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
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-31)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-31)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and the Topaz 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_0114. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645 ...
An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
av An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
Retired Kibei teacher recounts samurai parents' background and their immigration to Seattle, Washington; socioeconomic composition of Seattle's Japanese community; earlier teacher training; prewar stays in Japan as a child and as a tutor in a missionary family; experiences as a teacher in the wartime resettlement in New York; and postwar return to Los Angeles. This ...
An oral history with Joe Yamakido - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-67-1)
vh An oral history with Joe Yamakido - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-67-1)
An oral interview with Joe Yamakido, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and the Jerome 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_0168. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3733_T01
An oral history with Kuni Ishii (ddr-csujad-29-52)
av An oral history with Kuni Ishii (ddr-csujad-29-52)
An oral interview with Kuni Ishii, incarceree at the Jerome 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_0160. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2987_T01
Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. and Mrs. Davis, October 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-14)
doc Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. and Mrs. Davis, October 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-14)
Describes in detail the long train ride from Sept. 15-18 between Merced and the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp: the layout of the train cars, times to different towns, tunnels and coal smoke, eating and sleeping arrangements, military troops and equipment staged along the railway, desert scenery, late arrival at Amache, an extra night aboard the train ...
Tule Lake scrapbook (ddr-csujad-26-53)
img Tule Lake scrapbook (ddr-csujad-26-53)
Scrapbook created in Tule Lake camp by Japanese American students. Contents include drawings, art, holiday greeting cards prints, poetry and signatures of student groups. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_03_20_001
Camp buildings with dust cloud (ddr-csujad-26-69)
img Camp buildings with dust cloud (ddr-csujad-26-69)
Camp barracks buildings line a road with dust cloud. People can be seen in front of the buildings in distance. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_006
Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-44)
doc Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-44)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including social and cultural differences, personality conflicts, friendships, social interactions, school, dogs, memories, reflections on camp life, weather, a friend in the military visiting his parents in camp, hobbies, and opinions about other people and daily life. Each entry ...
Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
doc Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including family interactions, memories, homesickness, friendships, social interactions, school, self-reflection, juvenile delinquency, peer behaviors, death, religion, opinions, and worldviews. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of a class assignment and collected for ...
Cooperatively owned canteen (ddr-csujad-26-130)
img Cooperatively owned canteen (ddr-csujad-26-130)
Photo of people working and shopping inside a canteen. Goods are seen divided by type. Verso reads "cooperatively owned canteen." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_100
Landscape with barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-121)
img Landscape with barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-121)
Photo of the desert landscape with a portion of a barracks building. Leftover wood crates are stacked next to the building while the camp border fence can be sen in the distance. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_090
Group photo in front of barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-81)
img Group photo in front of barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-81)
Posed group photo in front of a barracks building of eighteen Japanese Americans and Caucasian adults, one baby, and one dog. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_018
Scrap lumber conflict (ddr-csujad-26-17)
doc Scrap lumber conflict (ddr-csujad-26-17)
Report utilizing journal entries to describe competition and conflicts between incarcerees over scrap lumber leftover from camp construction. Describes lumber usage by incarcerees includes construction of furniture and porches, creation of partitions in the barracks for privacy, and accumulation for use during winter. The report includes observations of inequality, disorganization, and the lack of administrative oversight ...
Woman and young men (ddr-csujad-26-82)
img Woman and young men (ddr-csujad-26-82)
A Caucasian woman and three young Japanese American men pose in front of a barracks building. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_019
Masamizu Kitajima Interview Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-287-20)
vh Masamizu Kitajima Interview Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1000-287-20)
Unprepared for winter weather conditions in Arkansas

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.

Tom Toshimi Shimasaki (ddr-csujad-8-63)
doc Tom Toshimi Shimasaki (ddr-csujad-8-63)
Oral history interview with Toshimi Tom Shimasaki. 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 Shimasaki, Tom Toshimi
Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 12, May 14, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-2)
doc Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 12, May 14, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-2)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and items include a report on a bond drive and on a "Kampus Karnival"; news about the debate team and about a talent show, as well as about goings-on at Topaz, Utah; Manzanar, California; Echoes, Wyoming; Hunt, Idaho; and Amache, Colorado; and illustrations. See this object ...
An oral history with Dennis Tojo Bambauer - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-30-17-1)
vh An oral history with Dennis Tojo Bambauer - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-30-17-1)
An oral interview with Dennis Tojo Bambauer, an incarceree at the Children's Village. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The audio file is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0105. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2335_F01
An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-14)
av An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-14)
An oral interview with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama, incarcerees 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. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0132. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2494 ...
An oral history with Celeste Teodor (ddr-csujad-30-19)
vh An oral history with Celeste Teodor (ddr-csujad-30-19)
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. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0138. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3776_T01
Housing Barracks (ddr-csujad-13-19)
img Housing Barracks (ddr-csujad-13-19)
A distant view of housing barracks inside Tulelake with a handwritten caption at the bottom of the photograph that reads, "Jap quarters Tulelake." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tul_01_01_014
View of Buildings at Tule Lake Incarceration Camp (ddr-csujad-13-15)
img View of Buildings at Tule Lake Incarceration Camp (ddr-csujad-13-15)
A row of barracks or some other structures at the Tule Lake incarceration camp are photographed from inside a vehicle. Caption on back of photograph reads, "Cruising along streets of Camp Tulelake during Jap disturbance in Nov. 43." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tul_01_01_010
Victim of the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) (ddr-csujad-26-31)
doc Victim of the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) (ddr-csujad-26-31)
An affidavit written to invalidate purported distortions and false accusations made against the author in two books published using research material collected by Rosalie Hankey Wax during de Cristoforo's incarceration at Tule Lake. The books are "Doing Fieldwork: Warnings and Advice" by Rosalie H. Wax and "The Spoilage" by Dorothy Swaine Thomas and Richard S ...
Young women (ddr-csujad-26-142)
img Young women (ddr-csujad-26-142)
Four young Japanese American women pose with a Caucasian woman in front of an automobile. Barracks building is in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_112
Women pose in front of building (ddr-csujad-26-84)
img Women pose in front of building (ddr-csujad-26-84)
A group of young women pose in front of what may be the side of a barracks building. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_021
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