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 admission,
free for Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment

Upcoming Activities for Oregon Nikkei Endowment

Sakura SakuraCurrent Exhibit
Sakura Sakura
Open through June 14, 2015

Celebrated local photographer Motoya Nakamura has created a body of work by making photographs and videos of sakura (cherry blossom trees) throughout one year at the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial in Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The trees, which were a gift from Japan, manifest Japanese American history that is unique to this region and evoke Nakamura's desire to explore the notions of belonging, identity and diaspora—notions with which the artist constantly grapples.

First Thursday – Thursday, June 4, 4-7pm
Free and open to the public

Artists' Talk – Saturday, June 6, 3pm
Motoya Nakamura and visiting University of San Francisco professor Brian Komei Dempster will showcase the power of poetry, writing, and visual art to express complex issues of identity and the legacy of Japanese Americans.

Fundraising Fridays at Pairings Wine Shop
Fridays in May
at Pairings Wine Shop, 455 NE 24th Ave, Portland

Pairings Wine ShopOur friends at the Pairings Wine Shop & Bar are putting on a fundraiser for the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center! Every Friday in May will feature a free event starting at 7:30 p.m., and 5% of the daily sales on these Fridays will go directly to Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Come drink some wine and have some fun all month long!

PLUS there's a $25 grab bag for the entire month of May featuring $15 wines. For every 15 bottles there's one averaging $50. Half of the total proceeds from the grab bag benefits Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.

  • This Friday, May 8, at 7:30pm, enjoy the classic foodies film Tampopo. Learn how to pair Japanese nibbles with delicious wines!
  • On Friday, May 15, at 7:30pm, visit Pairings and sip, shop, and shake to Japanese rock, garage, powerpop, and punk records from the '60s and '70s.
  • Film Night on Friday, May 22, at 7:30pm! Cutie and the Boxer is a documentary on Japanese American outsider artists living in NYC.
  • Friday, May 29, at 7:30pm is Karaoke Night!

Resources & Services
Check out our Resources page to learn more about the Legacy Center's programs, which provide tangible reminders of the richness and vitality that ethnic minorities can bring to societies that hold sacred the rights of its citizens and regard as a blessing the diversity of its people.

Other Community Events
Please visit Discover Nikkei for more information about upcoming events in the area and around the world. Also visit the JROC calendar for more Portland-area events from the Japan-Related Organizations Coordinating Group:

Film Screening at the Hollywood Theatre
On Paper Wings
Featuring filmmaker Ilana Sol and author Dr. Linda Tamura
Saturday, May 30, 2:30 p.m.
at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard, Portland

On Paper Wings is the story of four women who worked on Japanese balloon bombs, the families of those killed in the Oregon, and the man whose actions brought them all together forty years after WWII. The screening will be followed by a discussion with film director Ilana Sol, Oregon Historical Society's Rachel Randles and author Dr. Linda Tamura. This program is presented in association with the upcoming Oregon Historical Society exhibit WWII: A World at War, A State Transformed, opening June 26th. More information at hollywoodtheatre.org.

2015 Minidoka Pilgrimage
June 25 - 28, 2015

This summer, the 11th annual pilgrimage will take place with former incarcerees, their families, and friends - from Seattle, Portland, and across the nation - to the former Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. This is an opportunity to learn, share memories, and ask questions about the Minidoka experience. Participation is limited. Scheduled activities:

  • Access to an original barrack building and mess hall
  • Visit the reconstructed fence, about one mile in length from the stone entrance buildings along the North Side Canal to the historic swimming hole
  • Guided tour of the Minidoka National Historic Site by National Park Service staff

Registration deadline is June 1, 2015. Go to www.minidokapilgrimage.org to learn more.

Japanese Garden
HakkodoArt in the Garden: Kizuna, The Rebirth of Mashiko Ceramics
June 6 - July 5, 2015

Kizuna is a phrase often repeated in Japan since the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Loosely translated as "the bonds between people," it says that we are all part of one family and need each other's help in order to survive both physically and emotionally. After the earthquake, everyone had to pull together to help each other get back on their feet. Nowhere was this more evident than in the remote pottery town of Mashiko, where potters' studios, kilns, and priceless works were destroyed. Since then, Mashiko potters have pulled together to rebuild their damaged kilns and regain the confidence to carry on their traditions. At the heart of the exhibition is the work of 11 contemporary potters from Mashiko. More information at japanesegarden.com.

