Asian American, Native Hawai’ian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024

mother and child at the Garden in late spring

Asian American, Native Hawai’ian, and Pacific Islander Heritage (AANHPI) Month is a time to reflect upon and celebrate the remarkable role of the AANHPI community in our nation’s history. This year, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center have announced their joint theme for the month: “Bridging Histories, Shaping Our Future.”

Founded in 1963 to heal the wounds of World War II, Portland Japanese Garden has served as an important reminder of history and is proud to exist as a place that can bridge cultures, communities, and generations so that we may continue to pursue our mission of Inspiring Harmony and Peace. Learn more about our history.

In recognition and celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month, Portland Japanese Garden will be hosting and participating in some local events.

Oregon Rises Above Hate

May 4, 2024 / 10AM-6PM, Lan Su Chinese Garden

On May 4th, Lan Su Chinese Garden will be open and free to the public, and will host Oregon Rises Above Hate’s (ORAH)’s kickoff to celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month. There will be performances and informational booths within Lan Su Chinese Garden. Portland Japanese Garden will have a table where participants can write wishes of peace, to be displayed on Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree.

ORAH is a local community organization that goes beyond promoting general inclusivity by specifically emphasizing the importance of amplifying the voices of AANHPI communities. One of its key strategies involves uniting this community across Oregon to collectively advocate for their rights, address issues affecting their communities, and celebrate their rich cultural heritage.

Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day

May 5, 2024 / 10:30AM-3:30PM, Portland Japanese Garden

Kodomo no Hi, also called Children’s Day, is commemorated each year in Japan on May 5th to celebrate the growth and good fortune of children. Portland Japanese Garden’s celebration will feature a range of family-friendly activities. Come listen to taiko performances, learn origami, enjoy displays of koinobori, or cloth carp streamers. There will be a new bright and joyful discovery map created by local Portland artist, Mike Bennett. More details.

Cultural Demonstrations and Performances

On your next visit to the Garden, you may encounter a variety of ever-changing cultural demonstrations in the Cathy Rudd Cultural Corner in our Cultural Village. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting our Asian and Asian American partners and some will have a special theme in honor of AANHPI Heritage Month. Find the next Cultural Corner demonstration or performance.

Special Treat at the Umami Café

Experience Japanese culture through your taste buds, with a visit to the Umami Café for a tea and light snacks. During the month of May, there will be a special manju treat served in honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, made by local confectioner, Gena Renaud of Yume Confections. The sea turtle serves as a symbol of connection, longevity, and wisdom. Make a reservation.

“Celebrating Portland’s AANHPI Heritage” Roundtable & Happy Hour

May 31, 2024 / Closed event at Portland Japanese Garden

A close-knit gathering to celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month, with AAPI managers and leadership from the nonprofit, cultural institution, and public service sectors. This roundtable will discuss the theme “How can we create a stronger AANHPI community in Portland?” and is followed by a Garden tour. This is an invitation-only event this year.

Related: The Experience of Oregon’s Nikkei

Related: “A Reminder of Peace and Reconciliation,” a Letter from Kinya Hira, Garden Director (1964-69)