Thank you to the Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund Project for 2015, Osaka Japan for their generous grant support of our Japan Concert Project. Click on the link below to see their project site. 

"Sharing our Heritage and Culture to Japan through Music"

November 6-16, 2015

**Nov. 8, 2015 - Tama University in Fujisawa 

**Nov. 10, 2015 - Franciscan Chapel Center in Roppongi

**Nov. 12, 2015 - Friendship Exchange in Iwaki-City

**Nov. 13, 2015 - Meet & Greet with City officials - Minamisoma

**Nov. 14, 2015 - Jazz Seminar  - Local mucisians in Minamisoma

**Nov. 14, 2015 - Performance at JAS Mall in Minamisoma

**Nov. 15, 2015 - PM-Performance at Civic Hall in Gotemba

**Nov. 15, 2015 meet with members of Osaka Grant Committee -The Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund: KANSAI OSAKA 21st Century Association

**Nov. 15, 2015 - Reception with Gotemba International Committee 

View Pictures Below:

In observance of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, the all-volunteer and not-for-profit Minidoka Swing Band performed a concert tour across Japan November 6-16, 2015. We shared an important part of Japanese American history through educational narration, pictures and music to interested schools and communities.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Minidoka SwingBand educates and preserves an important period of Japanese American history by reaching out to groups and organizations interested in what the Japanese Americans endured during WWII.

Please view our English and Japanese versions of what the Minidoka Swing Band will represent by clicking on one of the following links:

English version of promotional video

Japanese version of promotional video 

In 1942, President Roosevelt  signed Executive Order No. 9066, and more than 127,000  Americans of Japanese heritage who  lived  on the West Coast of the United  States were  given  one week’s notice to leave  their homes, businesses and possessions. Japanese Americans spent  almost four years behind barbed wire;  armed  guards in towers ensured that prisoners did not escape. The Minidoka Swing Band  shares  this story through the big band  swing  music  that was  popular during the 1940's. This music  was  played inside the concentration camps  by non-professional musicians who lived  inside  the camps,  mostly young teens.  As quoted  by 91-year-old George Tsugawa,a former internee at the Minidoka Concentration Camp,  “Every weekend we  looked forward to the music  and dancing. We loved  to swing  dance  and loved  the music  and loved  the socialization it afforded  us. It gave  us something to look  forward  to and took our minds  off our living  situation. Your band  brings  back  such wonderful memories of a bad place.”

The Minidoka Swing  Band  consists  of 18 musicians and 3 vocalists  who  play  and sing  such big band  tunes  as “Boogie  Woogie Bugle  Boy,” “Sentimental Journey,”  “Moonlight  Serenade,” “American  Patrol,” “Tuxedo  Junction,”  “All of Me,” and many  more.  The Band  has been recognized by TV, magazine and newspaper organizations and articles, including the Wall Street Journal (New York),  an Emmy-nominated story by KING TV5 Evening Program  (Seattle, Washington), the Pacific Citizen Magazine (San  Francisco, California), and many  more local newspapers around  the Portland-Metro area.  Two of the Minidoka Swing  Band’s  musical recordings were  used  in the nationally-broadcasted documentary, “Searchlight Serenade,” produced by KEET TV Public Broadcasting (Eureka,  California).

We would love  to perform  our historical concert  at your  local  event  or venue. The not-for- profit Minidoka Swing  Band  operates solely on grants  and donations and performs  frequently at major cultural  events,  conferences, parks  and schools  throughout America’s  Pacific Northwest.  

If interested in Sponsoring the Minidoka Swing Band for this trip or hosting a concert, please contact:

Please contact our English representative, Laura Baxter, Minidoka Swing Band Manager--1968 SE Bush St. Hilllsboro OR 97123--Phone: 503-640-0120--Email: or for Japanese speaking representative, contact Yasuyo Strassmaier--Phone:  971-300-2162--Email: 

  • Minidoka Swing Band is an affiliate of the Porland JACL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.                     Send Donations to:  MSB Japan Trip   P.O. Box  86310  Portland, OR  97286                                                 Donations in support of MSB Japan Trip are tax deductible    




'A Sentimental Journey'


Click the above links to follow our progress!

Thank you so much for your great support as we traveled to Japan on our Goodwill Tour!  Thank you for viewing our pictures and listening to our Educational Presentation we did in Japan.