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Oregon Historical Photo: Japanese-Americans in Portland


Young George Katagiri, in the front row, fifth from right, and his father Chiharu Katagiri, kneeling second from right, in Portland's Japantown before America entered WWII.
 
 
 
 
 

Young George Katagiri, in the front row, fifth from right, and his father Chiharu Katagiri, kneeling second from right, in Portland's Japantown before America entered WWII.          

Michiko Kornhauser

Each week Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history.  

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans — many of whom were U.S.-born American citizens — were segregated to internment camps. Young George Katagiri and his family were moved to the Portland Assembly Center, where the Expo Center stands today. Previously used as stockyards, it was converted into living quarters for approximately 3,500 people. There was no privacy and no doors to the stalls families were appointed to while they waited to be assigned to internment camps. Katagiri and his family were eventually moved to the camp at Tule Lake, California.  

Watch the Oregon Experience documentary “Oregon at War” to learn more about the treatment of Japanese-Americans — including the Katagiri  family — during WWII.

Oregon at War

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