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 (54)
Temporary Assembly Centers (88)
Living conditions (280)

280 items
View of Stockton Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-7)
img View of Stockton Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-7)
Original WRA caption: Stockton, California. Part of the Stockton Assembly center as seen at noon on a hot day. This center has been open to evacuees of Japanese ancestry for one week.
View of barracks (ddr-densho-151-230)
img View of barracks (ddr-densho-151-230)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Barracks for family living quarters. Each door enters into a family unit of two small rooms. The center was opened just two days before this picture was taken. The people shown in this photograph have just arrived and are occupying themselves with building benches, chairs, tables, and shelves, for their belonging, ...
Japanese American inside barracks (ddr-densho-151-50)
img Japanese American inside barracks (ddr-densho-151-50)
Original WRA caption: San Bruno, California. A close-up of an entrance of a family apartment. Note that the windows in this unit have been enlarged. Five people occupy two small rooms, the inner one of which is without outside door or windows.
Japanese American next to barracks (ddr-densho-151-352)
img Japanese American next to barracks (ddr-densho-151-352)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Many evacuees suffer from lack of their accustomed activity. The attitude of the man shown in this photograph is typical of the residents in assembly centers, and because there is not much to do and not enough work available, they mill around, they visit, they stroll and they linger to while ...
Horse stalls at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-30)
img Horse stalls at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-30)
Original WRA caption: San Bruno, California. Near view of horse-stall, left from the days when what is now Tanforan Assembly Center, was the famous Tanforan Race Track. Most of these stalls have been converted into family living quarters for Japanese.
American Concentration Camps VOLUME 6 June, 1942- December, 1942 (ddr-densho-372-6)
doc American Concentration Camps VOLUME 6 June, 1942- December, 1942 (ddr-densho-372-6)
Volume 6 divides into six sections. Description about this volume reads directly from the book as follows: Section 1 presents archival documents from June 1942 that show the first major modifications of relocation policies and depict the resistance by Western Defense Command to any amelioration of the condition of the Japanese Americans. Section 2 contains selected ...
Takeharu Inouye Diary (ddr-densho-365-1)
doc Takeharu Inouye Diary (ddr-densho-365-1)
Takeharu Inouye's first diary documents his family's forced move to the Sacramento Assembly Center, followed by their move to the Tule Lake concentration camp. Since his mother, Miyoe Inouye, was a teacher, thirteen-year-old Takeharu's diary focuses on his classes in the Japanese and American schools at Tule Lake. His struggles with his schoolwork, as well as ...
Letter from Ishi Morishita to Mrs. Charles Gates (ddr-densho-211-5)
doc Letter from Ishi Morishita to Mrs. Charles Gates (ddr-densho-211-5)
Letter explaining the sudden relocation of the Masuda family to Poston, Arizona. Four stamps that match the ones on letters from the Morishitas.
Letter from Kikuye Matsuda to Mrs. Charles Gates (ddr-densho-211-1)
doc Letter from Kikuye Matsuda to Mrs. Charles Gates (ddr-densho-211-1)
Letter from Kikuye Masuda to Mrs. Charles Gates about a house Mrs. Gates is occupying.
Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
doc Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
Correspondence from Kinuta Uno's wife and daughter discussing life at Pinedale Assembly Center.
Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-2)
doc Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-2)
Contains information about living quarters, meals, and other services in the camps.
Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-1)
doc Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-1)
Contains information about living quarters, meals, and other services in the camps.
Telegram from Shigeo Fukuhara to Tatuya Ichikawa (ddr-densho-258-205)
doc Telegram from Shigeo Fukuhara to Tatuya Ichikawa (ddr-densho-258-205)
A telegram sent to Tatsuya Ichikawa at Santa Fe Department of Justice Internment Camp from Shigeo Fukuhara at Minidoka Concentration Camp informing Tatsuya that his two youngest children have been hospitalized. Fukuhara informs Ichikawa that telegrams from the Minidoka Health Nurse and Social Service Counselor have been sent to help Ichikawa get temporary parole so he ...
Tule Lake Cooperator, Vol. 2 No. 36 (November 13, 1943) (ddr-densho-289-3)
doc Tule Lake Cooperator, Vol. 2 No. 36 (November 13, 1943) (ddr-densho-289-3)
Selected article titles: "Co-op Will Keep Cash For Colonists With Interest" (p. 1), "Editorial: Government" (p. 1), "Difficulty in Supplying Laundry Soap" (p. 1).
Envelope from Kester [sic] E. Suzukli to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, 1942 June 20 (ddr-csujad-20-15)
av Envelope from Kester [sic] E. Suzukli to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, 1942 June 20 (ddr-csujad-20-15)
Envelope without the letter sent by Kester [Lester] E. Suzuki to Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Miller. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_15
Letter from George K. Sakai,  1942 May 4 (ddr-csujad-20-14)
doc Letter from George K. Sakai, 1942 May 4 (ddr-csujad-20-14)
Letter from George Sakai to United Methodist Church regarding address information for a mutual friend. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_13
Comic Strip, 1943 December 26 (ddr-csujad-20-12)
doc Comic Strip, 1943 December 26 (ddr-csujad-20-12)
Clipped comic strip of "Little Joe." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-45_02
Letter to Wendell L. Miller, 1942 April 27 (ddr-csujad-20-21)
doc Letter to Wendell L. Miller, 1942 April 27 (ddr-csujad-20-21)
An angry letter sent to Mr. Wendell L. Miller. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-44_03
Letter from Mrs. L. [Lester] Suzuki to Rev. [Wendell L.] and Mrs. [?] Miller, May 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-4)
doc Letter from Mrs. L. [Lester] Suzuki to Rev. [Wendell L.] and Mrs. [?] Miller, May 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-4)
Personal letter written from the Santa Anita Assembly Center. Suzuki thanks Reverend Miller and Mrs. Miller for their kindness; mentions friends among the "dear Caucasian ministers such as you"; and discusses the importance of religious services, housing in a new barrack vs. in the stables, making furniture from scrap wood, an impending increase in number of ...
Postcard from Anna Brooks, 1942 June 8 (ddr-csujad-20-23)
doc Postcard from Anna Brooks, 1942 June 8 (ddr-csujad-20-23)
Postcard from Anna Brooks regarding Leila Hofstetter. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_12
Letter from L.W., circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-25)
doc Letter from L.W., circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-25)
A letter from L.W. Addressee is not known. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-44_04
Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-13)
doc Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-13)
Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller regarding recent happenings at the Santa Anita Assembly Center. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_14
Letter from June Harino to Rev. Miller, 1942 October 15 (ddr-csujad-20-22)
doc Letter from June Harino to Rev. Miller, 1942 October 15 (ddr-csujad-20-22)
A letter from June Harino sent to Miller regarding her being assigned to a camp in Jerome, Arkansas where there awaits a "certain someone" with whom she is very happy. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_11
Letter from June Harino to Rev. Miller, 1942 June 9 (ddr-csujad-20-20)
doc Letter from June Harino to Rev. Miller, 1942 June 9 (ddr-csujad-20-20)
A letter sent to Mr. Wendell L. Miller. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_20
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