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

Current Exhibits

Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community

This exhibit celebrates the lives and contributions of Oregon's Nikkei community, and evokes memories of shared experiences - from early settlement through the unique challenges of World War II and into the 21st century. Please join us at the Legacy Center for a unique and educational glimpse of Japanese American life in Oregon.



Captain Hardy and the Black Ship Scroll
October 15, 2016 —January 15, 2017

First Thursday
January 5, 3:30-6:30pm
Free and open to the public

Family Day
Sunday, January 15, noon-3pm
Free and open to the public

The Black Ship Scroll in the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center's museum collections is one of only a handful of existing scrolls in the world which depicts the first Perry Expedition to Japan in 1853. Captain Hardy and the Black Ship Scroll shares how Commodore Perry's diplomatic mission opened this long-secluded country to the outside world. It also tells the story of the owner of the scroll, Captain William H. Hardy, a Portland resident who was celebrated nationally as the last surviving member of the expedition. Less than two years before his death, Hardy returned to Japan in 1917 on an eight-month goodwill tour accompanied by members of the Nikkei community from Portland.

This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission.

Oregon Heritage Commission


Museum hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 11 am to 3 pm, Sundays noon to 3 pm. Admission is $5 ($3 for seniors/students, free for Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment).

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
121 NW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97209 Directions

Phone: 503-224-1458

PCC Student Photos

PCC Student PhotoWe have posted on our Flickr page photos by Portland Community College photography students. Inspired by work of Motoya Nakamura and his recent Sakura Sakura exhibition, these photographs are also currently on display in the windows of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.

During the month of May, the students took dozens of pictures of our Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, which was once the heart of Portland's historic Japantown. They were guided through these streets around the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center by their class instructor Motoya Nakamura.

Joining the students were members of the Portland Photographic Society. They later juried the students' work and selected their very best photos which we are now able to share with you!

Which photographs do YOU like the most? Please share in the comments on Flickr!


Upcoming Exhibit

Yellow Terror: The Collections and Paintings Of Roger Shimomura
February 5 – July 16, 2017

Preview for Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Saturday, February 4, 3:30-5pm
RSVP by February 2nd

Yellow Terror

Yellow Terror is an exhibition of paintings by Roger Shimomura and his collection of memorabilia and objects depicting racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans accumulated by the artist over the last twenty years, recently donated to the archives of the Wing Luke Museum.

Influenced by The Pop Art Style, Shimomura's work challenges the role of media and material culture in defining the American norm. Showing with Shimomura’s paintings will be objects from his extensive collection of Asian Stereotypical ephemera including Halloween masks, salt and pepper shakers, and greeting cards. The collection dates from the early twentieth century to World War II and testifies to the pervasiveness of stereotypes and questions their lasting legacy today.


Online Exhibits

Tour our permanent exhibit
Reflections of an American Community


Japantown PDX
Japantown PDXiPhone Walking Tour of Historic Old Town

Explore Portland's historic Japantown with this walking tour of the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. The city's vibrant pre-WWII Japanese American community is archived in over 125 photographs and audio clips. Watch historic Japantown street life reappear in "then and now" photographic dissolves.

Japantown PDX documents the vitality of this once-thriving Nihonmachi as well as its sudden disappearance in the spring of 1942 when all people of Japanese ancestry were removed from the West Coast. In addition to telling Portland's Japantown story, this app explores the remarkably diverse Old Town neighborhood in tour stops that honor its African American, Chinese and LGBT roots. Open the iPhone App Store and search for "Japantown" or visit the Apple iTunes store for more information.

Discover Nikkei
Oregon Nikkei Endowment is partnering with Discover Nikkei, one of the world's largest sources for Nikkei-related databases, history and culture, to create online collections of photographs and history relating to Oregon's Japanese American history.

Nihonmachi: Portland's Japantown


Nikkei Farmers of the Hood River Area

Nikkei Farmers

Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor

Taken: FBI

Oregon Nikkei History

Portland Assemby Center


Upcoming Exhibits

Online Exhibits


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oregon nikkei endowment
Online donation system by ClickandPledge

Current Exhibit

Captain Hardy and the Black Ship Scroll
October 15, 2016 —
January 15, 2017

Unsettled Resettled

Giving Opportunities

Wish List



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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.

Friends of Oregon Nikkei Endowment
Your support will help to ensure that the history, art and culture of the Nikkei are preserved and shared with the community for generations to come.

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

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