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Portland JACL News

Portland JACL, Art Behind Barbed Wire, Portland Oregon

Art Behind Barbed Wire:

July 12 — October 19, 2014
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center

A Pacific Northwest Exploration of Japanese American Arts and Crafts Created in World War II Incarceration Camps

Featuring arts and crafts from the Pacific Northwest community created by Japanese Americans in World War II incarceration camps. Largely made from scrap and found materials, objects such as carved wooden bird pins, shell brooches, dolls, inlaid furniture, and paintings are a testament to the spirit, strength, and creativity of Japanese Americans who created beauty in the harshest of physical and human conditions.

Dr. Connie Masuoka: 2014 Gladys McCoy Award Winner

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Dr. Connie Masuoka was awarded the prestigious Gladys McCoy Award granted to those who have exemplified the life of late county chair Gladys McCoy, an advocate for human and civil rights, children and families, the environment and education.

Portland JACL, Connie Masuoka, 2014 Gladys McCoy Award

Above: Dr. Connie Masuoka celebrates with friends after her receiving the Gladys McCoy Award for Citizen Involvement on April 16th.

Dr. Masuoka volunteers free dental services to the homeless and people in need. She has led the Japanese American Citizens League, the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, which advocates for civil rights and civil liberties protections, and educates people about the history of Japanese Americans, as well as the youth group Unite People.

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2014 JACL Scholarship Essay: by Bradley Imai

Explain how the Japanese American experience, or your own experiences in working with the community, has shaped your life.


Portland JACL, Bradley Imai

My Japanese American experience began at birth with my parents and grandparents being Japanese American and my Ji-chan, first generation Isei. I was brought up to respect my elders and was close to my Ba-chan who lived with us. She taught me from an early age to listen to my parents, study hard, play hard in sports, respect others and to do the very best I could in everything I did. While probably not unique to being Japanese American, it represented what my grandparents and parents worked for; respect, caring for others and the need to excel.

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Congratulations 2014 Portland JACL Board

Portland JACL, President, Kirk Tambara

Chip Larouche (l), National JACL Vice President, Planning & Development, swears in the new Board of Directors of PortlandJACL on January 12, 2014, at Chinese Village restaurant, Portland,Oregon. Board members include (l to r) Marlene Wong, Kirk Tambara, Jean Yamamoto, Setsy Larouche, Lynn Longfellow, Connie Masuoka, Susan Leedham, and Chris Lee.Photo by Rich Iwasaki

Congratulations 2013 Japanese Community Scholarship Recipients

Portland JACL 2013 Scholarship Recipients, Elliot Oblander, Laura Suzuki, Ryutaro Morgan, Kristi Fukunaga, Hanna Yamazaki, Ken Fukumoto

The 2013 Annual Japanese American Graduation Banquet was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club on Sunday, May 5th, 2013.


Keep Oregon Free from Discrimination

Portland JACL, Basic Rights Oregon

The Portland JACL has become co-sponsors of efforts by Basic Rights Oregon to fight discrimination against gay and lesbians. The Oregon Family Council is working to qualify an initiative that would allow businesses to deny commercial services to people based on their sexual orientation.

The ballot title for IP 52 is up for review by the Oregon Supreme Court. A decision will be made in late April or early May.

This measure weakens our current anti-discrimination laws so that corporations and commercial businesses can discriminate against gay and lesbian couples because of who they are and who they love. Treating people differently based on race, religion, or sexual orientation is discrimination. Religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others. Freedom means freedom for everyone.

Portland JACL, Donate

It’s Scholarship Time!


The Portland Japanese American Community hosts an annual scholarship and graduation banquet for high school seniors. Students who live in the Portland Metro Area (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark Counties) who are also eligible to apply for local scholarships.

Students who are members of the JACL may apply even if they live outside of the metro area. Over $20,000 is awarded annually. Applications are available at this link and are due by March 1, 2015.  Requirements of eligibility and other documents that need to be submitted are on the application.  Students or their parents must be members of one of the 11 local Nikkei sponsoring organizations by October 15, 2014 of the student’s senior year in order to be eligible to apply. All graduating high school seniors in the community are invited to attend the graduation banquet that will be held May 3, 2015.

JACL Students are also eligible for National JACL scholarships.  Details for that application process can be found at http://www.jacl.org/edu/scholar.htm Note that deadline is March 1, 2015!

Portland JACL, Hiroshima, 69 Years ago, Portland Oregon

Old and New Faces of Nuclear Weapons

August 6th commemorates the 69th anniversary of the first and only time nuclear weapons were detonated on human populations. The United State government chose to unleash these super bombs because it was widely believed that this drastic action was necessary to bring an end to the war in the Pacific. Not only were thousands of people killed in an instant, the horror of the event traumatized many more Japanese citizens. Read more >>>

Portland JACL Unite People youth group, Abby Matsushima, Grant High School:

Young Reflections: Our JACL Youth on the 2014 JACL National Convention in San Jose

Abby Matsushima (Grant High School) and Kirt Achterman (Central Catholic High School) share their thoughts with us about their leadership experience at this year’s 2014 JACL National Convention in San Jose, California. Read More >>>