NJAHS was founded in 1980 as "Go For Broke, Inc.", whose purpose was to promote the history and accomplishments of Japanese American veterans of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who distinguished themselves during World War II. As the organization evolved into an institution dedicated to preserving the history of Japanese Americans in general and educating the public about the contributions of Japanese Americans to American Society, it changed its name in 1986 to the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS).
Key accomplishments in the past 28 years have included:
- Serving as a principal consultant and contributor of over 2,000 artifacts to a "A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the United States Constitution", a national exhibit for the U.S. Constitution's bicentennial. On display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the exhibit is seen by millions of visitors and is selected as a permanent exhibit.
- Collaborating with its museum partner,, the Oakland Museum, NJAHS created the award-wining national travelling exhibition, "Strength & Diversity: Japanese American Women," 1885-1990 by the American Association of State and Local History. The exhibit wins an Award of Excellence from the Smithsonian Institution for museum scholarship and the discovery of original objects.
- Numerous groundbreaking exhibits including: Latent August: The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through history, memory, and art"; "Diamonds in the Rough: Japanese Americans in Baseball"; "MANGA: Century of Social Commentary by Japanese Artists in America"; "The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II".
- Entering into a joint agreement with the National Park Service/Golden Gate Recreation Area and The Presidio Trust to jointly interpret the history of Japanese Americans in the Presidio.