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
Evening view of Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-8)
img Evening view of Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-8)
Evening view of Heart Mountain incarceration camp, September 19, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_008
Nobie Masaki (ddr-csujad-26-140)
img Nobie Masaki (ddr-csujad-26-140)
Photo of a young Japanese American woman posing in front of a barracks buildings. Handwriting on the photo reads, "Dear Mrs. Billigmeier, Always, Nobie Masaki." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_110
Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
img Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
Four women and two men pose together in front of barracks buildings. All but one person is Japanese American. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_086
University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
doc University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
Correspondence regarding a profile of incarceree Harry Osaka written by Robert Spencer. The profile was taken during a trip to Fresno for Harry's mother's funeral with Spencer as the escort and includes Harry's life and family story, farm business before incarceration, religious practices, holiday practices, description of funeral. Profile included as part of ...
View of the camp showing Castle Rock (ddr-csujad-26-102)
img View of the camp showing Castle Rock (ddr-csujad-26-102)
Photo of camp buildings and road down the middle backed by hilly landscape. Caption on back of photo reads, "View of the camp showing Castle Rock. A Nisei objected to this picture because the daisies in the corner relieve the dusty monotony of the camp." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the ...
Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
doc Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
Description of the establishment, structure and operations of the fire department at Tule Lake. The report includes accounts of fires, what firemen do while waiting for fires, schedules, issues with wardens and administration, and ethnographic observations of "social status" in the camps. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS ...
Oral history of Marilyn Fordney (ddr-csujad-28-1)
av Oral history of Marilyn Fordney (ddr-csujad-28-1)
Oral history interview of Marilyn Fordney. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: csuci_vcc-jic_0001
An oral history with Ira Iwata (ddr-csujad-30-8)
av An oral history with Ira Iwata (ddr-csujad-30-8)
An oral interview with Ira Iwata, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at the Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0120. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3775_T01
An oral history with Takatow Matsuno (ddr-csujad-30-12)
av An oral history with Takatow Matsuno (ddr-csujad-30-12)
An oral interview with Takatow [Takato] Matsuno, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at the Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0128. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2339_T01
Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
doc Desert Sentinel, Volume I, No. 4, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-5)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and topics include a new superintendent and the choice of "Desert Sentinel" as the name for the school paper; news of campus, sports, and social and holiday events, including the opening of the Butte High School library; items about classes, students and teachers, including a student ...
An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-61)
vh An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-61)
An oral interview with Togo Tanaka, newspaper editor, documentary historian, and businessman who was incarcerated at the Manzanar camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0102. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1271 ...
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and the Topaz incarceration camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0112. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645 ...
An oral history with Alpharetta Matthews (ddr-csujad-29-48)
av An oral history with Alpharetta Matthews (ddr-csujad-29-48)
An oral interview with Alpharetta Matthews, a child civilian at the Tule Lake incarceration camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0152. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2656_T01
An oral history with Robert Yamashita (ddr-csujad-30-15)
av An oral history with Robert Yamashita (ddr-csujad-30-15)
An oral interview with Robert Yamashita, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at the Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0134. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3502_T01
An oral history with Mitsuru Yamasaki (ddr-csujad-30-16)
av An oral history with Mitsuru Yamasaki (ddr-csujad-30-16)
An oral interview with Mitsuru Yamasaki, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at the Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0136. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3592_T01
An oral history with Victor
av An oral history with Victor "Ferrell" Kambe (ddr-csujad-29-34)
An oral interview with Victor "Ferrell" Kambe, an incarceree at the Puyallup Assembly Center. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcription is found in the item: csufccop_jaoh_0120. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2268_T01
An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
av An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
An interview with Margaret Masuoka, a volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), conducted for the Japanese American Project at California State Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History. Specifically, this interview provides insight to Masuoka's personal history dealing with the prejudice that she and her family faced due their Japanese ancestry; her ...
An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
vh An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
Japanese American congressman, representing the Thirteenth Congressional District of California, born and raised in San Jose, California, discusses his early life, graduation from the University of California, Berkeley, and receiving a commission and serving in the armed forces from 1953-1956. Recalls the removal, "relocation," and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II at the Heart ...
An oral history with Mitsuyo N. Nakai (ddr-csujad-29-45)
av An oral history with Mitsuyo N. Nakai (ddr-csujad-29-45)
An oral interview with Mitsuyo N. Nakai, incarceree at the Manzanar incarceration camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0146. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2546_T01
Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-63)
img Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-63)
Fourth grade school in Barracks 35-4-B at Rohwer incarceration camp. Teacher is Nareen Oura. November 24, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f28
Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-47)
img Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-47)
Four technicians and a blood-test patient in hospital laboratory at Granada incarceration camp. December 12, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f12
Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-41)
img Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-41)
Three students doing steamed crayon work for tablecloths and wall hangings in adult crafts class at Granada incarceration camp. December 10, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f06
This isn't Japan (ddr-csujad-19-54)
doc This isn't Japan (ddr-csujad-19-54)
This is an article from the magazine "Common Ground," autumn 1942, by Mary Oyama which describes the cultural differences between the younger Japanese American Nisei and the older Issei generations. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WRA_02-10_02
Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
doc Manzanar From Inside Out (ddr-csujad-19-2)
Text of address by Roy Nash, Director of the Manzanar War Relocation Project, given to the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, on July 31, 1942 for the purpose of "interpret[ing] the actuality of a War Relocation Center housing 10,000 evacuees" in view of perceptions of mistreatment of incarcerees in California. Sections of the ...
Three boys playing (ddr-csujad-26-103)
img Three boys playing (ddr-csujad-26-103)
Three Japanese American boys sit and play in the dirt in front of a basketball hoop. Barracks buildings are in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_040
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