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 (939)

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

932 items
Tokio Yamane Interview Segment 22 (ddr-densho-1000-432-22)
vh Tokio Yamane Interview Segment 22 (ddr-densho-1000-432-22)
Living conditions in the Jerome concentration camp (Japanese language)

This interview was conducted in Japanese. The transcript is a translation of the original interview. This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those ...

Art Abe Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-206-21)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-206-21)
Father perishes in the desert outside of Minidoka concentration camp
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-139-31)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-139-31)
Description of living quarters at Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming
Marian Shingu Sata Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-262-11)
vh Marian Shingu Sata Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-262-11)
Attending school in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

A Tule Lake Interlude (ddr-densho-291-1)
doc A Tule Lake Interlude (ddr-densho-291-1)
This collection of poems and stories related to life in Tule Lake was published on concentration camp's first anniversary.
Tule Lake landscape panoramic photograph (ddr-csujad-3-5)
img Tule Lake landscape panoramic photograph (ddr-csujad-3-5)
High vantage point panoramic photograph of Tule Lake camp showing expanse of camp including buildings, railroad, roadways, and the basin landscape. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_005
Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 29, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-15)
doc Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 29, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-15)
A letter from Usami Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas in Lawndale, California. In the letter, he describes his life and the conditions of the Rohwer incarceration camp. He also describes the Japanese American soldiers visiting the camp: among the soldiers, he finds Sam Kita, one of ...
Tsuyoshi Terada (ddr-csujad-4-6)
img Tsuyoshi Terada (ddr-csujad-4-6)
A photograph of Tsuyoshi Terada around age 11. The photograph is taken at the Rohwer incarceration camp. It depicts Tsuyoshi Terada standing in front of one of the barracks in the camp. The inscription on the backside reads: Tsuyoshi Terada, March 1943, Rohwer Relocation Center, McGeehee, Arkansas. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese ...
[High school graduation] (ddr-csujad-5-46)
img [High school graduation] (ddr-csujad-5-46)
A group photograph of the incarcerees standing in front of a barrack, 27-12-D, in the Rohwer incarceration camp, Arkansas. It appears to be taken during the high school graduation ceremony. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_01_05_032
Ordinance no. 1 (ddr-csujad-7-28)
doc Ordinance no. 1 (ddr-csujad-7-28)
An ordinance regulating offenses (crimes) in the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Ordinance_NO1
Ordinance no. 2 (ddr-csujad-7-29)
doc Ordinance no. 2 (ddr-csujad-7-29)
An ordinance regulating traffic laws for public streets within the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Ordinance_NO2
Mrs. Akiko Suda (ddr-csujad-8-66)
doc Mrs. Akiko Suda (ddr-csujad-8-66)
Oral history interview with Mrs. Akiko Suda. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Suda, Mrs Akiko
Tomoko Konishi (ddr-csujad-8-29)
doc Tomoko Konishi (ddr-csujad-8-29)
Oral history interview with Tomoko Konishi. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Konishi, Tomoko
Dr. Fusaji Inada (ddr-csujad-8-26)
doc Dr. Fusaji Inada (ddr-csujad-8-26)
Oral history interview with Dr. Fusaji Inada. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Inada, Dr Fusaji
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
img Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 10, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f23
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
img Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp. August 30, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f02
Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California (ddr-csujad-14-2)
img Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California (ddr-csujad-14-2)
Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California, turning a section from a model ship on lathe in model ship factory at Gila River incarceration camp. April 27, 1943. Photo by Francis Stewart. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_002
Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-5)
img Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-5)
Three high school students with their calves at Granada incarceration camp. December 11, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_005
Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw (ddr-csujad-14-17)
img Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw (ddr-csujad-14-17)
Former Californian K. Inoye operates hand saw in cabinet shop at Jerome incarceration camp. March 12, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_017
Nisei machinist preparing a truck axle in machine shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-11)
img Nisei machinist preparing a truck axle in machine shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-11)
Nisei machinist preparing a truck axle in machine shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 9, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_011
Ninomiya family in their barracks room at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-3)
img Ninomiya family in their barracks room at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-3)
Ninomiya family in their barracks room at Granada incarceration camp. Tosh Ninomiya was responsible for documenting the history of the Granada center. December 9, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_003
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