Social and recreational activities

Japanese Americans found ways to fill the long days created by the enforced idleness of camp life. They made jewelry from shells found in the desert, built furniture for their rooms using scrap lumber and renovated the exteriors of their barracks. People also played cards, chess, checkers, mahjongg, and the Japanese games 'go' and 'shogi.' Camp inmates held dances, concerts, plays, and arts and crafts exhibitions. In Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, they even held a beauty contest to select the "Sweetheart of Minidoka."

Social and recreational activities (643)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Arts and crafts in camp, Music in camp

643 items
Community Council at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-13)
img Community Council at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-13)
Caption on front: "Second Com. Council [illegible] - July 1944." Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain, Wyoming, july 1944. Community Council. Block representatives. Kumezo Hatchimonji, block 27, back row, extreme left."
Japanese American and friend digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-60)
img Japanese American and friend digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-60)
Jimmie Yorita (right) digs for shells used by people in camp to make jewelry. His sister, Patsy (left), and Neal Frost, son of one of the camp's teachers, sift the dirt. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where camp inmates found shells for making jewelry ...
Corsage made of shells (ddr-densho-2-4)
img Corsage made of shells (ddr-densho-2-4)
This corsage pin was made by a Japanese American in camp. The flower petals and leaves are made from various types of shells found at the camp. She used toothbrush bristles dipped in cornmeal for stamens and wound the stems by hand with fine green thread. Wire from screen windows was used to put the pin ...
Japanese American and friend sifting for shells (ddr-densho-2-59)
img Japanese American and friend sifting for shells (ddr-densho-2-59)
Patsy Yorita (left) and Neal Frost, (son of a teacher at the Tule Lake concentration camp), sift dirt for shells. The shells were used by people in the camp to make jewelry. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where people found shells for making jewelry ...
Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-47)
img Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-47)
These individuals are digging for shells to make jewelry, which was a popular pastime for many Japanese Americans in camp. Left to right: Kumataro Nishimura, Kadju Nishimura, Jimmie Yorita, Neal Frost (son of one of the teachers at Tule Lake), and Patsy Yorita. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on ...
Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-48)
img Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-48)
Left to right: Peggie Yorita, Margaret Frost (wife of one of the camp's teachers), Kumataro Nishimura, and his wife, Kadju, dig and sift for shells at the Tule Lake concentration camp. Kumataro made the sieve by hand from scrap lumber and wire from a door screen. The shells were bleached and used for jewelry-making, which was ...
Group photo (ddr-densho-258-135)
img Group photo (ddr-densho-258-135)
A large group of women gathered in Minidoka, with a few more women looking on from a doorway in the background. Caption below: "Minidoka Camp, Idaho."
Japanese Americans at Shoshone Falls (ddr-densho-15-67)
img Japanese Americans at Shoshone Falls (ddr-densho-15-67)
Left to right: Norio Mitsuoka, Tom (last name unknown), and Robert Ikeda at Shoshone Falls, near the Minidoka concentration camp.
Japanese Americans at a picnic (ddr-densho-15-81)
img Japanese Americans at a picnic (ddr-densho-15-81)
This picnic may have taken place at a local Japanese American farm.
Elementary school princesses (ddr-densho-20-3)
img Elementary school princesses (ddr-densho-20-3)
Elementary school princesses. Left to right: Unidentified, unidentified, Miyuki Hasegawa, Julie Hikida, Marianne Okawa, Haruko Nishimura, Kazuko Noji, Frank Sato, unidentified, Harumi Iwakiri.
Japanese Americans climbing Castle Rock (ddr-densho-37-177)
img Japanese Americans climbing Castle Rock (ddr-densho-37-177)
Original WRA caption: A pleasant Sunday afternoon's recreation is spent by evacuee winter sports enthusiasts, on the slopes of Castle Mountain. Home made sleds and various other home made pieces of equipment were used by these young people.
Sweetheart of Minidoka and attendants (ddr-densho-37-674)
img Sweetheart of Minidoka and attendants (ddr-densho-37-674)
Original WRA caption: Sweetheart of Minidoka and her attendants chosen by popular vote in St. Valentine's Day contest sponsored by the Minidoka Irrigator, center newspaper. Standing left to right: Kiyoka Kumagai, Amy Hidaka, Mona Saito, Chickie Ishihara. Seated left to right: Misao Hayashida, Ise Inozuka, Mary Jane Kinoshita.
Japanese Americans fishing (ddr-densho-37-367)
img Japanese Americans fishing (ddr-densho-37-367)
Original WRA caption: Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. During the noon hour, evacuee farm workers fish for carp in a nearby slough.
High school band members (ddr-densho-37-539)
img High school band members (ddr-densho-37-539)
Original WRA caption: Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. A snare drum section of the high school band, in a practice session at the school band room. Most of the student band members are playing instuments for the first time, and the band is fast becoming a matter of much pride among center residents, former west coast ...
High school dance orchestra (ddr-densho-37-505)
img High school dance orchestra (ddr-densho-37-505)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. The High School dance orchestra at the Granada Relocation Center at Amache, Colorado.
Cast of a stage play (ddr-densho-64-2)
img Cast of a stage play (ddr-densho-64-2)
Mako Nakagawa is in the front row on the far right.
Calisthenics class (ddr-densho-93-48)
img Calisthenics class (ddr-densho-93-48)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Calesthenics [sic] / photograph by Ansel Adams.
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