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
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
Woman ice skating, barracks buildings in background
Camp Maintenance (ddr-hmwf-1-70)
img Camp Maintenance (ddr-hmwf-1-70)
"Men maintaining camp areas" xx Super Ikonta B, April 8-1944
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-296)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-296)
"Isao Nakaishi 29-24-D, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-289)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-289)
"Aug 25 1944" f4.5 1/25 Superpan Press G3
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-568)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-568)
"Heart Mt 29-6-F Laundry, Jan 8-1945, l18 f19 1/1- G3, PlusX DK20-45 76-12" as described on back
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'
Boys posing (ddr-hmwf-1-320)
img Boys posing (ddr-hmwf-1-320)
"Inouye 29-23-CD Jan 1 1944" l4 f4.5 1/5 SuperXX DK20-50' D76-15'
Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-443)
img Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-443)
"May Harada request, 9/25/1943" as described on back, two young women posing together on steps into barracks
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
Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-524)
img Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-524)
"Ono baby, 29-19-A, Sept 23 1943 4:00pm, l8 f9 1/5 sec, SuperXX DK20 30min En1 #3 15, 2 3 30" as described on back
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-423)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-423)
"Julia Kuwahara family, 24-21-F, Dec. 12, 1943, l5 f5.6 1/5, SuperXX DK 20-40' D76-15' " as described on back
Men Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-545)
img Men Bathing (ddr-hmwf-1-545)
"Jan 6-1945 midnight, Ht. Mt., Yoshio Okumoto" as described on back, 2 men bathing in wooden barrels
Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-82)
img Flowers (ddr-hmwf-1-82)
"Flowers mess 29-27, May 3- 1943, Gevaert cut" as described on back, l5 f5.6-1sec. DK20-20min, #2- 200 counts
Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-452)
img Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-452)
"Hospital, July 31-1943, l20 f11 1/50 G3, Agfa Superpan Supreme, DK 20 21 min, C#2 4 An 27" as described on back, couple sitting on steps
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
"6-1944" as described on back, family posing together
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-564)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-564)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-625)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-625)
"Mrs. Hirano 29-4-E, Oct 6-1943 10:45am, l5 f8 1/2 sec. PlusX D76-34min En1 #2 50" as described on back
Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-433)
img Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-433)
"Michi Yamada at depot, Dec 30-1944 f9 1/25 PlusX DK20-47' D76-15' " as described on back
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-558)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-558)
"Furumura family and visitors, 29-3-C Jan 11 1944, l19 f11 1/50 G3, PlusX DK20-50' D76-17' " as described on back
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