Coming Home: Voices of Return and Resettlement, 1945-1965 on exhibit beginning July 28 at Four Rivers Cultural Center!
Opening day, July 28, 6-8 pm
The exhibit, food, and refreshments are FREE.
Coming Home: Voices of Return and Resettlement, 1945-1965 is a locally curated exhibit that traces the reestablishment of the Japanese American community in Oregon after World War II and examines the injustices of wartime relocation. The Coming Home exhibition has been woven from personal stories of return and resettlement by Nikkei – men, women, and children of Japanese descent – forced from their Oregon farms and homes and incarcerated as “enemies” during World War II. Most were American citizens. Many had lost everything. Determination and memories of the place, family and community guided them home.
On display from July 28, 2017, through October 1, 2017, the videos, photographs, oral histories, and artifacts gathered for Coming Home feature the unique stories of nine community members. Modeled after a program at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, their firsthand accounts speak to the uniqueness of being Japanese and living in Oregon, the establishment of families and livelihoods, the catastrophe of internment, fighting for civil rights and civic engagement.
For those that chose to return, what kind of homecoming did they face? How did they reestablish themselves, their community, homes, families, and businesses in a still unwelcoming America? Coming Home and three public programs featuring diverse speakers will reveal the postwar landscape of Oregon’s Nikkei community and the challenges to overcome their internment experience.
This exhibition and its programming were made possible in part with support from the Oregon Heritage Commission and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities which funds OH’s grant program, Sam Naito, and the Friends of O.N.E. The exhibit debuted at the Oregon Nikkei Endowment.
Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, Oregon has a mission to unite the community through the celebration and education of diversity and culture. A 501c3 organization, they offer a broad range of music, humanities, civic discourse, education, art, theater and local and world cultural events. They are provided at low cost to FREE so everyone can access art, culture, and history. The Museum and Japanese Garden are open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm.
About the Oregon Nikkei Endowment –The mission of the Oregon Nikkei Endowment is to preserve and honor the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest, to educate the public about the Japanese American experience during World War II, and to advocate for the protection of civil rights for all Americans. Two of their projects include the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Waterfront Park, designed by landscape architect Robert Murase, and the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, a place to explore the culture and history of Japanese Americans, located in Portland’s historic Old Town neighborhood.