Lan Su Chinese Garden
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
May 1 – May 31, 2015

Lan Su is celebrating Asian-Pacific Heritage Month with exciting performances every Saturday and Sunday in May from local cultural organizations and dance troupes. Learn more at lansugarden.org.

Congressional Gold Medal Dinner
Supporting the Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition
Friday, June 12, 2015
The Fairmont Hotel, 170 South Market Street, San Jose, California

You are cordially invited to the Congressional Gold Medal Dinner on Friday, June 12, at The Fairmount Hotel in San Jose, California. The dinner will help to raise funds and increase awareness for the Smithsonian Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition that is presently in development. Program highlights include a keynote speech by Secretary Eric Shinseki and a presentation on the exhibition planning with the Smithsonian. Click here to learn more, donate, or purchase tickets.

AHCArchitectural Heritage Center
Strength, Utility, and Beauty: Architectural Metal in the Gilded Age
On display through August 2015

In Portland, the use of metal as a building material dates to the Victorian era, with the construction of new commercial and institutional buildings. Using examples from the Bosco-Milligan Foundation's collection of nearly 2,000 metal artifacts, this exhibit tells the story of the variety of metals found in late 19th - early 20th century Portland architecture. Guest curator Morgen Young of Alder, LLC explores the use of these metals, highlighting local producers. Most artifacts on display have never before been showcased publicly. Learn more at www.visitahc.org.

Oregon History Museum
A Community on the Move
February 1 – June 28, 2015

A Community on the MoveThis original exhibition, created by the Oregon Black Pioneers, explores how the WWII shipyards, migration from the South, the Vanport flood, and urban renewal projects impacted Portland's black families and businesses. Drawing on personal photographs, historic artifacts, and hands-on experiences, A Community on the Move illuminates Portland's vibrant black community of the 1940s and early 1950s, which thrived despite a larger cultural and legal context of discrimination and displacement. As present-day gentrification in Portland impacts historically black neighborhoods, the importance of acknowledging and understanding this little-known history is critical to our collective future. With this in mind, A Community on the Move has been designed so that visitors can connect and compare past conditions to our modern realities. Learn more at www.ohs.org.

The Art of War: Propaganda Posters of World Wars I and II
February 28 – December 7, 2015

Guns, bombs, planes, tanks, ships, and submarines were the major weapons of World Wars I and II, but the persuasive powers of words and images were critically important in gaining and galvanizing the support of the American public. During both of the World Wars, the United States Government ran aggressive public relations campaigns; these propaganda posters, from the Mark Family Collection, are a sampling of poster art from World Wars I and II. Learn more at ohs.org.

Past events:

Sakura Sakura Programs
Celebrated local photographer Motoya Nakamura has created a body of work by making photographs and videos of sakura (cherry blossom trees) throughout one year at the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial in Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Family Day – Saturday, May 9, 11am-3pm
Free and open to the public. Join us at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center to make your own Sakura Sakura picture!

Old Town/Chinatown Photo Scavenger Hunt with Motoya Nakamura
May 9, noon-1:30pm
Ages 8+ (with family supervision)
Free, RSVP required

As part of Family Day, join Motoya Nakamura for a family-friendly workshop at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. With Motoya as your guide, and Sakura Sakura as your inspiration, families attending this free workshop will be provided disposable cameras and sent on a photo-taking scavenger hunt through the neighboring streets of Old Town/Chinatown! This event is co-sponsored by Portland Photographic Society and Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Book Event
Saturday, May 16, 1-5pm
Free and open to the public

Please join us at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center as Dr. Toshio Inahara unveils his new autobiography: A Nisei, Right Place, Right Time.

golf4th Annual Strawberry Golf Tournament
Fundraiser for Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Thursday, May 14, 2015
at Langdon Farms Golf Club, Aurora

Gather your friends, family and coworkers, and join us for a fun day of golf to support the Oregon Nikkei Endowment at the Strawberry Golf Tournament! Visit the Strawberry Golf Tournament site for more information.

3rd Annual Cherry Blossom Bazaar
A Rummage Sale of Japanese Treasures
Saturday & Sunday, March 7 & 8, 2015, 10am-4pm
118 NW 3rd Avenue, Portland

Shop 'til you drop! This is a unique sale of Japanese collectibles, objects and furniture. Items start as low as 25 cents!

Calendar of Activities

JROC Calendar

Community Events


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Sakura Sakura
March 7 — June 14, 2015

Sakura Sakura

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