America’s Concentration Camps: From Evacuation to Incarceration

November 16 – December 8                                                                                                           

Exhibition at San Diego Repertory Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego CA 92101

JAHSSD has been invited to create an exhibition to accompany San Diego Repertory Theatre’s production of Hold These Truths

When President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in 1942, 120,000 people were evacuated from the West Coast and held in internment camps which some people now call “America’s Concentration Camps”. The exhibition features photographs illustrating how our government treated the families and individuals who were affected by this infamous order.


Hold These Truths:

November 14 – December 8
San Diego Repertory Theatre, Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego CA 92101

Shocked by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and driven by fear and prejudice, America shipped its own citizens of Japanese ancestry off to internment camps for forced detention. Hold These Truths tells the inspiring true story of American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, a young man who defied an unjust order. Join Gordon on a 50-year quest to avenge an injustice to his community, restore his faith in the U.S. Constitution and reconcile America’s greatness with its shortcomings. 

For more information and tickets: Hold These Truths, San Diego Rep



Redress and Reparations

Book Talk – Sunday, November 17, 12:30-2:00 pm; Buddhist Temple of San Diego, Annex, 2929, Market Street

Co-sponsored by the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, the Buddhist Temple of San Diego, and the Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR)

The  wartime incarceration and the campaign for redress and reparations are important parts of our family’s and community’s history, as well as our country’s history.

During the 1980s, then-San Diegans Jan Tokumaru and Glenn Horiuchi worked with San Diego community members on the Redress campaign. Jan has fond memories of working with Harry Kawamoto and Hideo Ochi and will share her recollections at this Book Talk. Tracks from Glenn’s music CD “Poston Sonata” will also be played.  Activist Miya Iwataki will share her poem entitled “Gambare!” in honor of the Issei and the hardships they endured that were caused by the government.

NCRR: The Grassroots Struggle for Japanese American Redress and Reparations.

Published in June, 2018, this book is a collection of personal stories written by over 45 NCRR members and friends about their participation in redress.
This program is free; please join us!




JAHSSD Gallery at San Diego History Center:


Letters from Santa Anita: Children’s Thoughts on Internment

Clara Breed was a librarian with San Diego Public Library where she became good friends with many of the young Japanese Americans who visited the library. Many of them carried on a regular correspondence with her during their time in internment camps which provides an interesting insight into how these young people viewed their situation. Using the letters written to Clara Breed from her young friends in Santa Anita, this exhibition reveals their thoughts and opinions on internment in their own words.








Japanese Businesses in Downtown San Diego Prior to WWII

Before WWII, the area around Fifth and Island in downtown San Diego was the center of the Japanese business community. The map featured in this exhibition shows the location of the various businesses and the diversity of services they provided. To accompany the map are images of the various businesses and their owners and staff.







A Window into History: Curiosities from our Collections

Currently on exhibit in our artifact exhibition space:

Forge and Anvil – used by the Oyama family in Chula Vista. 

Made In Camp – everyday items made by internees at Poston internment camp, Arizona