The National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS), founded in 1980, incorporated in 1981 is a non-profit membership organization is dedicated to the collection, preservation, authentic interpretation, and sharing of historical information of the Japanese American experience for the diverse broader national and global community. Originally named Go For Broke, NJAHS changed its name in 1986 to reflect its efforts to share the broader story of this community.
Today, NJAHS is a core organization in SF's Japantown and its programs, which a recent NY Times article identified as a source of Japantown's dynamism, are a model for the preservation and interpretation of a community's history. NJAHS programming includes:
- Exhibitions: Since 1981, NJAHS has produced ground-breaking exhibitions both in its own Peace Gallery as well as in numerous larger venues such as the Oakland Museum of California, the Smithsonian Institution, the Bishop Museum, among others.
- Public Programs: NJAHS also presents an annual series of community events in its Gallery and at community venues which integrate public education with other interpretative activities including visual and performing arts.
- Publications: NJAHS publishes the journal Nikkei Heritage as well as special publications including the upcoming First Class, which tells the story of the first class the Military Intelligence Service Language at Building 640 in the Presidio of San Francisco.
- The Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center: This project in collaboration with the National Park Service and The Presidio Trust, which has received $3.58 Million in federal appropriations to date, will rehabilitate for reuse Building 640 in the Presidio of San Francisco as an interpretive center that will advance the legacy of the Japanese Americans of the Military Intelligence Service as well as the 442nd/100th Battalion Nisei soldiers in the context of Japanese American history. Building 640 is the site of the first Military Intelligence Service Language School where the MIS soldier linguists began their historic journey in World War II.