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
Frank Kitamoto Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1001-25-10)
vh Frank Kitamoto Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1001-25-10)
A child's memories of camp: primitive conditions, food poisoning
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-21)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-21)
Moving to Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming; eventually working for the agricultural department
Lucy Kirihara Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1014-18-10)
vh Lucy Kirihara Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1014-18-10)
First impressions of Minidoka

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.

Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-73-5)
vh Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-73-5)
First impressions of Minidoka

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.

Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-33-9)
vh Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-33-9)
Transferring to Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho

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.

Masao Watanabe Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-103-17)
vh Masao Watanabe Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-103-17)
Reaction upon moving to Minidoka: "they were treating us like dogs"

At the time this interview was taped, Mr. Watanabe was recovering from a recent series of cancer treatments.

Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-381-11)
vh Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-381-11)
Coping with living conditions 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.

Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-273-17)
vh Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-273-17)
Early impressions of Heart Mountain

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.

Louise Kashino Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-31-15)
vh Louise Kashino Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-31-15)
Minidoka concentration camp: adapting to conditions

For the first hour of this interview, an additional camera crew from KCTS Television was also present.

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