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

Collections Up Close: Letters from Beyond the Fence
Collections Up CloseSunday, December 6, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Oregon Buddhist Temple, 3720 SE 34th Ave, Portland
Free and open to the public

Join us for a FREE presentation at the Oregon Buddhist Temple. Museum collections volunteers Taylor Ishida and Weston Nakamura-Koyama will share the moving stories they uncovered from correspondence written by and sent to two Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. Come trace one young girl's journey from the Portland Assembly Center to Minidoka through stirring letters written to classmates back home at Portland's Park Rose High School. Hear how, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an innocent dentist in Portland's Japantown was arrested by the FBI and transferred to various Department of Justice prisons across the United States.

Learn about the extraordinary significance these letters hold. Discover how artifacts can give voice to family heartbreak and loss, speak to the power of friendships, and inspire a new generation to carry on. This program is presented in partnership with the Oregon Buddhist Archives and Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Holiday Pop-Up Shop
November 10 - December 24, 2015
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11am-6pm; Saturday-Sunday, Noon-5pm; closed Monday/Tuesday
341 NW 5th Avenue, Portland

Shop and support Oregon Nikkei Endowment at our holiday pop-up shop, Omiyage! Celebrate the tradition of gift giving and choose from Asian inspired gifts and crafts created by local artisans, designers and authors. Omiyage will feature jewelry, fashion and home accessories, cards, origami ornaments, arts and crafts, Anime-inspired merchandise, books, and a selection of curated vintage items.

Oregon Nikkei Endowment is excited to have been selected to participate in the Portland Business Alliance and Portland Development Commission's PDX Pop-Up Shop project. The project turns Portland's vacant retail space into temporary shops that showcase local talent and encourage downtown shoppers to seek out unique gift offerings during the holiday season. Omiyage is in its own space this year, and the second location at 438 NW Broadway will feature three emerging retail entrepreneurs: Draplin Design Co., Stubborn Stiles, and FOLK.

Proceeds from Omiyage sales will support our local vendors and the programs, exhibits, and mission of Oregon Nikkei Endowment. Visit downtownportland.org for more information about the PDX Pop-Up Shop Project. If you are interested in volunteering at Omiyage, please contact Oregon Nikkei Endowment:

Phone: 503-224-1458

Current Exhibit
Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit
Open to the public through January 17, 2016

First Thursday – November 5, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Through the use of historical and contemporary photographs, this visual exploration of gambatte, or triumph over adversity, demonstrates the ways in which generations of Japanese Americans persevered through their incarceration during World War II.

Osechi RyoriOsechi Ryori
Winter fundraiser for Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Cost: $130 (or $100 if you provide your own jubako box)

Enjoy traditional Japanese New Year's food (as well as items from the Pacific Northwest) prepared by our Nikkei community cooks, displayed in a three-tiered box (jubako), while supporting the Oregon Nikkei Endowment!

The cost is $130 for the entire osechi ryori (or $100 if you provide your own jubako), $60 of which is tax-deductible. Order online here.

More details will be available very soon. Please contact Oregon Nikkei Endowment to pre-order or if you are interested in volunteering:

Phone: 503-224-1458

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:

Oregon History Museum
World War II: A World at War, A State Transformed
June 26 – December 7, 2015

In this exhibition, artifacts and manuscripts from the Mark Family Collection illustrate this massive conflict, from the battlefields in North Africa to the home fronts in America. The exhibit will also focus on Oregon, a state transformed during the mid-twentieth century. Items drawn from the Oregon Historical Society's archives will tell the stories that dramatically changed Oregon, including the operation of the Kaiser shipyards and the experience of Japanese Americans. Learn more at www.ohs.org.

The Art of War: Propaganda Posters of World Wars I and II
February 28 – November 15, 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.

Lan Su Chinese Garden
November 1 - November 22, 2015

During the month of November, Lan Su Chinese Garden will be packed with more than 500 potted chrysanthemums artistically displayed throughout the garden. More than 50 different chrysanthemum varieties will unfurl in all colors, shapes and sizes including: spiders, quills, spoons, regular incurves, irregular incurves, reflexes, semi-doubles, anemones, brush, thistle, exotics and more! Take in the oranges, reds and yellows of autumn to unusually bright pinks, pale lavenders, lime green, and even stripes of the chrysanthemum. Learn more at lansugarden.org.

