assistance from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

nihonmachiLet us bring the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center to your classroom! Our docents will come to your classroom and share the Japanese American experience in Oregon with your students through the use of primary resources, such as visual images and artifacts. A teacher guide with resources and lesson plans aligned to Common Core Standards is also included.

The primary resources included in the suitcase cover the following topics:

  • Early Japanese Immigration to Oregon
  • Creating Communities – Life in Nihonmachi (Portland's Japantown)
  • Incarceration Story World War II, Executive Order 9066, civil rights, Evacuation Process, Portland Assembly Center, Transfer to WRA Camps, Life in Camp, U.S. Military, End of the War, Resettlement Process, and Redress

Speakers Bureau

Oregon Nikkei Endowment speakers are available for classroom visits, school assemblies, civic organizations, and other groups. Each speaker is well versed to talk about the Japanese American experience during World War II as well as the broader topics of civil rights, citizenship and the Constitution.

Please visit our Resources & Services page for links to other educational resources about the Nikkei experience.

Minoru Yasui: From Roots to Results Curriculum

Minoru Yasui: From Roots to Results is a five-lesson curriculum that introduces students to experiences of Japanese Americans in Oregon during World War II and to the work of Minoru Yasui, the Oregon attorney who challenged the curfew placed on that community in 1942.

The curriculum includes lessons aligned to Common Core Standards and primary source material to support those lessons. The curriculum was funded by the Multnomah Bar Foundation with support from the Oregon Nikkei Endowment and the Minoru Yasui Tribute Project. Contact Oregon Nikkei Endowment if you are interested in receiving a copy of this curriculum.

Phone: 503-224-1458


Pricing & Scheduling

MUSEUM AND PLAZA TOURS: $3.50 per student, $5.00 per adult (with three complimentary adult admissions per school group).



To schedule your group for one of our programs, please fill out the Request Form and mail, fax, or e-mail it to the Oregon Nikkei Endowment office. Contact us (2-4 weeks in advance requested) with questions or to discuss your options:

Oregon Nikkei Endowment
121 NW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-224-1458
Fax: 503-224-1459


Tour and Speaker Request Form


Museum in a Suitcase

Speakers Bureau

Pricing & Scheduling

Request Form

Minoru Yasui: From Roots to Results Curriculum


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Current Exhibit

Collections Up Close — Arts and Crafts Made in the Japanese American Incarceration Camps
April 12 June 10, 2018

Collections Up Close

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The Legacy Center has a wealth of resources documenting Japanese American history and culture, housing original manuscripts, government documents and publications, as well as historical and contemporary artifacts and photographs.


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For information on administrative hours,
please call us at 503-224-1458.

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