Portland JACL sponsors and supports numerous community activities and events promoting fellowship and celebrating Japanese American culture including:
Mochitsuki Festival (January)
Eating smooth, round rice cakes is the traditional Japanese way to welcome the New Year, and the Mochitsuki Festival has become the quintessential way the Portland area Japanese American community invites the public to join in this lively celebration.
Day of Remembrance (February)
Every year Portland JACL takes time out to remember the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and to bring light to contemporary issues affecting human civil liberties.
In 2010, we collaborated with the Hispanic community to highlight The Ralph Lazo story by showing the film Stand Up for Justice which depicts the true story of an Hispanic young man who decides to join his Nikkei friends at the assembly center and to voluntarily stay with them as they all were sent to concentration camp.
Graduation Banquet (May)
Every year in May, the Portland Chapter co-sponsors a community-wide banquet to honor graduating high school seniors from the greater Portland area. The evening’s program includes a keynote address by a distinguished Japanese American, usually with local “roots,” who never fails to inspire the young graduates to strive and achieve the greatness that is within them.
Nikkei Community Picnic (August)
In mid-August the Nikkei community comes together for an afternoon of food and drink, taiko drumming performance, bingo, raffles, and amusement rides for the kids. The annual event is held at Oaks Park in the south end of the picnic area, under the “Nikkei Community Picnic” banner. This is truly a special time to see old friends or make new friends; share a special dish or enjoy someone’s signature dish.
All Photographs on this Website courtesy of Rich Iwasaki