Our mission is to help bring together our community and celebrate our culture.

In the mid-1980s, Asian-American community leaders formed the Asian Council. Their goals were to form community groups and to increase the visibility of the Asian-Americans in Lane County. The Oregon Asian Celebration was launched to facilitate this effort; the celebration was the first Pan-Asian festival in the nation. The Japanese-American community was involved on the council and began to host occasional potlucks in order to build its membership. The potlucks featured traditional Japanese as well as Japanese-American culture such as Boy’s Day, Tanabata, and Christmas.

On July 28, 1990, the Asian Council sponsored the community’s first Obon and Taiko Festival at Skinner’s Butte Park. Volunteers taught 6 dancers, generously given to the community by Matsukai of Salem, to brave members. Eugene Taiko played one piece — their entire repertoire! Volunteers built a yagura or central tower. Mayor Shinmura, then Mayor of Kakegawa City, Eugene’s sister city, attended the festival with 20 members. Per a request from a community member, Mayor Shinmura donated 250 “chochin” (paper lanterns).

In 1995, the Japanese-American community became the first organized community group, created by the Asian Council, when it obtained recognition from the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Corporation Commission as a 501 (c) (3) social membership organization known as the Japanese-American Association (JAA) of Lane County.

In 2008, recognizing that JAA stages the Obon and Taiko Festival as a gift to the community and members have performed cultural sharing in schools and events statewide, directors decided to pursue non-profit public benefit status from the IRS. In July 2009, the JAA application for recognition as a 501 (c) (3) Charitable Non-Profit Corporation was approved by the IRS. With receipt of this designation, monetary and other donations to JAA are tax-exempt. Also, in order to insure sustainability of the Japanese-American community, JAA will award scholarships to outstanding youth and future leaders of the community.

 

JAA provides activities that celebrate

  • Japanese traditions.
  • Seasonal Potlucks
  • O-bon and Taiko Festival
  • New Year’s Mochi Tsuki

JAA supports & participates in activities of organizations that promote Asian culture

  • Oregon Asian Celebration
  • Asian Kite Festival by the Asian Council
  • DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Our mission is to bring together our community.

  • Cooking & Craft Classes Provided
  • Movies Availalbe (English subtitles)
  • Hikes Scheduled
  • JAA Oral History Collection (Courtesy of OSU Multicultural Archives)

Latest News

Japanese 27th Annual Obon & Taiko Festival
| |

Saturday, July 30, 2016 5-9 PM Alton Baker Park, Eugene FREE EVENT I-5 Exit 194B, to Autzen Stadium • Traditional & Contemporary Japanese Obon Dances (audience participation is welcomed) • Wake Daiko (youth... Read More

Shikoku Henro (Shikoku pilgrim)
| |

By Bob Watada Emiko Goto and Rosa Sakanishi at Temple Gift shop in Shikoku, Japan Happy 90th birthday to David Toyama! For hundreds of years the devout have taken the pilgrimage of the... Read More