Nakada, Carl Kaoru


Carl Kaoru Nakada was born on February 2, 1923, in Phoenix, Arizona. His parents, Kana and Tsuneichi Nakada, immigrated to Arizona from Japan in the early 1900s to work as farmers. When Nakada, the second of five siblings, was young, the family relocated to near Covina, California, to lease plots of land for truck farming. Nakada attended several different elementary schools in the Baldwin Park area and high school in Covina. He left school at age 16 to work full-time, after an illness or injury left his father paralyzed on one side of his body. Shortly before the forced removal of all people of Japanese descent from the west coast, Nakada and his family moved to Niland, California. During the removal, the family first arrived at the Pomona Assembly Center on May 15, 1942. On August 12, 1942, they were on the first train to arrive at Heart Mountain. They lived in apartment 8-15-E. In an interview with officials in late July 1944, Nakada’s younger sister Susie described him as “rather quiet and serious-minded,” someone who “did not engage greatly in social activities”–most likely because Nakada spent the majority of his time before the war and throughout his years at Heart Mountain employed as an agricultural laborer to help support his family financially. His involvement with the Fair Play Committee and subsequent failure to appear for his physical examination, a result of his frustration at the “abridg[ment of] his rights as a citizen,” led to his arrest on April 7, 1944. In June 1944, Nakada was tried, convicted and sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. Nakada was released in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. By 1950, Nakada worked as a farmer in Clearfield, Utah. He eventually moved to California and married Haruko Ige on July 19, 1960. They had two children. Nakada worked as a grocery clerk and salesman.

Carl Kaoru Nakada died on September 14, 1998 in Covina, California.

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