Living conditions

The "assembly centers" were hastily erected quarters located throughout the West Coast at fairgrounds, racetracks and other similar facilities. Conditions at these locations were appalling. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. Privacy was next to nonexistent. Most families lived in a 20-by-20-foot room separated from the next "apartment" by wood partitions that did not reach the ceiling. Shortages of food and deplorable sanitation were common. Overcrowding, uncertainty, and stress created tension in the "assembly centers," even as the demoralized camp inmates tried to improve living conditions.

World War II (66)
Temporary Assembly Centers (95)
Living conditions (317)

317 items
Rae Takekawa Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-89-20)
vh Rae Takekawa Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-89-20)
Organized activities for youth at Pinedale Assembly Center, California
George Morihiro Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-182-18)
vh George Morihiro Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-182-18)
Life in Puyallup Assembly Center: talking with the guards, being warned away from the fence
George Morihiro Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-182-16)
vh George Morihiro Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-182-16)
Entering Puyallup Assembly Center: "the day you walked through that gate, you know you lost something"
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-139-28)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-139-28)
Life in the North Portland Assembly Center, Oregon: cramped living quarters, working for the camp newsletter
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-139-27)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-139-27)
Early memories of life in assembly center: "You're in a daze for a while until you get your bearings"
Jim Akutsu Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-2-20)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-2-20)
Attempting to improve conditions at Puyallup Assembly Center and running into resistance

Interview was conducted over two days because of delays caused by technical difficulties.

Yosh Nakamura Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-385-8)
vh Yosh Nakamura Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-385-8)
First impressions of the Tulare Assembly Center

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.

Fumi Kaseguma Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-203-11)
vh Fumi Kaseguma Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-203-11)
Life in the Portland Assembly Center, a former livestock exposition area
Jim Akutsu Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-2-18)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-2-18)
Conditions at Puyallup Assembly Center

Interview was conducted over two days because of delays caused by technical difficulties.

Bob Suzuki Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-452-3)
vh Bob Suzuki Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-452-3)
Childhood memories of the Portland Assembly center and Minidoka concentration camp
June Takahashi Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-88-21)
vh June Takahashi Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-88-21)
Conditions in Puyallup Assembly Center: barracks, food, activities
June Takahashi Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-88-19)
vh June Takahashi Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-88-19)
"Visitors" wanting to see an "Eskimo" in Puyallup Assembly Center
Gene Akutsu Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-1-8)
vh Gene Akutsu Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-1-8)
Mass removal, and conditions in Puyallup Assembly Center: cleaning septic tanks
Bill Hosokawa Interview Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-129-14)
vh Bill Hosokawa Interview Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-129-14)
Impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington: "What the hell are they trying to do to us?"; controversy over Jimmie Sakamoto's role in Puyallup, and being sent to Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming
Masao Watanabe Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-103-15)
vh Masao Watanabe Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-103-15)
Attitude towards incarceration: "all this liberty and crap was all crap"

At the time this interview was taped, Mr. Watanabe was recovering from a recent series of cancer treatments.

Chiye Tomihiro Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-93-2)
vh Chiye Tomihiro Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-93-2)
Life at the Portland Assembly Center: the shame of being visited by former schoolmates

This interview was conducted at the Voices of Japanese American Redress Conference, held on the UCLA campus and sponsored by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. Because of the full conference schedule, …

Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-152-17)
vh Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-152-17)
First impressions of the Pinedale Assembly Center: becoming sick from the heat
Shig Yabu Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-272-10)
vh Shig Yabu Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-272-10)
Living conditions at the Pomona Assembly Center

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.

API