Jimmy’s Clothes Shop, Portland’s Nihonmachi
Portland, Oregon, was a hub from which Issei found work in the surrounding areas, or stayed and started businesses. In the early part of the 20th century, the area of Portland by the Willamette River north of W. Burnside Street became known as Nihonmachi (Japantown).
Portland’s Japantown grew to become a thriving heart of the Nikkei community, a central business district that was home to many families, schools, sports, and social activities. By 1940, there was a concentration of over 100 businesses located within an eight block area.
This photo shows Jimmy’s Clothes Shop, 311 W. Burnside Street in Portland, with owner Masaaki Usuda. The sign in the window on the left shows Mr. Usuda’s support of FDR’s National Recovery Administration (part of the New Deal), enacted in 1933 and overturned in 1935.
Learn more about Portland’s Japantown at Discover Nikkei.