The Wada Barrack

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Event Details

Lobby installation of a replica of a barrack from the Poston, AZ Incarceration Camp III, used to unlawfully incarcerate Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Originally built by Frank Wada, a local San Diegan who was interred as a young adult and was among the first to voluntarily join the U.S. military.

This barrack section is a replica of the space families lived in from 1942 to 1954.  Families searched camps for scraps of wood to build furniture and found used tin cans to cover holes in the floor.  Incarcerees stuffed newspaper in cracks for insulation and to keep out the sand and dust.

To learn more about Frank Wada, the history behind these events, and how San Diego librarian Clara E. Breed advocated on behalf of families impacted by Executive Order 9066, visit The Rebellious Miss Breed: San Diego Public Library and the Japanese American Incarceration. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Visit


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