Japanese American Historical Plaza

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The plaza in 2016
Signage, 2012

Japanese American Historical Plaza is a plaza in Portland, Oregon's Tom McCall Waterfront Park, located where the Portland Japantown once stood.[1]

Description and history[edit]

The plaza goes northward from the Burnside Bridge along NW Naito Parkway and follows the flow of the Willamette River.[2] The plan, sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League with Bill Naito encouraging its proposal, was accepted in 1988.

Designed by landscape architect Robert Murase, the plaza tells the important history of the Japanese in Oregon. It illuminates the challenges faced by Japanese immigrant and the incarnations of people with Japanese ancestors.[3] The plaza represents the poems of the experience of the Japanese immigrants and an important reminder of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Oregon Nikkei Endowment administers the plaza, which features Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience (1990), a bronze-and-stone sculpture by Jim Gion.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Congressman Earl Blumenauer". Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  2. ^ "Oregon Nikkei Endowment :: Japanese American Historical Plaza". www.oregonnikkei.org. Archived from the original on 2017-05-14. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  3. ^ "Japanese American Historical Plaza (Portland)". oregonencyclopedia.org. Archived from the original on 2017-05-21. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  4. ^ "Public Art Search: Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience". Regional Arts & Culture Council. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Japanese American Historical Plaza, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on March 4, 2022. Retrieved August 21, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′26″N 122°40′11″W / 45.52393°N 122.66967°W / 45.52393; -122.66967