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 (554)

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

554 items
Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 59 (ddr-densho-1000-12-59)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 59 (ddr-densho-1000-12-59)
Cultural and social activities at Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
img Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 10, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f23
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
img Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp. August 30, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f02
Song lyrics (ddr-csujad-7-31)
doc Song lyrics (ddr-csujad-7-31)
Several pages of well known popular song lyrics from the era. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Song Lyrics
Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
doc Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
Text of address by Roy Nash, Director of the Manzanar War Relocation Project, given to the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, on July 31, 1942 for the purpose of "interpret[ing] the actuality of a War Relocation Center housing 10,000 evacuees" in view of perceptions of mistreatment of incarcerees in California. Sections of the ...
Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
doc Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and topics include a new superintendent and the choice of "Desert Sentinel" as the name for the school paper; news of campus, sports, and social and holiday events, including the opening of the Butte High School library; items about classes, students and teachers, including a student ...
Poston Community Enterprises remodling [remodeling] sale (ddr-csujad-16-1)
doc Poston Community Enterprises remodling [remodeling] sale (ddr-csujad-16-1)
Announcement for a "penny sale" held by the manager of Camp 1 Store 3, stating that Community Enterprises is soliciting people's patronage; includes a list of merchandise that customers' extra pennies would buy. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JAIC_01-14_01
Jewelry made in camp (ddr-densho-2-49)
img Jewelry made in camp (ddr-densho-2-49)
This corsage pin was made by Peggie Yorita, a Japanese American at the Tule Lake concentration camp. The flowers and leaves are composed of shells found at the 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 ...
Minidoka camp queen and her court (ddr-densho-2-34)
img Minidoka camp queen and her court (ddr-densho-2-34)
Minidoka concentration camp queen and her court. Left to right: Unidentified, Aiko Heyamoto, Grace Kawata, unidentified, and Ann Nakamura.
Sweetheart Beauty Pageant winners (ddr-densho-10-5)
img Sweetheart Beauty Pageant winners (ddr-densho-10-5)
Finalists in the Minidoka concentration camp Sweetheart Beauty Pageant surround the winner. Left to right: Barbara Kurimura, Pauline Tamiyasu, Chizuko Hayashi, Kimi Takatsuka, Noble Kodama, Pearl Hirata, and Fumi Kinoshita. The Sweetheart Beauty Pageant began in the winter of 1943. The contest was designed to lighten the mood of the camp. Each block, or camp division ...
Japanese Americans at Shoshone Falls (ddr-densho-15-66)
img Japanese Americans at Shoshone Falls (ddr-densho-15-66)
These Japanese Americans enjoying a day at Shoshone Falls near the Minidoka concentration camp were allowed to leave the camp on an approved day pass. Left to right: Tom (last name unknown), Ted Kamada, Yoneko Tanaka, unidentified, Norio Mitsuoka, and Kiyoko (last name unknown).
Japanese American carpenter building furniture (ddr-densho-37-358)
img Japanese American carpenter building furniture (ddr-densho-37-358)
Original WRA caption: Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. Shinkichi Kiyono, 56, carpenter-evacuee from Longview, Washington, is shown using a carpenter's plane which he won as first prize in a furniture contest conducted among the evacuees of Japanese descent at this War Relocation Authority center.
Art class (ddr-densho-37-509)
img Art class (ddr-densho-37-509)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. An adult art class under the direction of Tokio Ueyama, working in pencil sketch charcoals and oils. Adult art classes are extremely popular at the Amache Center.
Boy Scout Headquarters (ddr-densho-37-773)
img Boy Scout Headquarters (ddr-densho-37-773)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. "Amache District Headquarters, Boy Scouts of America, Granada Relocation Center."
Knitting class (ddr-densho-37-134)
img Knitting class (ddr-densho-37-134)
This camp knitting class was taught by a camp inmate.
Japanese American making plans for a model ship (ddr-densho-37-596)
img Japanese American making plans for a model ship (ddr-densho-37-596)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Tadao Kawate, former drafting student from Los Angeles City College, at work on plans for model ships. Blueprints, drawn to the scale of 50 feet to the inch, are supplied by the Navy but must be redrawn to the scale of 60 feet to the inch before ...
Wood carving class (ddr-densho-37-551)
img Wood carving class (ddr-densho-37-551)
Original WRA caption: Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. In a wood carving class, this center resident, a former Californian of Japanese ancestry works on a patriotic carving out from a natural hardwood formation.
Norakuro Harmonica Band (ddr-densho-39-45)
img Norakuro Harmonica Band (ddr-densho-39-45)
The Norakuro Harmonica Band played instruments in addition to the harmonica. At camp dances the group performed both American and Japanese music as well as American music with Japanese lyrics. Many of its members were Kibei, Nisei who were born in the United States but educated in Japan.
Japanese Americans preparing for a performance (ddr-densho-39-53)
img Japanese Americans preparing for a performance (ddr-densho-39-53)
Japanese Americans from the Minidoka concentration camp prepare for a Japanese dance or theater performance.
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