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 (267)

267 items
May Y. Namba Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-171-16)
vh May Y. Namba Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-171-16)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: meeting people from Alaska
Cherry Kinoshita Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-34-8)
vh Cherry Kinoshita Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-34-8)
Early memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: poor meals, primitive latrines, and guard towers
Frank S. Fujii Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-8-11)
vh Frank S. Fujii Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-8-11)
Impressions of Puyallup Assembly Center: physical discomforts, meeting new people

This interview was conducted over two days due to electrical problems. The majority of the interview was completed on the second day, September 5.

Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-23-26)
vh Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-23-26)
Working at Pinedale Assembly Center, California, a makeshift fire department
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
Mutsu Homma Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-24-23)
vh Mutsu Homma Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-24-23)
Description of assembly center: "Santa Anita is a horse place"
Akio Hoshino Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-26-8)
vh Akio Hoshino Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-26-8)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: friendly guards, ice skating, and arguing over steel cots
Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-84-26)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-84-26)
Attitude toward violation of rights, "There was nothing we could do about it because they had the guns"

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

Bob Y. Sakata Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-216-9)
vh Bob Y. Sakata Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-216-9)
Temporary living conditions in Tanforan: "it was sort of a lonely feeling"
Dr. Kikuo H. Taira (ddr-csujad-8-70)
doc Dr. Kikuo H. Taira (ddr-csujad-8-70)
Oral history interview with Dr. Kikuo H. Taira. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Taira, Dr Kikuo
Naomi Tagawa (ddr-csujad-8-69)
doc Naomi Tagawa (ddr-csujad-8-69)
Oral history interview with Naomi Tagawa. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Tagawa, Naomi
Dr. Fusaji Inada (ddr-csujad-8-26)
doc Dr. Fusaji Inada (ddr-csujad-8-26)
Oral history interview with Dr. Fusaji Inada. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Inada, Dr Fusaji
Letter from Seda Suzuki to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, 1942 September 11 (ddr-csujad-20-19)
doc Letter from Seda Suzuki to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, 1942 September 11 (ddr-csujad-20-19)
A letter sent to Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Miller giving thanks for his sermon. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_19
Letter from Lester Suzuki to Brother [Wendell L.] Miller, May 4, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-3)
doc Letter from Lester Suzuki to Brother [Wendell L.] Miller, May 4, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-3)
Personal letter written from the Santa Anita Temporary Assembly Center and describing early days there, including lack of regular work and schooling schedules and of appropriate food for children; scouts and boys' clubs being in development; religious services on Sundays attracting nearly 2000 people; and the need to wait for community facilities such as laundry and ...
News Clippings (ddr-csujad-20-24)
doc News Clippings (ddr-csujad-20-24)
Newspaper clippings, circa 1942. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-45_01
Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. H. A. Strong, Electrolux Corporation, August 9, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-13)
doc Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. H. A. Strong, Electrolux Corporation, August 9, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-13)
Letter from Henry K. Fujita to his boss Mr. H. A. Strong of the Electrolux Corporation in San Francisco dated August 9, 1942. Rich in details, the letter describes the physical layout of the Merced Assembly Center, the poor-quality construction of the barracks, the daily schedules, the camp organization and facilities, the hardships and illnesses and ...
An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
av An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
An interview with Margaret Masuoka, a volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), conducted for the Japanese American Project at California State Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History. Specifically, this interview provides insight to Masuoka's personal history dealing with the prejudice that she and her family faced due their Japanese ancestry; her ...
An Oral History with Lillie Y. McCabe, Part II (ddr-csujad-29-17)
av An Oral History with Lillie Y. McCabe, Part II (ddr-csujad-29-17)
An oral history with Lillie Y. McCabe, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Temporary Assembly Center and the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp. This interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The interview covers the Anglo reverends and ministers who helped her while she was incarcerated at Amache, how ...
Notice to report to work (ddr-densho-25-78)
doc Notice to report to work (ddr-densho-25-78)
Mae Iseri received permission to work as a recreation leader at Pinedale Assembly Center.
API