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 (954)

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

947 items
An oral history with Frank S. Emi - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-68-1)
vh An oral history with Frank S. Emi - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-68-1)
An oral interview with Frank S. Emi, civil rights activist and leading figure of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Audio is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0169. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3734_F01
An oral history with Togo Tanaka - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-62-1)
vh An oral history with Togo Tanaka - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-62-1)
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_0104. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1271.3_T01
An oral history with Ronald Tanimoto (ddr-csujad-29-44)
av An oral history with Ronald Tanimoto (ddr-csujad-29-44)
An oral interview with Ronald Tanimoto, internee at the Crystal City Department of Justice internment camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0144. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2473_T01
An oral history with Austin Christensen (ddr-csujad-29-47)
av An oral history with Austin Christensen (ddr-csujad-29-47)
An oral interview with Austin Christensen, a child civilian at the Tule Lake 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_0150. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2655_T01
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-21)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-21)
Moving to Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming; eventually working for the agricultural department
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
Woman ice skating, barracks buildings in background
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
"6-1944" as described on back, family posing together
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-468)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-468)
"Coal rush, 29-28 Jan 7-1944 2:30pm, f16 1/50 SuperIkontaB SuperXX Roll, DK20-50' D76-20' "as described on back
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-80)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-80)
"Coal Rush 29-28, Jan 7 1944" as described on the back, Super Ikonta B
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-632)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-632)
"July 9-1944" as described on back, young woman posing with barracks in background
Baby Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-546)
img Baby Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-546)
"Dianne, 24-21-F Oct. 2 1944, f8 1/25 Superpan Press" as described on back, baby bathing in metal washtub
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-224)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-224)
"5 minutes after coal rush- 29-28 Jan 7 1944" as described on back, f12.7 1/100 SuperIkontaB SuperXX Roll DK20-50' D76-20'
Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-446)
img Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-446)
"Sally, Nancy Gushiken, 29-23-E, Nov 30-1943, l19 f16 1/25 G3 Plus X DK20-40' D76-10' " as described on back
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-48)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-48)
"Coal Rush 29-28, Jan 7 1944 2:30pm" as described on back
Letter (with envelope) to Mollie Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-51)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Mollie Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-51)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944). Envelope is postmarked April 1, 1944 from the Manzanar Incarceration Camp in Manzanar, California.
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-77)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-77)
"Coal Rush 29-28, Dec. 29 1943" as described on back, l17 f12.7 1/25 tele Super xx DK 20-50' D76 15'
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-571)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-571)
"Heart Mt. from entrance (Michu Yamada at Depot) Dec 30-1944, f16 1/25 G3 PlusX DK20-47' D76 15' " as described on back
Men Playing Game (ddr-hmwf-1-485)
img Men Playing Game (ddr-hmwf-1-485)
"Mah Jong 29-6-F, Jan 13-1945, Flash f8 1/100 Verichrome, D76 22' "as described on back, 3 men playing mah jong
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-67)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-67)
"Coal rush 29-28, Jan 11 1944, afternoon" as described on back Super xx, Super Ikonta B DK20-45' D76-70
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