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Collections

The Collection

Our collection is the largest repository of Japanese American history in Oregon. Details about highlighted archives are below. You can see the entirety of our collections through these three sources:

Collections Highlights

Hood River Letters Pile of letters

The Hood River Incident Collection

In November 1944, the American Legion Hood River Post 22 removed the names of 16 Japanese American soldiers from the town’s public honor roll, a billboard honoring the 1600 locals who served in World War II. The removal was covered in national news outlets and people from all over the country wrote to Post 22 in response. These letters were filed away and eventually donated to the Japanese American Museum of Oregon in 2022 as part of a larger reconciliation effort.

The Hirahara Collection

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. Frank captured hundreds of photographs of life in Portland’s Japantown and the greater Portland community, including the annual Rose Festival.

The Minidoka Collection

Many Japanese Americans from Portland were sent to Minidoka during WWII. This collection consists of photographs, government documents, family letters and artifacts that directly relate to the concentration camp.

Oshu Nippo Translation Project

Oshu Nippo (Oregon Daily News) was a Japanese newspaper printed in Portland’s Japantown from 1906–1953. Ten special issues issues have been translated into English, including eight New Year’s issues, one Fourth of July/30th anniversary issue, and a special Hotel issue.

More Featured Collections

The Keizaburo Koyama Family Collection

The collection consists of correspondence written primarily to Dr. Keizaburo “Kei” Koyama while he was detained at Department of Justice detention facilities. The letters were sent by his friends and family in Portland, other Department of Justice detention facilities and War Relocation Authority concentration camps, and at the Portland Assembly Center and Minidoka Relocation Center. The letters document their feelings about separation, war, and the conditions of the detention facilities and concentration camps.

Rose Niguma Collection

Rose Niguma was born in Hood River, Oregon, in 1915 and grew up in Portland. During WWII, she was forcibly removed to the Portland Assembly Center and Minidoka concentration camp. After the war, she returned to Portland to become an artist.

The Japanese American Museum of Oregon Visual History Collection

This collection consists of 74 videotaped interviews of Oregon-based Issei, Nissei, and others with the purpose of preserving and sharing the story of Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest.

Other Online Resources  

Rights and Reproductions Policy

Depending on the intended use, you may need to get permission from the museum to use or reproduce any image from our collection. Please contact Lucy Capehart, Director of Collections and Exhibitions: lucy@jamo.org

Donating to Our Collection

JAMO collects Nikkei artifacts and historical documents for our exhibits and presentations. Please help us preserve our past. Photographs can be scanned and returned to you if you would not like to permanently donate them. For more information or to submit an item for possible inclusion in the collection, please contact the museum: info@jamo.org or 503-224-1458