In the early days, Portland’s Japantown was the heart of the Japanese community in Oregon. During the 1890s and early 1900s, Portland was the hub from which Japanese immigrants were sent to work for the railroads, lumber companies, canneries, and farms throughout Oregon and as far away as Wyoming and Colorado.
Japantown began as a place of hotel rooms, restaurants, barbers, food markets, bathhouses, laundries, and gambling halls. As the community grew and spread, the downtown business district remained Nihonmachi and evolved into a self-sufficient, Japanese-speaking community providing services to early immigrants and later to businesses that served the greater Japanese American community throughout Oregon.
Based on this original
Portland Japantown map ca 1940