Living conditions

All of the camps were constructed according to the War Department's specifications, which included barbed-wire fences, guard towers, and armed guards around the perimeter. The camps were organized in "blocks" consisting of twelve to fourteen barracks, a mess hall, communal showers and toilets, laundry facilities, and a recreation hall. Each barracks was divided into four or six rooms with each room housing one family, no matter how large, and there was no running water. The furnishings that Japanese Americans found on their arrival were canvas cots, a potbellied stove, and a single bare light bulb. The thin walls offered little protection from the harsh weather, which ranged from 110 degrees in the summer to 25 degrees below zero on winter nights. The flimsy construction allowed no privacy and made normal family life difficult. Camp inmates improved their own living conditions by creating interior walls and partitions, constructing furniture from scrap lumber, and planting gardens.

Living conditions (939)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Arts and crafts in camp, Community analysts, Manzanar Children's Village

932 items
Tomio Moriguchi Interview I Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-59-7)
vh Tomio Moriguchi Interview I Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-59-7)
Mother copes with raising several children in camp, including newborns
Marian Asao Kurosu Interview Segment 56 (ddr-densho-1000-118-56)
vh Marian Asao Kurosu Interview Segment 56 (ddr-densho-1000-118-56)
Water and primitive facilities at Tule Lake concentration camp, California

During this interview, Mrs. Kurosu alternately speaks in both English and Japanese. As a result, the English translation of the transcript contains [Jpn.] and [Eng.], which indicate whether the original dialogue was spoken in Japanese or English.

Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-23-28)
vh Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-23-28)
Housing arrangements and divided communities in Tule Lake concentration camp
Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-10-19)
vh Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-10-19)
First impressions of Minidoka concentration camp, rattlesnakes underfoot
Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-92-17)
vh Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-92-17)
Life in Poston concentration camp: people were "fainting like flies" from the heat

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-98-19)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-98-19)
Conditions in Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, dust everywhere -- turning to mud in winter
Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-155-13)
vh Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-155-13)
Memories as a child in Twin Falls, Idaho: visiting playmates inside the Minidoka concentration camp every weekend
Woman walking with mail (ddr-densho-321-123)
img Woman walking with mail (ddr-densho-321-123)
Fuzy getting the mail at Heart Mountain concentration camp.
Lloyd Kurihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-15)
doc Lloyd Kurihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-15)
Oral history interview with Lloyd Kurihara. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: SCRC_KURIHARA_LLOYD
Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
doc Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-07_04
Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
doc Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-04_01
An oral history with Atsufumi Archie Miyatake - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-65-1)
vh An oral history with Atsufumi Archie Miyatake - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-65-1)
An oral interview with Archie Miyatake, the son of Toyo Miyatake. Like his father, he was a photographer who took pictures of incarcerated Japanese Americans who were forced into camps during World War II. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Audio is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0161 ...
An oral history with Togo Tanaka - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-61-1)
vh An oral history with Togo Tanaka - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-61-1)
An oral interview with Togo Tanaka, newspaper editor, documentary historian, and businessman who was incarcerated at the Manzanar camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0102. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1271 ...
An oral history with Celeste Teodor - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-30-19-1)
vh An oral history with Celeste Teodor - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-30-19-1)
An oral interview with Celeste Teodor, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at the Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Audio is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0137. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3776_F01
Women and dog (ddr-csujad-26-114)
img Women and dog (ddr-csujad-26-114)
Four women and a dog pose in front of an automobile while Robert Billigmeier points toward the camera. Barracks are in background. Additional photos in sequence include: ucsb_mei_0109, ucsb_mei_0111, ucsb_mei_0113, ucsb_mei_0115. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_078
Chapter 6 and 7 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-34)
doc Chapter 6 and 7 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-34)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including living in barracks, block noise, lack of privacy, mess hall dining, nosy neighbors, jobs, leisure time, sports, movies, church attendance, the Young Buddhist Association (YBA), family dynamics, social changes, dating, and rumors. Each entry includes the full date ...
Amache directory (ddr-csujad-7-17)
doc Amache directory (ddr-csujad-7-17)
Directory of the administrative and education staff and incarcerees at the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Amache Directory
Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-12)
img Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-12)
Manzanar incarceration camp, July 1942. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_JA_f12
Relocation Communities for Wartime Evacuees, September 1942 (ddr-csujad-19-23)
doc Relocation Communities for Wartime Evacuees, September 1942 (ddr-csujad-19-23)
This paper describes the relocation communities for "the wartime evacuees" from the Pacific Coast. It also talks about the community life and the work opportunities for the incarceress in the different incarceration camps. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WRA_01-15_01
An oral history with Yoshie Mary Tashima (ddr-csujad-29-27)
av An oral history with Yoshie Mary Tashima (ddr-csujad-29-27)
An oral interview with Yoshie Mary Tashima, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0106. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project ...
Tule Lake nighttime panorama (ddr-csujad-3-6)
img Tule Lake nighttime panorama (ddr-csujad-3-6)
High vantage point panoramic nighttime photograph of Tule Lake camp with the lights from the buildings inside camp on. The photograph shows the expanse of the camp against the darkened landscape. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_006
API