A Tribute to the 276 Exiled Bainbridge Islanders
The outdoor Memorial Wall, or Story Wall, is constructed of cedar and granite and honors all 276 Japanese and Japanese Americans who resided on Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942. Grouped by family surname, each individual is listed by name and age at the time of the Exclusion. The Wall spans 276′, one foot for every survivor, and lines the path that the islanders walked as they boarded the ferry for Seattle. The Memorial Wall was opened to the public on July 30, 2011.
The Memorial Wall was designed by local architect Johnpaul Jones, an American Indian and the principal of Jones & Jones Architects of Seattle. Awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities National Humanities Medal in 2013, Jones designed the Wall to capture the story of the islanders both literally and symbolically with its undulating design and incorporation of materials native to the Pacific Northwest, as well materials native to the concentration camp at Manzanar near the Sierra Mountains.
Terracotta friezes, created by local artist Steven Gardner, depict the history of the Japanese American community on Bainbridge Island, including their incarceration and their homecoming when the war was over. Quotations on the friezes are taken from the oral history project that captured the stories of survivors, many of whom are no longer with us.