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 (279)

279 items
Jim Hirabayashi Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-5-9)
vh Jim Hirabayashi Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-5-9)
Memories of Pinedale Assembly Center: playing sports, attending school

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead ...

Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1002-6-3)
vh Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1002-6-3)
Memories of Santa Anita Assembly Center: feeling "confused and dumbfounded"

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, ...

Shizuko
vh Shizuko "Suzie" Sakai Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-4-5)
Memories of the Portland Assembly Center: "Life there was just a noisy terrible confusion"

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 ...

George Azumano Interview Segment 16 (ddr-one-7-32-16)
vh George Azumano Interview Segment 16 (ddr-one-7-32-16)
Living conditions at the Portland 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.

Louise Kashino Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-31-12)
vh Louise Kashino Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-31-12)
Leaving Seattle: packing extra food just in case; first impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center

For the first hour of this interview, an additional camera crew from KCTS Television was also present.

Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-84-24)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-84-24)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: setting up a makeshift hospital without medical equipment

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.

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
Kazue Yamamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-197-9)
vh Kazue Yamamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-197-9)
Memories of Portland Assembly Center

This interview was conducted as part of a project to capture stories of the Japanese American community of Spokane, Washington. Densho worked in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-130-7)
vh Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-130-7)
Santa Anita Assembly Center: making camouflage nets, observing loss of family ties
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"
API