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
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
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_0112. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645.3_T01
Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 29, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-15)
doc Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 29, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-15)
A letter from Usami Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas in Lawndale, California. In the letter, he describes his life and the conditions of the Rohwer incarceration camp. He also describes the Japanese American soldiers visiting the camp: among the soldiers, he finds Sam Kita, one of his ...
Tsuyoshi Terada (ddr-csujad-4-6)
img Tsuyoshi Terada (ddr-csujad-4-6)
A photograph of Tsuyoshi Terada around age 11. The photograph is taken at the Rohwer incarceration camp. It depicts Tsuyoshi Terada standing in front of one of the barracks in the camp. The inscription on the backside reads: Tsuyoshi Terada, March 1943, Rohwer Relocation Center, McGeehee, Arkansas. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese ...
Tule Lake landscape panoramic photograph (ddr-csujad-3-5)
img Tule Lake landscape panoramic photograph (ddr-csujad-3-5)
High vantage point panoramic photograph of Tule Lake camp showing expanse of camp including buildings, railroad, roadways, and the basin landscape. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_005
Ordinance no. 1 (ddr-csujad-7-28)
doc Ordinance no. 1 (ddr-csujad-7-28)
An ordinance regulating offenses (crimes) in the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Ordinance_NO1
Ordinance no. 2 (ddr-csujad-7-29)
doc Ordinance no. 2 (ddr-csujad-7-29)
An ordinance regulating traffic laws for public streets within the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Ordinance_NO2
Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
doc Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
Text of address by Roy Nash, Director of the Manzanar War Relocation Project, given to the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, on July 31, 1942 for the purpose of "interpret[ing] the actuality of a War Relocation Center housing 10,000 evacuees" in view of perceptions of mistreatment of incarcerees in California. Sections of the speech include ...
This isn't Japan (ddr-csujad-19-54)
doc This isn't Japan (ddr-csujad-19-54)
This is an article from the magazine "Common Ground," autumn 1942, by Mary Oyama which describes the cultural differences between the younger Japanese American Nisei and the older Issei generations. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WRA_02-10_02
Oral history of Marilyn Fordney (ddr-csujad-28-1)
av Oral history of Marilyn Fordney (ddr-csujad-28-1)
Oral history interview of Marilyn Fordney. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: csuci_vcc-jic_0001
[High school graduation] (ddr-csujad-5-46)
img [High school graduation] (ddr-csujad-5-46)
A group photograph of the incarcerees standing in front of a barrack, 27-12-D, in the Rohwer incarceration camp, Arkansas. It appears to be taken during the high school graduation ceremony. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_01_05_032
University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
doc University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
Correspondence regarding a profile of incarceree Harry Osaka written by Robert Spencer. The profile was taken during a trip to Fresno for Harry's mother's funeral with Spencer as the escort and includes Harry's life and family story, farm business before incarceration, religious practices, holiday practices, description of funeral. Profile included as part of the Japanese American ...
View of the camp showing Castle Rock (ddr-csujad-26-102)
img View of the camp showing Castle Rock (ddr-csujad-26-102)
Photo of camp buildings and road down the middle backed by hilly landscape. Caption on back of photo reads, "View of the camp showing Castle Rock. A Nisei objected to this picture because the daisies in the corner relieve the dusty monotony of the camp." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the ...
Nobie Masaki (ddr-csujad-26-140)
img Nobie Masaki (ddr-csujad-26-140)
Photo of a young Japanese American woman posing in front of a barracks buildings. Handwriting on the photo reads, "Dear Mrs. Billigmeier, Always, Nobie Masaki." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_110
Group photo in front of barracks (ddr-csujad-26-136)
img Group photo in front of barracks (ddr-csujad-26-136)
Three Japanese American women and one man pose together in front of a barracks building. An automobile and additional barracks can be seen in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_106
Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
img Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
Four women and two men pose together in front of barracks buildings. All but one person is Japanese American. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_086
Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
doc Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
Description of the establishment, structure and operations of the fire department at Tule Lake. The report includes accounts of fires, what firemen do while waiting for fires, schedules, issues with wardens and administration, and ethnographic observations of "social status" in the camps. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). ...
Three boys playing (ddr-csujad-26-103)
img Three boys playing (ddr-csujad-26-103)
Three Japanese American boys sit and play in the dirt in front of a basketball hoop. Barracks buildings are in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_040
Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-63)
img Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-63)
Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp. Teacher is Nareen Oura. November 24, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f28
Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-47)
img Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-47)
Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp. December 12, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f12
Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-41)
img Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-41)
Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp. December 10, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f06
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
img Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 10, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f23
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
img Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp. August 30, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f02
Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California (ddr-csujad-14-2)
img Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California (ddr-csujad-14-2)
Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California, turning a section from a model ship on lathe in model ship factory at Gila River incarceration camp. April 27, 1943. Photo by Francis Stewart. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_002
Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-5)
img Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-5)
Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp. December 11, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_005
Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw (ddr-csujad-14-17)
img Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw (ddr-csujad-14-17)
Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw in cabinet shop at Jerome incarceration camp. March 12, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_017
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