NW 2nd Ave
Upcoming Activities for Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Volunteers are needed to help us clean the Japanese American Historical Plaza on Saturday, July 30, starting at 8am. Clean-up activities include pulling weeds, sweeping, and picking up litter. If possible, volunteers are encouraged to bring a broom, dust pan, rake, work gloves, water, flag markers, and any other tools and supplies that might be useful.
Unsettled/Resettled recalls the post-World War II resettlement experience of the people who found lodging at the Seattle Japanese Language School from 1945 until 1959, when it operated as a temporary hostel. Learn more about this lost chapter of history through interviews, archival footage, photographs, and original artworks by Aki Sogabe. Visit our exhibits page to learn more.
Please join us for our annual benefit banquet in support of Oregon Nikkei Endowment, this year honoring Iwasaki Bros., Inc. and Jere Okada, featuring a performance by Portland Taiko.
Activities will include a dessert dash and silent auction, with Special Keynote Speaker The Honorable Normal Y. Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
The meal choices will be beef, salmon (gluten free) or vegetarian. Invitations will be mailed soon, or you can register online. Please contact Oregon Nikkei Endowment for sponsorship information:
Minidoka Center Field Project
The goal of the Center Field Project is to re-construct one of the baseball fields at Minidoka and its supporting structures, including scoreboard, backstop, player benches, and exhibit panels.
Baseball played a key role in sustaining the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center from 1942-45. Many camp residents—youth and adults, male and female—played baseball or softball on one of the many fields throughout the camp.
Field-In-A-Day is based on the 1952 Farm-In-A-Day event on property that was part of the historic Minidoka site. Approximately 1500 volunteers built a two bedroom home, dug irrigation canals, built corrals, and planted crops — all in a single day. On Saturday, May 28th, individuals and groups joined Friends of Minidoka and park staff in rebuilding one of the baseball fields that were interspersed among the 44 residential blocks.
Support the Minidoka Center Field Project by volunteering for Field-In-A-Day, making a donation, or purchasing a special commemorative baseball (a portion of sales supports the Center Field Project). The baseball ($10, case costs extra) is available for purchase at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Please visit www.nps.gov for more information.
Resources & Services
Other Community Events
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Discover a summer of adventure at Lan Su Chinese Garden with a series of events and activities for the whole family. Featuring weekly tai chi lessons, feng shui lectures, guided poetry tours in the garden, caligraphy demonstrations, and brush painting demonstration. Learn more at www.lansugarden.org.
Bring the whole family to this year's celebration of the traditional Japanese Tanabata festival. Take part in traditional Tanabata customs like folding origami paper ornaments and writing wishes on colorful strips of paper. Enjoy Kamishibai storytelling with longtime friend of the Japanese Garden Michiko Kornhauser and the music of Tokyo-born guitarist Toshi Onizuka. Learn more at japanesegarden.com.
Breaking the Silence – Stories of Courage from our Elders
Four speakers will talk about their lives during and after the Second World War. Moderated by Linda Tamura of Willamette University, the conversation will focus on the role storytelling plays in the healing process after trauma. The panelists will connect their experiences with the war and their later decisions to begin public speaking. One of the speakers, George Nakata lived in a Japanese American concentration camp in Idaho during World War II. A second speaker, Taka Mizote, spent the war years in farm labor camps in eastern Oregon. The other two speakers, Les and Eva Aigner, survived the Second World War in Europe then lived through political unrest in Hungary before emigrating to America. For more information on the speakers, visit www.ojmche.org.
Inspiring Action and Igniting Justice
Minoru Yasui's life proves that one person can make a difference. The purpose of this symposium is to inspire action and ignite justice. Opportunities and implications will be explored and shared with the intention that attendees see what they can do to make this world a better place.
4th Annual Cherry Blossom Bazaar
Shop 'til you drop! This is a unique sale of Japanese collectibles, artwork, dishware, furniture, and more. Items start as low as 25 cents! Something for every age, taste, and budget! All proceeds benefit Oregon Nikkei Endowment.
Inaugural Min Yasui Day March for Justice
On the evening of March 28, 1942, a 25-year-old attorney, Minoru "Min" Yasui, deliberately violated the racially discriminatory military curfew to initiate a case to test the constitutionality of the curfew upon American citizens. He walked on NW 3rd Avenue in downtown Portland after curfew and when he wasn't arrested, proceeded to police headquarters where he argued for his arrest.
Min spent nine months in solitary confinement in the Multnomah County jail as he appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was released in 1943 only to be sent the Minidoka American concentration camp. Thereafter, he spent the rest of his life fighting for civil rights and social justice for all, never losing faith in the constitution or his country. His lifelong fight for justice and equality led to his recognition as the first Oregonian to be awarded (posthumously) the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
This program is presented by the Minoru Yasui Tribute Committee and Oregon Nikkei Endowment, with support from Barry and Jordan Menashe and Stoll Berne. For more information about Minoru Yasui please visit www.minoruyasuitribute.org.
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