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.

Living conditions (278)

278 items
Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
vh Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
First impressions of camp: "it was quite a disappointment"

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 ...

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.

Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-10-18)
vh Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-10-18)
Frightened by the sight of soldiers with rifles at the Puyallup Assembly Center
Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
vh Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
First impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center: "it was like going to an army camp"

William Toshio Yasutake was interviewed together with his sister Mitsuye (Yasutake) Yamada and surviving brother, Joseph Yasutake, in group sessions on October 8-9, 2002. He was interviewed individually on November 14, 2002.

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had ...

May K. Sasaki Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-79-14)
vh May K. Sasaki Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-79-14)
Animal smells and painful inoculations: childhood memories of Puyallup Assembly Center
Jim Akutsu Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-2-19)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-2-19)
JACL and labor groups vying for leadership within Puyallup Assembly Center

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

Mutsu Homma Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-24-29)
vh Mutsu Homma Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-24-29)
Description of "riot" at the Santa Anita Assembly Center: protesting lack of food
Francis Mas Fukuhara Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-9-11)
vh Francis Mas Fukuhara Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-9-11)
Description of Puyallup Assembly Center: "really kind of horrifying"
Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-148-23)
vh Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-148-23)
Dealing with the difficulties of living in the Puyallup Assembly Center, new responsibilities as the oldest child at age fourteen
Mary Hirata Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-22-14)
vh Mary Hirata Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-22-14)
Trying to pass the time in the Puyallup Assembly Center
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 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"
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
Lillie McCabe (ddr-csujad-29-19)
img Lillie McCabe (ddr-csujad-29-19)
Photo of Lillie McCabe. Oral history audio and transcript are found in csufccop_jaoh_0030, csufccop_jaoh_0031, and csufccop_jaoh_0032. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1949_P03
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