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
Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-210)
img Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-210)
"Heart Mt. Block 24-25 looking south, Dec 30 1944" as described on back, l23 f19 1/10 G3 PlusX DK20-45 76-12
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
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-63)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-63)
"Collecting coal outside barracks, woman walking with dog in background"
Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-206)
img Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-206)
"Heart Mt. Hospital Unit Dec. 27 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/5 K2 Verichrome D76 - 50'
Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-88)
img Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-88)
"July 26-1944 4:00pm" as described on back, gardening behind barracks, l19 f16 1/50 G3 Superpan Press-Super Ikonta B, D76-42'
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-295)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-295)
"Isao Nakaishi 29-24-D, Aug 31 1944" as described on back, f8 1/50 Verichrome G3
Barracks Building (ddr-hmwf-1-498)
img Barracks Building (ddr-hmwf-1-498)
"29-28 Laundry Jan 25-1944" as described on back
Vocation Depot (ddr-hmwf-1-101)
img Vocation Depot (ddr-hmwf-1-101)
"Vocation Depot, Nov 6-1944" as described on back
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-265)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-265)
"Oki 24-21-F Nov 14 1943 11:25AM" as described on back, l5 f5.6 1/5 SuperXX DK-20 40min
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-317)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-317)
"Katsuma Ono 29-19-A Jan 11 1944" as described on back, l6 f5.6 1/5 PlusX DK20-50' D76-20'
Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-454)
img Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-454)
"Oki's 24-2-F, l11 f6.3 1/25 sec., 6:30 pm, June 20-1943, SuperXX DK 20-30min" as described on back, two women and man sitting on steps outside barracks
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-77)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-77)
"Coal Rush 29-28, Dec. 29 1943" as described on back, l17 f12.7 1/25 tele Super xx DK 20-50' D76 15'
Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-644)
img Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-644)
Group picture outside of barracks building
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-567)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-567)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Men Playing Game (ddr-hmwf-1-485)
img Men Playing Game (ddr-hmwf-1-485)
"Mah Jong 29-6-F, Jan 13-1945, Flash f8 1/100 Verichrome, D76 22' "as described on back, 3 men playing mah jong
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-571)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-571)
"Heart Mt. from entrance (Michu Yamada at Depot) Dec 30-1944, f16 1/25 G3 PlusX DK20-47' D76 15' " as described on back
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
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-315)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-315)
"Matsushita 14-12-D June 2 1944" l8 f4.5 1/25 SuperpanPress, D76-37'
Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-520)
img Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-520)
"Terakami, Matsumoto, 29-6-D, Nov. 27 1943, l4 f5.6 1/2, PlusX DK20-35min D76-10min, En 1 #4 30" as described on back, two men sitting on sofa in barracks room
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
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-626)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-626)
"Sachi Sugimura, 27-14-C, April 27-1944" as described on back
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