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
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-318)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-318)
"Matsushita 14-12-D June 2 1944" l8 f4.5 1/25 SuperpanPress, D76-37'
Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-85)
img Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-85)
"Man looking over flower garden- Yoshio Okumoto"
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-619)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-619)
"Mrs. Suski, 24-22-C June28-1944, f6.3 1/10 SuperpanPress D76-41' G3" as described on back
Post Office (ddr-hmwf-1-120)
img Post Office (ddr-hmwf-1-120)
"Harada 9/25/1943 in front of Post Office"
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (July 7, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-83)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (July 7, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-83)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (July 7, 1943). Envelope is postmarked July 7, 1943 from the Gila River Incarceration Camp in Rivers, Arizona.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942). Envelope is postmarked June 11, 1942 and addressed from Lillian Nishioka from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
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
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-46)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-46)
"Coal Rush 29-27, Jan 7, 1944 2:30pm, f16 1/50 Super Ikonta B, Super xx Roll DK20-50', D76- 20'" as described on back
Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-202)
img Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-202)
"Ht. Mtn. between blocks 29 and 25, Feb 6 1944" as described on back, f16 1/50 K2 SuperIkontaB SuperXX roll, "faulty developing, roll started from centerl of spool, developer probably did not circulate well enough in center of tank"
Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-555)
img Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-555)
"Gloria-Dianne Oki, 24-21-F, Dec 12 1943, SuperIkontaB, Verichrome snap D76-40' " as described on back, woman and child sitting together in barracks
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-481)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-481)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
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
Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-203)
img Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-203)
"Snow scene, 29-5,6 Feb 4 1944 5:30 pm" as described on back, l17 12.7 1/25 G3, SuperXX DK20-50 D76-25
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-613)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-613)
"Sue, July 29-1944, l8 f8 1/10, SuperpanPress D76-42', SuperIkontaB C-2-8, 1-2-45-50" as described on back
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-75)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-75)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks" Jan 11, 1944
Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-514)
img Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-514)
"Nov 27-1943, l4 f5.6 1/2 PlusX DK20 35min, D76 10min, En 1 #4 30" as described on back, 2 men resting on sofa in barracks room
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-637)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-637)
"Meriko Inouye, 29-23-CD, Jan 1-1944, l4 f4.5 1/5, SuperXX DK20-50' D76-15' EN1 #2 30" as described on back
Christmas Exercise (ddr-hmwf-1-473)
img Christmas Exercise (ddr-hmwf-1-473)
"Christmas Exercise 22-25 Rec Hall, Dec 22-1943" as described on back, children performing
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