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
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
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
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-578)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-578)
"Heart Mt. Block 24,25,29,30 intersection, Dec 27-1944, l20 f19 1/25-K2, Verichrome D76-50' "as described on back
View of Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-465)
img View of Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-465)
Sunset view of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Farewell Dinner (ddr-hmwf-1-554)
img Farewell Dinner (ddr-hmwf-1-554)
"29-6-F, Jan 12 1945" as described on back, Farewell Dinner Shrimp Tempura-Abalone, Jim Yonemura, Masao Terakami, Okumoto, Ito, Harold Matsumoto, Tom Noritake, Mrs. Yoshiko Terakami
Christmas Exercise (ddr-hmwf-1-475)
img Christmas Exercise (ddr-hmwf-1-475)
"Christmas Exercise 22-25 Rec Hall, Dec 22-1943" as described on back, children performing
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-311)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-311)
"Dianne Feb 5 1944 7:00 PM" as described on back, f2.8 1/25 SuperIkontaB SuperXX Roll, DK20-50 D76-25
Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-455)
img Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-455)
"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
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-42)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-42)
"Coal Rush 29-29, Jan 7-1944" as described on back, Super Ikonta B
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
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-633)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-633)
Young man posing with Heart Mountain and barracks in the background
Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-630)
img Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-630)
"Ono, April 30-1944, l19 f12.7 1/50 G3, SuperXX DK20 36' D76 10"as described on back
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-467)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-467)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-207)
img Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-207)
"Heart Mt. Block 24-30 looking east- hospital Dec 30 1944" as described on back, l21 f19 1/25 G3, PlusX DK20-45 76-12
Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-553)
img Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-553)
"Dr. Suski and Family, Kumamoto, Kuwakara, June 1944" as described on back, family posing together outside of barracks
Mess Crew (ddr-hmwf-1-139)
img Mess Crew (ddr-hmwf-1-139)
"Mess 29-27, drying crew, heart mt, wyo, april 24 1943" as described on back, 1 sec f9
Camp Landscape (ddr-hmwf-1-201)
img Camp Landscape (ddr-hmwf-1-201)
"View of hospital complex with chimney"
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-263)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-263)
"Dianne Oki 24-21-F, Dec 12 1943" as described on back, Verichrome SuperIkontaB
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-286)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-286)
"Isao Nakaishi 29-24-D, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3