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 (526)

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

526 items
Eiko Shibayama Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1001-14-11)
vh Eiko Shibayama Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1001-14-11)
Recreational activities in camp: swimming, movies, birthday parties
Sue Kunitomi Embrey Interview Segment 12 (ddr-manz-1-2-12)
vh Sue Kunitomi Embrey Interview Segment 12 (ddr-manz-1-2-12)
Building gardens: "I think it really helped the morale of the people"
Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 6 (ddr-one-7-73-6)
vh Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 6 (ddr-one-7-73-6)
Recreational activities in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-273-18)
vh Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-273-18)
Working for the recreation department, planning activities for kids

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of ...

Nancy K. Araki Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-305-18)
vh Nancy K. Araki Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-305-18)
Recreational activities in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Bruce T. Kaji Interview I Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-289-13)
vh Bruce T. Kaji Interview I Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-289-13)
Remembering music in camp with Louis Frizzell

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

George Yoshida Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-132-29)
vh George Yoshida Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-132-29)
Helping to organize a dance band in camp, rehearsing evenings and weekends
Two Japanese American boys work on a project (ddr-densho-362-19)
img Two Japanese American boys work on a project (ddr-densho-362-19)
Tom Konishi works on cutting out a design on a machine with another young man.
Farewell dinner at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-22)
img Farewell dinner at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-22)
Caption on front: "Tom Sashikara Aug '44." Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain Aug. 1944. Caption reads: 'Farewell dinner for Tom Sashikara leaving for Cleveland, OH. Guy Robertson, the camp director and Mrs. Pryne were there.' K. Hatchimonji is seen on left with his hand on his chin."
Minidoka Matinee Orchestra (ddr-densho-2-36)
img Minidoka Matinee Orchestra (ddr-densho-2-36)
Left to right: Joe Owaki (drums), Hiro Nishimoto (MC), Dorrie Abe (piano), Ted Shimano (orchestra conductor), Amy Iguchi (clarinet), Yosh Ogata (saxophone), George Kaku (violin), and Sally Makishima (violin). The residents of the Minidoka concentration camp formed numerous musical ensembles to pass the time. Orchestras, bands, and choirs frequently staged performances for entertainment.
Japanese American weightlifter (ddr-densho-2-66)
img Japanese American weightlifter (ddr-densho-2-66)
Kaz Tsujikawa lifts weights as his friends look on.
Japanese American making jewelry (ddr-densho-2-61)
img Japanese American making jewelry (ddr-densho-2-61)
Peggie Yorita makes jewelry from shells found at the Tule Lake concentration camp. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where people found shells for making jewelry to sell to camp personnel. Shells were scarce, and digging became competitive. To beat the rush, some peopel got ...
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