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
Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-309)
img Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-309)
"Woman holding baby while sitting on bed in barracks room"
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
Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-556)
img Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-556)
2 women posing together outside barracks building
Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-204)
img Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-204)
"Looking south from Block 29 office May 3 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/25 G3, SuperXX DK20 36' D76 10
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-268)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-268)
"Dianne Oki (Birthday 10/30/1943) 24-21-F, Dec. 12 1943" as described on back, l5 f5.6 1/5 SuperXX DK20-40' D76-15'
Furumura family (ddr-hmwf-1-239)
img Furumura family (ddr-hmwf-1-239)
"Furumura family, 29-3-C, Oct 26 1943 1:20pm" as described on back, l6 f6.3 1/5 SuperXX D76 - 40min
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-293)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-293)
"Wayne Ono, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3
Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-225)
img Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-225)
"Apartment room with clothes and furniture"
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-577)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-577)
"Dec 27-1944" as described on back, View of camp with Heart Mountain in background, Heart Mt. Block 24,25,29,30 intersection
Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-208)
img Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-208)
"Heart Mt. Hospital Unit Dec. 27 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/5 K2 Verichrome D76 - 50'
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-312)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-312)
"Picture of a Baby" l18 f9 1/50 G3
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-79)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-79)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks"
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
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-466)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-466)
"July 31 1943" as described on back, view of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Children on bed (ddr-hmwf-1-301)
img Children on bed (ddr-hmwf-1-301)
"Nakamishi Baby 29-24-A, Nov 30 1943" as described on back, l8 f6.3 1/10 PlusX DK20 40min D76 10min
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-572)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-572)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-86)
img Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-86)
"Woman gardening beside barracks"
Men Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-634)
img Men Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-634)
2 men posing together with mess hall/latrines building and barracks in background
Girl posing by tree (ddr-hmwf-1-95)
img Girl posing by tree (ddr-hmwf-1-95)
"Sumiko Minato posing by tree beside barracks"
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background