Portland, OR 97209
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Japanese American Historical Plaza is located here. See the Japanese memorial plaques,
Dedicated on August 3, 1990, the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial was created to raise greater public awareness about the diversity of cultural experiences in America. The Japanese American experience is a unique story that evokes a deep appreciation of the freedoms granted to all Americans by their Bill of Rights.
The Plaza tells much of its story in bronze relief and engraved poetry. But in keeping with the Japanese tradition, the landscape itself tells a story. Walk along the south end of the stone wall torward the north, following the flow of the Willamette River, and consider the history of Japanese Americans from the early Issei immigrants to the new generation today. Then, walk from the bronze columns toward the river and remember the Bill of rights and the wartime incarceration that never should have happened. The Japanese American Historical Plaza was designed to speak to its visitors, affirming ideals that are among the highest of the nation.
Designed by award-winning landscape architect Robert Murase, the Plaza extends northward from the Burnside Bridge along NW Naito Parkway. Sculptures by Jim Gion mark the Western gateway to the Plaza, and twelve granite stones feature poetry by Hisako Saito, Lawson Inada, Masaki Kinoshita, and Shizue Iwatsuki.
The Oregon Nikkei Endowment conceived and guided the Japanese American Historical Plaza with help from Portland Parks & Recreation, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Portland Development Commission, and Shokookai of Portland. Generous assistance was provided by Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, Weyerhauser Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Pacificorp Foundation, and Nike, Inc. - http://www.oregonnikkei.org/plaza.htm
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