On October 22, PSSCA hosted a viewing of the hit musical Allegiance featuring George Takei and Lea Salonga as part of our efforts to fundraise for the upcoming 65th anniversary of sister city relations between Portland and Sapporo. 

"Allegiance" is a musical drama set during World War II that explores the experiences of Japanese-Americans who were forced into internment camps in the United States. The story is deeply influenced by the personal experiences of George Takei, who himself was interned as a child.

"Allegiance" is a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of a dark chapter in American history, shedding light on the injustices suffered by Japanese-Americans during World War II and the enduring strength of the human spirit. George Takei's personal connection to the story adds a powerful layer of authenticity to the narrative. 

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Why Allegiance? 

Once upon a time, there was a vibrant Japantown in Portland. It had barbershops, hotels, restaurants, bathhouses, and a thriving Japanese community. However, during World War II, these communities were lost, and not only Japanese-born Japanese but also second-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) were sent to internment camps. Approximately 120,000 people were forcibly interned across the United States, including the famous George Takei, known for his role as Sulu in Star Trek. This musical tells a story set against that era.

Shortly after the end of the war, in 1959, when Japanese people still couldn't freely leave the country, Portland and Sapporo became sister cities. In 2024, we are planning to celebrate the 65th anniversary of this relationship. This long-lasting friendship has been supported by the Japanese Americans in Portland. After the war, Japanese Americans who returned to Portland having lost everything rebuilt their lives and communities from scratch. While Japantown couldn't be revived, many Japanese Americans have contributed to Portland's development. The deep interest and appreciation of Japanese culture among the people of Portland have been nurtured through the efforts of these Japanese Americans. Additionally, our Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association (PSSCA) has been supported by several Japanese American board members over the past 64 years.

We, PSSCA, are dedicated to connecting the people of Portland and Sapporo. And through this musical, we aim to bridge the past and the future. We believe there is great significance in reclaiming and sharing the untold narratives and memories from the past that many Japanese Americans were hesitant to talk about. This musical was inspired by the real-life experiences of George Takei and was first performed on Broadway in 2015. With the warm cooperation of the production company, we are able to present its Portland premiere in the form of a film screening.