Oregon Nikkei History

Sharing and preserving Japanese American history and culture

On this site we highlight photos from our historical collection housed at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland's Old Town neighborhood, as well as other information about history and Japanese Americans in Oregon. Please visit www.oregonnikkei.org to learn more about the Oregon Nikkei Endowment and its programs.
Posts tagged "Portland"

Frank Yasui at the Motor Clinic at NW Park Avenue and W Burnside Street in Portland, circa early 1950s.

This photo was featured in the recently closed exhibit Capturing a Generation through the Eye of a Lens: The Photographs of Frank C. Hirahara, 1948-54 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Frank was a serious amateur photographer who worked for Bonneville Power Administration, and was a member of the Photographic Society of America, Portland Photographic Society and a Board Member for the Oregon Camera Club.

2013.34, gift of Patti Hirahara.

Obon in Portland, Holladay Park, circa early 1950s. This photo was featured in the recently closed exhibit Capturing a Generation through the Eye of a Lens: The Photographs of Frank C. Hirahara, 1948-54 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. A native of Yakima Valley, Washington, Frank honed his skills as a young photographer and photo editor of the Heart Mountain High School Tempo Annual while incarcerated during World War II with his family at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming.

ONLC 3008, gift of Patti Hirahara.

This photo of Phyllis Ando (Muramatsu) taken by Frank C. Hirahara, circa early 1950s, was featured in the recently closed exhibit Capturing a Generation through the Eye of a Lens: The Photographs of Frank C. Hirahara, 1948-54 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland. Frank, an avid amateur photographer, captured hundreds of photographs depicting community picnics, dances, wedding receptions, and life in the heart of Portland’s Japantown.

2013.34, gift of Patti Hirahara.

1925 Portland Japanese Community float

This float, part of the Portland Rose Festival’s floral parade, was built during a time of growing anti-Japanese sentiment in Oregon. American and Japanese flags are built into the float railing, with the people in the back also waving flags.

Read more about the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon at the Oregon Encyclopedia.

Rose Festival floral float

Float from the Grand Floral Parade of the Portland Rose Festival, start of route near Multnomah Stadium. This float features a torii at the front and honors Sapporo as Portland’s sister city in Japan. Circa late 1950s.

Rose Festival junior parade

These Nisei girls (and a few boys in the back row) are gathered to march in the Junior Rose Festival parade, circa 1938. The donor of this photo is the girl on the far left.

Odori dancers

These girls are performing bon odori, traditional Japanese Buddhist dancing. The location is unknown.

This scan was taken from a 35mm slide by Frank C. Hirahara, who 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.

Obon in Portland

Frank Hirahara took this photo of odori dancing at an Obon festival, circa 1948-54. Members of the Oregon Buddhist Church and others in the Nikkei community performed bon odori in a number of places over the years, including Washington Park and the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland. This photo may have been taken at Holladay Park in Portland.

Odori Dancers

Photo taken by Frank C. Hirahara of members of the Oregon Buddhist Church and Epworth United Methodist Church of Portland, circa 1948-54. They are all holding American and Japanese flags, but the occasion is unknown. Left to right: Ed Tamiyasu, Alice Kida, Jean Tsujimura (Takashima), Jean Kida (Tomita), Shizuko Ochiai (Okazaki), Alice Matsumoto (Ando).

Council Crest is a park in Portland, and in 1912 (when this picture was taken), Council Crest Amusement Park was a popular attraction, accessible only by streetcar. The amusement park closed in 1929.
Kikuo Hiromura (the image donor’s father) is on the far left of this portrait. The others are unknown.

Council Crest is a park in Portland, and in 1912 (when this picture was taken), Council Crest Amusement Park was a popular attraction, accessible only by streetcar. The amusement park closed in 1929.

Kikuo Hiromura (the image donor’s father) is on the far left of this portrait. The others are unknown.

Nisei field trip
The date and occasion of this outing are unknown, but it is probably in Portland. The image donor’s family lived in Portland, and one of his brothers is in the group of children. Circa 1931.

Nisei field trip

The date and occasion of this outing are unknown, but it is probably in Portland. The image donor’s family lived in Portland, and one of his brothers is in the group of children. Circa 1931.

The Mikado baseball team of Portland, Oregon, circa 1936. Players include George Somekawa, George Marumoto, John Murakami, George Azumano, Art Somekawa, Hood Shiogi, and Salem Yagawa.

The Mikado baseball team of Portland, Oregon, circa 1936. Players include George Somekawa, George Marumoto, John Murakami, George Azumano, Art Somekawa, Hood Shiogi, and Salem Yagawa.

Dr. Kei Koyama in his dental office at NW 3rd Avenue and Couch Street in Portland’s Japantown, circa 1941. Dr. Koyama’s office was in the Merchant Hotel building.

Dr. Kei Koyama in his dental office at NW 3rd Avenue and Couch Street in Portland’s Japantown, circa 1941. Dr. Koyama’s office was in the Merchant Hotel building.

Teruo Tsuboi at the Tsuboi Bros. jewelry store, possibly repairing a pocket watch, circa 1920. The Tsuboi Bros. store was located in Portland’s Japantown on what is now NW 6th Avenue and Burnside Street.

Teruo Tsuboi at the Tsuboi Bros. jewelry store, possibly repairing a pocket watch, circa 1920. The Tsuboi Bros. store was located in Portland’s Japantown on what is now NW 6th Avenue and Burnside Street.

1937 Undokai, Portland

The annual undokai (or community picnic) was the big event of the year, usually held in the early summer. Activities included races and dancing for both children and adults. The undokai always included an elaborate lunch with tasty dishes such as nishime, onigiri, fried chicken, teriyaki chicken, dried fish, pickles and sushi. This photo is dated May 13, 1937, and was taken in Portland, Oregon.