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
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-575)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-204)
img Camp Barracks (ddr-hmwf-1-204)
"Looking south from Block 29 office May 3 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/25 G3, SuperXX DK20 36' D76 10
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-268)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-268)
"Dianne Oki (Birthday 10/30/1943) 24-21-F, Dec. 12 1943" as described on back, l5 f5.6 1/5 SuperXX DK20-40' D76-15'
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-79)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-79)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks"
Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-452)
img Couple on Steps (ddr-hmwf-1-452)
"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
Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-225)
img Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-225)
"Apartment room with clothes and furniture"
Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-308)
img Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-308)
"Woman with glasses holding a baby in her lap"
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-564)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-564)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Latrines (ddr-hmwf-1-81)
img Latrines (ddr-hmwf-1-81)
"29-28 Latrine, Jan 25, 1944" as described on the back
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-636)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-636)
Young boy standing in entrance to barracks building
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-480)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-480)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-624)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-624)
"Sachi Sugimura 27-14-C April 27-1944" as described on back
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-259)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-259)
"Oki 24-21-F Nov 14 1943 11:15AM" as described on back, l5 f5.6 1/5 SuperXX DK-20 40min
Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-559)
img Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-559)
Woman and young girl posing together in barracks room
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-565)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-565)
"from 29-6-F window, XX SuperIkontaB, April 22 1944" as described on back, view of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Girl posing (ddr-hmwf-1-282)
img Girl posing (ddr-hmwf-1-282)
"Feb 12 1944 Leica" as described on back
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-72)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-72)
"Coal 29-27, Jan 11, 1944 morning" as described on back, Super xx Super Ikonta B DK20'45' D76-20'
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-304)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-304)
"Baby sitting in chair, Aug 25 1944" f4.5 1/25 SuperpanPress G3
Barracks Building (ddr-hmwf-1-498)
img Barracks Building (ddr-hmwf-1-498)
"29-28 Laundry Jan 25-1944" 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
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-1-298)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-298)
"Dianne Oki (Birthday 10/30/1943) 24-21-F, Dec. 12 1943" as described on back, l4 f6.3 1/2 SuperXX DK20-40' D76-15'
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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