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.

World War II (66)
Concentration camps (592)
Living conditions (974)

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

974 items
Girl posing (ddr-hmwf-1-276)
img Girl posing (ddr-hmwf-1-276)
"Carrol Inouye (Carol) 29-3-F, April 9 1944" as described on back, l6 f5.6 1/5, PlusX DK20-37 D76-8
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-73)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-73)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks" Jan 11, 1944
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-569)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-569)
"Heart Mt. Block 15 from Golf Course area, Dec 27-1944, l21 f22 1/25 K2, Verichrome D76-50' "as described on back
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-78)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-78)
"Coal Rush 29-29, Jan 7-1944" as described on back, Super Ikonta B
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-551)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-551)
Nellie Yamamoto, Arthur Yamamoto, 29-3-D, Jan 12 1945, Flash f8 1/100 PlusX, family portrait in barracks room, Arthur in military uniform
Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-434)
img Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-434)
"Dec 30-1944, f9 1/25 PlusX DK20-47' D76-15' "as described on back, young woman posing
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-294)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-294)
"Isao Nakaishi 29-24-D, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-292)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-292)
"Isao Nakaishi 29-24-D, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3
View of Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-460)
img View of Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-460)
Sunset view of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Christmas Party (ddr-hmwf-1-463)
img Christmas Party (ddr-hmwf-1-463)
"Christmas Party 29-30 Mess Hall, Dec 25-1943, Bud Aoyama Project Photographer" as described on back
Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-209)
img Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-209)
"Heart Mt. Hospital Unit Dec. 27 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/5 K2 Verichrome D76 - 50'
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-579)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-579)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-74)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-74)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks" Jan 11 1944
Family Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-435)
img Family Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-435)
"at depot, Dec 30-1944, f6.3 1/25 PlusX" as described on back, family posing together
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-552)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-552)
"Nellie Yamamoto, Arthur Yamamoto, 29-3-D, Jan 12 1945, Flash f8 1/100 PlusX" as described on back, family portrait in barracks room, Arthur in military uniform
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-593)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-593)
"at depot, Dec 30-1944, f6.3 1/25 PlusX DK20-47', D76-15' " as described on back, family posing together
Baby Boy (ddr-hmwf-1-316)
img Baby Boy (ddr-hmwf-1-316)
"Kazuo Fiyii 24-11-E, Jan 14 1944 3PM" l7 f5.6 1/10 SuperIkontaB, SuperXX Roll DK20-45' D76-20
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-627)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-627)
"Mar 11-1944" as described on back, young woman's portrait
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-49)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-49)
"Coal Rush 29-27, Jan 7, 1944 2:30pm" as described on back
Baby Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-548)
img Baby Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-548)
"Gloria-Dianne, 24-21-E, Feb 5 1944 7:00pm, f12 1/100 Flash-SuperIkontaB, SuperXXRoll DK20-50 D76-25" as described on back, woman bathing baby in barracks room
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-550)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-550)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
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