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Nihonmachi: Portland's Japantown

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Portland's Japantown

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.

Map circa 1940, courtesy of Doug Katagiri. Content © Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center . The primary source: Nihonmachi: Portland’s Japantown Remembered .

Based on this original

Portland Japantown map ca 1940
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
Map of Japantown, Portland, Oregon, ca. 1940, courtesy of Doug Katagiri. Japantown began as a place of hotel rooms, restaurants, barbers, food markets, bathhouses, laundries, and gambling halls. As the ... More »


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