History Pub
Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest
Monday, November 30, 7:00 p.m.
Kennedy School McMenamins (5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland)
Free, all ages welcome

Presented by Sue Armitage, Emerita Professor of History and Women's Studies at Washington State University in Pullman. Drawing on her three decades of research and teaching and based on hundreds of secondary sources, Armitage's account explores the varied ways in which, beginning in the earliest times and continuing to the present, women of all races and ethnicities have made the history of our region. Women's community building and cooperative skills have been decisive in developing the societies of the Pacific Northwest—Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, and British Columbia. Learn more at www.mcmenamins.com.

Cannon Beach History Center & Museum
What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps
A textile exhibit by Cathy Erickson

October 24, 2015 – February 29, 2016

For over a decade, Cathy Erickson has focused her artwork on the hardships that Japanese Americans faced when they were incarcerated in camps during World War II. Much of the work for this exhibit was done in collaboration with Margaret Chula, an internationally known haiku poet. Learn more at www.cbhistory.org.

Past events:

Nihonmachi: The Place to Be
Special Performances in Portland
Presented by Portland JACL
Monday, November 9, noon and 7pm
at Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Avenue, Portland
Tickets: Student Matinee: $10, Evening performance: $40 ($35 if purchased before 10/25/15)
Tickets on sale at www.pcs.org

Nihonmachi: The Place to Be is a two-hour musical journey, originally performed in Los Angeles, that will transport audiences back in time to Nihonmachi (Japantown), the way it used to be before World War II. The play follows one Sansei's (third generation Nikkei) story as he discovers 100 years of his family's history, his roots in Japantown, and ultimately who he is as a Japanese American. Interspersed through the show are classic, nostalgic Japanese and American songs.

Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Portland Center Stage have partnered with Grateful Crane Ensemble to bring this production to the Gerding Theater.

Nihonmachi Sponsors
Title Sponsor: Portland JACL
Level 1: Japanese Ancestral Society of Portland, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, Sam Naito, Alice Sumida, PGE Foundation
Level 2: Irene Hirano Inouye/Kresge Foundation/Ford Foundation, The Standard
Level 3: MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, Arlene Schnitzer & Jordan Schnitzer
Level 4: Deloitte LLP, NW Natural, Summit Properties, Vanport International, Inc., Junki Yoshida, Comcast

Matsutake Hunt
October 24-25, 2015
Cost: $50
matsutakeFor current and new Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment only

Join us on a field trip to hunt and gather Matsutake mushrooms on the Oregon Coast. This outing is especially designed for novices and is open to Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment.

The trip includes a guided matsutake hunt in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, as well as a Social Hour and salmon dinner on Saturday evening and additional mushroom hunting on Sunday (lodging in Yachats is not included).

25th Anniversary of the Japanese American Historical Plaza
Celebratory Event and Cruise, with George Takei and Thomas Lauderdale
Sunday, August 2, 2015
4pm Public Event at the Plaza (NW Naito Parkway and Couch Street)
5:30pm Dinner Cruise on the Portland Spirit

George TakeiWe are proud to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial! From 4:00-5:00pm on Sunday, August 2, Oregon Nikkei Endowment will honor all those who were instrumental in creating and maintaining the Japanese American Historical Plaza. The keynote speaker will be actor and activist George Takei, and music will be provided by the Minidoka Swing Band. This event is free and open to the public. Following the public event will be a celebratory cruise on the Portland Spirit. Boarding will begin at 5:30, and the cruise will take place from 6-8:30 pm. George Takei will be the special guest for this celebratory cruise, and music will be provided by Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini.

Please join us in celebrating 25 years of the Japanese American Historical Plaza and honoring all those who helped us reach this important milestone!

Photo Galleries (password for both galleries is "ONE")
Plaza and Cruise event photos: reflectionphotography.smugmug.com/Proofing/Events/ONE/51033510_GzXBTP

George Takei photos:

Calendar of Activities

JROC Calendar

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Current Exhibit

Legacy of an Enduring Spirit

October 17, 2015 -
January 17, 2016


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The Oregon Nikkei 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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please call us at 503-224-1458.

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