The Heart Mountain Barracks Project


In 1942, hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans, living on the West Coast were forced to live in internment camps due to Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066.  After the War, the government sold these buildings for only a dollar, and were later used by owners as storage areas for farm equipment.  As a part of their exhibition, the Japanese American National Museum hoped to educate and help individuals envision the harsh lifestyles that Japanese Americans had to endure at the internment camp.   In 1994, this idea started to become a part of reality when Nancy Araki and Bacon Sakatani happened to run into each other.  Things started to just fall into place as time went on, and with the help of many volunteers and families, they were able to relocate the Heart Mountain Barrack to Los Angeles's Little Tokyo.  The Nissei and Sanseis had the opportunity to not only witness history, but also experience it.  This display touched the hearts of a number of individuals that experienced, or had family that went through camp life, and has also educated others about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during Word War II.  This album shows a brief glimpse of history behind the barrack that stands today in the National Museum.

Slides in this album 

Heart Mountain

Heart Mountain was one of the ten internment camps used for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.  This camp was located in between two cities, Cody and Powell, and was a home to more than 10,000 internees.

Heart Mountain Camp
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Heart Mountain Barrack

This is the original barrack that internees once lived in, in Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

The Original Barrack
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Barrack Dismantle

The barrack had to be taken down piece by piece in an orderly fashion, so that they are able to reassemble the building in its exact form.

Barrack Dismantle
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Taking down the Walls

This particular barrack was in terrific condition, having the original tar paper on the walls of the structure.

Barrack Disassemble
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Family Number

When looking around in the partial barrack, Sakatani came across this particular number written on the side of one of the wooden boards.  The group did some research and found out that the Mukai family once lived in this exact barrack during their camp experience.

Mukai Barrack Family Number
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Mukai Family

The display meant a great deal more due to the fact that the museum found the past family who lived in the Heart Mountain Barrack.  This led to a great deal of publicity for the National Museum.

Family Barrack
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi


The two things that the volunteers were guaranteed was to go through a life changing experience, and an excellent lunch everyday.

Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Group Picture

This is the entire group of volunteers that helped and took part of this life changing experience.

Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Completion of Taking Down the Barrack

This is a group picture after the completion of taking down the numerous wooden boards from the barrack.  Now the next step of the journey was to take place in Little Tokyo.

Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi


Due to the execution and hard work of preservation architect, Jim McElwain, everything went smoothly with the rebuilding of the barrack.

Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Lifting the Wall

The volunteers work hard, as they successfully get one of the walls completed of the barrack.

Lifting the Wall
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Side View

The image from the side reveals all of the intricate pieces that make up this particular barrack.

Side View
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Barrack in Little Tokyo

This is the image of the completed barrack for the National Museum's new display.

Heart Mountain Barrack
Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Job Well Done

After a physically demanding task, the volunteers finally completed the relocation of Heart Mountain's Barrack for their new display.

Contributed by: gkkyamaguchi

Album Type

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gkkyamaguchi — 更新日 9月 03 2021 2:13 p.m.

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