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 (957)

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

950 items
Kunio Otani Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-75-11)
vh Kunio Otani Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-75-11)
Arriving early to the Tule Lake concentration camp, California
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-139-31)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-139-31)
Description of living quarters at Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming
Akiko Kurose Interview I Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-41-20)
vh Akiko Kurose Interview I Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-41-20)
Daily life at Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, positive and negative memories
Marian Shingu Sata Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-262-11)
vh Marian Shingu Sata Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-262-11)
Attending school in camp

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.

A Tule Lake Interlude (ddr-densho-291-1)
doc A Tule Lake Interlude (ddr-densho-291-1)
This collection of poems and stories related to life in Tule Lake was published on concentration camp's first anniversary.
Lillian Nakano Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-254-9)
vh Lillian Nakano Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-254-9)
Living conditions in Jerome; relationships between Hawaiians and mainlanders
Art Abe Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-206-21)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-206-21)
Father perishes in the desert outside of Minidoka concentration camp
Frank Kitamoto Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-35-16)
vh Frank Kitamoto Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-35-16)
Childhood memories of Manzanar concentration camp: waking up covered in sand
May K. Sasaki Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-79-16)
vh May K. Sasaki Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-79-16)
The train ride to Minidoka; memories of physical setting, windstorms
Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-77-6)
vh Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-77-6)
First impressions of Minidoka

This interview was conducted over two days at the Sakaharas' home.

An oral history with Mitsuyo N. Nakai (ddr-csujad-29-45)
av An oral history with Mitsuyo N. Nakai (ddr-csujad-29-45)
An oral interview with Mitsuyo N. Nakai, incarceree at the Manzanar incarceration camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0146. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2546_T01
Mrs. Akiko Suda (ddr-csujad-8-66)
doc Mrs. Akiko Suda (ddr-csujad-8-66)
Oral history interview with Mrs. Akiko Suda. 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 Suda, Mrs Akiko
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
Tomoko Konishi (ddr-csujad-8-29)
doc Tomoko Konishi (ddr-csujad-8-29)
Oral history interview with Tomoko Konishi. 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 Konishi, Tomoko
Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
doc Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and topics include a new superintendent and the choice of "Desert Sentinel" as the name for the school paper; news of campus, sports, and social and holiday events, including the opening of the Butte High School library; items about classes, students and teachers, including a student ...
An oral history with Victor
av An oral history with Victor "Ferrell" Kambe (ddr-csujad-29-34)
An oral interview with Victor "Ferrell" Kambe, an incarceree at the Puyallup Assembly Center. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0120. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2268_T01
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 family's settlement ...
An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
vh An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
Japanese American congressman, representing the Thirteenth Congressional District of California, born and raised in San Jose, California, discusses his early life, graduation from the University of California, Berkeley, and receiving a commission and serving in the armed forces from 1953-1956. Recalls the removal, "relocation," and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II at the Heart ...
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