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

Museum Collections

The Frank C. Hirahara Collection

Frank C. Hirahara image

Frank C. Hirahara was an electrical engineer active in the Portland Nikkei community from 1948-54, and took pictures in his spare time as a member of the Portland Photographic Society and the Oregon Camera Club. This collection is currently featured in our exhibition, Capturing a Generation through the Eye of a Lens: The Photographs of Frank C. Hirahara, 1948-54. This image shows an odori dancer at Obon, an annual Japanese Buddhist festival.

Rose Parade float, 1950

Frank captured hundreds of photographs depicting life in the heart of Portland's Japantown, as well as photographs of the greater Portland community, including Portland's annual Rose Festival. This image was taken a 35mm color slide and shows the Sweepstakes Winner float from the 1950 Grand Floral Parade.

To view more photos from the Frank C. Hirahara collection, please visit our Flickr page.

Where was this photo taken?

ONLC 2092

Donated by longtime volunteer Eisaku "Ace" Hiromura, this photo shows a large group of Japanese Americans next to a building, which we think may be the U.S. Custom House in NW Portland. Our guess is based on the bars on the windows and the brickwork, but we have very little information about this photo.

To view more photos from the Eisaku Hiromura collection, please visit our Flickr page.

Nikkei of the Hood River Valley

Takagi Family

The Nikkei community of Hood River was one of the largest and earliest established Japanese communities in the state of Oregon. Agriculture has been a significant part of the culture which is still carried on today by many families, but this history required integration, struggle and perseverance.

To view more photos of Nikkei of the Hood River Valley, please visit our Flickr page.

Portland's Japantown

Portland Sumo

We've posted more photos of Portland's Japanese community, including this photo of the Portland Sumo Club, circa 1930. Nihonmachi was a hub for Japanese businesses and many community activities.

To view more photos of Nihonmachi, please visit our Flickr page.

Pre-War Business and Commerce:
Tsuboi jewelry

Community Sports:

Nisei Veterans:
Nisei vets

Sahomi Tachibana:
Sahomi Tachibana

Holiday items:
holiday card

Life at Minidoka:Hunt High Yearbook

Issei forms and cards:
Endo card

Camp art:
Minidoka woodblock print

Rose Festival:
1931 Nikkei Rose Court

Japanese American Citizens League, 1940:
JACL Convention Banquet

Can you identify these medals?
Nakadate WWII medals

What could this be?
Japanese typesetter


Help preserve Nikkei history

M. Inouye at the "Heart Mountain Story" Exhibit

The story of Japanese Americans is one that must be told and retold by each generation. Do you have old photos taken in the internment camps? Art, poetry, or writing created by the Issei?

The Legacy Center collects Nikkei artifacts and historical documents for our exhibits and presentations. Please help us preserve our past. Search through your old drawers and family albums. We would like to borrow them long enough to make copies. The original print will be returned to you, unless you wish to donate it for our collection. 

For each photo, please note:

  • All people in the picture
  • Place it was taken
  • Date taken
  • Circumstances surrounding the picture (if appropriate)

We greatly appreciate your help in this effort.

For more information or to donate an item to our collection, please contact the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center:

Phone: 503-224-1458


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Current Exhibit

Sakura Sakura
March 7 — June 14, 2015

Sakura Sakura

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

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