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.

 

with:

Sakura Sakura
March 7 — June 14, 2015

Sakura SakuraCelebrated 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.

According to Nakamura, "As a resident of the United States and an immigrant from Japan I have lived half my life in each country. My identity has changed as I have assimilated to the new culture. I often feel as though I am a foreigner in this new land while simultaneously feeling like a stranger in the old. The trees embody this change and complexity."

Over a career in photojournalism spanning 17 years, Nakamura's work has been featured in the pages of the Oregonian, Mix Magazine, and other publications. Blending with his background as a photojournalist, his art photography has been exhibited at local museums, colleges, and contemporary art galleries including the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Portland Art Museum, Reed College, Newspace Center for Photography, and Disjecta. His photos have also been published in the seminal Communication Arts Photography Annual.

RACCNakamura will exhibit several photographs at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center as part of Sakura Sakura. Through these beautifully rendered oversize digital prints, Motoya Nakamura captures the natural beauty and awakens the cultural wonder these trees hold. This exhibition and its public programs are made possible in part through a grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

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.


 


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
email
 


Upcoming Exhibit

Yosegaki Hinomaru: Souvenir, Heirloom or Art?
July 25 – September 27, 2015

In closets and attics across America, many people discover artifacts from the Great Pacific War. These are "battlefield souvenirs" that were carried home by returning veterans seventy years ago during World War II.

Some artifacts, like rifles, helmets and bayonets, were issued by the Japanese government. Other artifacts came directly from the family and contain the signatures of parents, relatives, wives and loved ones.

In many cases these personal items are the only remaining trace in existence of that person who is still listed as "missing in action."

This leads to a perfectly valid question: "What are these items?" Are they legitimate souvenirs? Are they precious family heirlooms? Or are these hand-made and beautifully adorned items a form of Japanese art?

The exhibit Yosegaki Hinomaru: Souvenir, Heirloom or Art? will explore and explain each possibility.
 


Online Exhibits

Tour our permanent exhibit
Reflections of an American Community

 

Japantown PDX
Japantown PDXiPhone Walking Tour of Historic Old Town
Free

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

Nihonmachi

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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Current Exhibit

Sakura Sakura
March 7 — June 14, 2015

Sakura Sakura

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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.

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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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