Skip to Main Content

The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection

Oral histories of Japanese Americans living in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, and the vicinity; they document the immigrant experiences of the interviewees' families; their WWII experiences in internment camps; and their lives in the years after the war.

The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon

The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon (JAA) was founded by residents of Eugene, the Oregon coast and the surround areas who are of Japanese descent. The Association was instrumental in developing the Eugene Japanese American Memorial as a public reminder of the internment of Japanese-Americans citizens during World War II.

Most of the individuals interviewed as a part of this oral history project were born and raised in Hawaii or California before moving to Oregon.

The Interviews

Many of the interviewees described their experiences in World War II relocation camps at Manzanar, California, Tule Lake, California, Minidoka, Idaho, Crystal City, Texas, Gila River, Arizona and other camps and detention centers during the forced removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast. Some of the interviewees also described their experiences in Hawaii and Japan during the war. A majority discussed the experiences of their Issei, the immigrant generation of their parents and grandparents, who were the first to settle in the United States as well as their experiences as the second generation, or Nisei.

These interviews document the growth and development of the Japanese- American community, and the establishment of the Japanese-American Association of Lane County and county/local events or projects like the Asian Celebration, and the Eugene Japanese American Memorial.

Biographies of the interviewees as well as links to each interview with transcripts, sound files and photographs of the interviewee can be found in the left-hand navigation.