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 (714)

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

714 items
The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 35 (August 31, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-83)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 35 (August 31, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-83)
Selected article titles: "Less Work: Tule to Go on 40-Hour Work Week from Sept. 9" (p. 1), "Ration-Free Shoes May Be Available" (p. 1), "Return of Evacuees Topic of Renton, Wash. Meeting" (p. 3), and "Survey Shows Many Tuleans Now in Sacramento Area" (p. 4).
Japanese Americans lining up for mess hall (ddr-densho-93-21)
img Japanese Americans lining up for mess hall (ddr-densho-93-21)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Mess line, noon, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 20 (July 13, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-25)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 20 (July 13, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-25)
Selected article titles: "Denationalization Bill Signed: Legislation Enables Citizens to Renounce US Citizenship" (pp. 1-2), "Colony Irrigation System to Augment Water Supply" (p. 1), and "Leave Clearance: Appeals Board to Consider Cases Filed Before July 14" (p. 2).
Concentration camp street scene (ddr-densho-93-25)
img Concentration camp street scene (ddr-densho-93-25)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Manzanar street scene, spring, Manzanar Relocation center / photograph by Ansel Adams.
The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 3 (March 23, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-8)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 3 (March 23, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-8)
Selected article titles: "Myer Expresses Satisfaction on Gradual Return to Normalcy" (p. 1), "Dependents of Stockaders to Receive Aid" (p. 2), and "Life Carries Story on Center in Latest Issue" (p. 3).
Letter to Larry Tajiri discussing Community Analysis reports (ddr-densho-338-170)
doc Letter to Larry Tajiri discussing Community Analysis reports (ddr-densho-338-170)
A letter regarding Larry Tajiri's request for studies on the effects of life in the camps.
Change of address notice for a life insurance policy (ddr-densho-350-27)
doc Change of address notice for a life insurance policy (ddr-densho-350-27)
Shigenori Oiye's change of address for a life insurance policy. The change is to his new address at Tule Lake concentration camp.
doc "Relocation Center" composition (ddr-densho-334-1)
May Okano Sakuma's composition reflecting on her time at Minidoka concentration camp.
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
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-257)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-257)
"Nellie Yamamoto (Furumura) baby, 29-3-CD, Dec. 19 1944" as described on back, f8 1/10 Verichrome D76-45'
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-574)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-574)
"Dec 27-1944" as described on back, View of camp with Heart Mountain in background, Heart Mt. Block 24,25,29,30 intersection
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
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-287)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-287)
"Aug 25 1944" f4.5 1/25 Superpan Press G3
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
Men in Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-459)
img Men in Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-459)
Two men resting on couch in barracks room
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-267)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-267)
"Ono baby, 29-19-A, Sept 23 1943 3:30 PM" as described on back, l5 f6.3 1/5sec SuperXX DK20 30min
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
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-627)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-627)
"Mar 11-1944" as described on back, young woman's portrait
Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-234)
img Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-234)
"Snow scene of camp looking through barracks"
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
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
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