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Architecture of Japanese Internment: Oregon Exhibit

Architecture of Internment: The Build Up to Wartime Incarceration

Opening day, June 2, 6-8 pm with 7 pm presentation from Anne Galisky of Graham Street Productions.

The exhibit, food, and refreshments are FREE.

This traveling exhibit explores how Oregonians participated in the decision to incarcerate Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants during World War II. It is the story of how individuals, organizations, businesses and elected officials advocated for the incarceration of Oregonians of Japanese ancestry or stood by while it happened. The exhibit shows the lead up to incarceration (1941-1942) with letters, resolutions, blueprints, photographs and archival documents from across the state of Oregon.

The forced removal and imprisonment of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast – two thirds U.S. citizens – were built, among other things, on widespread racism and a commonly held belief in the supremacy of white people, the pursuit of profit and the exploitation of labor, resentment of Japanese American success and a desire for political gain. For the many Oregonians who wanted to see Oregonians of Japanese ancestry forcibly removed from this state forever, the onset of war with Japan and the myth of sabotage at Pearl Harbor was used to justify this mass incarceration.

Malheur County was the site of the first Japanese American farm labor camp and has a significant Japanese American population today. A number of documents from Ontario can be seen in the exhibit.

The exhibit will travel throughout urban and rural Oregon. For a calendar of events go to Funded in part by Meyer Memorial Trust and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Four Rivers Cultural Center offers a broad program of music, humanities, civic discourse, art & theater, educational and historical curation and local and world culture events. The mission of Graham Street Productions is to create socially relevant documentaries, books and exhibits to educate, inspire and mobilize audiences. GSP produced the documentary films, “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth” and “14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark, and Vanessa Lopez.”


This exhibit is sponsored locally by the Snake Rivers Chapter of the JACL and the Inukai Family Foundation

Four Rivers Cultural Center

Four Rivers Cultural Center