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
Shim Hiraoka interview (ddr-csujad-6-5)
doc Shim Hiraoka interview (ddr-csujad-6-5)
Oral history interview with Shim Hiraoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: SCRC_HIRAOKA_SHIM
Oral history of Morris and Cherry Abe (ddr-csujad-28-3)
av Oral history of Morris and Cherry Abe (ddr-csujad-28-3)
Oral history Interview of Morris and Cherry Abe. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: csuci_vcc-jic_0005
'Jap Crow' Experiment (ddr-csujad-19-43)
doc 'Jap Crow' Experiment (ddr-csujad-19-43)
This is an article from the magazine "The Nation" by John Larison which discusses in detail about the living conditions of the "evacuees" in the war relocation centers. It talks about how the war relocation centers had only a few facilities for recreation, the low quality of education and the economic conditions of the people in ...
Group photo by car (ddr-csujad-26-111)
img Group photo by car (ddr-csujad-26-111)
A group of five women and one man poses in front of a car with barracks in the background. Additional photos in sequence include: ucsb_mei_0109, ucsb_mei_0113, ucsb_mei_0114, ucsb_mei_0115. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_075
Group photo with dog (ddr-csujad-26-113)
img Group photo with dog (ddr-csujad-26-113)
Robert Billigmeier, a Japanese American man, and two Caucasian woman pose with a dog, an automobile, and barracks in the background. Additional photos in sequence include: ucsb_mei_0109, ucsb_mei_0111, ucsb_mei_0114, ucsb_mei_0115. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_077
Tule Lake monograph (ddr-csujad-26-1)
doc Tule Lake monograph (ddr-csujad-26-1)
Unpublished manuscript includes a collection of diary entries, letters, and essays written by school students incarcerated at the Tule Lake camp and collected through the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). The writings include first-person descriptions of travel to the Tule Lake camp, adapting to camp, limitations of camp, day-to-day camp life, family life, community ...
Young Japanese couple (ddr-csujad-26-119)
img Young Japanese couple (ddr-csujad-26-119)
Photo of a young Japanese American couple seated on a bench in front of barracks buildings. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_088
Tule Lake scrapbook illustrated page (ddr-csujad-26-64)
img Tule Lake scrapbook illustrated page (ddr-csujad-26-64)
Scrapbook page features a pastel drawing of women showering and in various states of undress in camp barracks. Illustration is accompanied by a poem "Barrack room ballads" about the lack of both privacy and comfort of women using camp barracks showers and toilets. Tule Lake scrapbook (ucsb_mei_0053), page 31. See this object in the California State ...
Structural report, chapter I: an introduction to Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-3)
doc Structural report, chapter I: an introduction to Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-3)
Portion of a report compiled as part of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) describing the landscape, climate, barracks, facilities, schedule, and daily life routines of incarcerees at the Tule Lake incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_01_34_001
University of California evacuation and resettlement study: The Gila River WRA relocation center, Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona (ddr-csujad-26-27)
doc University of California evacuation and resettlement study: The Gila River WRA relocation center, Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona (ddr-csujad-26-27)
Description of the Gila River incarceration camp during the first month of occupation, including camp location, climate, landscape, barracks, issues with camp construction, poor conditions and lack of furnishings, incarcerees who were subjected to upon arrival. Camp administration, food and housing issues, camp employment, security, recreation, and social groups are described and analyzed. Report compiled as ...
Harley Mitsugi Nakamura (ddr-csujad-8-50)
doc Harley Mitsugi Nakamura (ddr-csujad-8-50)
Oral history interview with Harley Mitsugi Nakamura. 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 Nakamura, Harley Mitsugi
Katsuso and Hatsuno Arifuku (ddr-csujad-8-5)
doc Katsuso and Hatsuno Arifuku (ddr-csujad-8-5)
Oral history interview with Katsuso and Hatsuno Arifuku. 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 Arifuku, Katsuso and Hatsuno
Dr. George Suda (ddr-csujad-8-65)
doc Dr. George Suda (ddr-csujad-8-65)
Oral history interview with Dr. George 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, Dr George
Bessie Ezaki (ddr-csujad-8-11)
doc Bessie Ezaki (ddr-csujad-8-11)
Oral history interview with Aiko Bessie Ezaki. 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 Ezaki, Bessie
George Abe (ddr-csujad-8-1)
doc George Abe (ddr-csujad-8-1)
Oral history interview with George Abe. 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 Abe, George
An oral history with Dennis Tojo Bambauer (ddr-csujad-30-17)
vh An oral history with Dennis Tojo Bambauer (ddr-csujad-30-17)
An oral interview with Dennis Tojo Bambauer, an incarceree at the Children's Village. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item csufccop_cvm_0106. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2335_T01
An oral history with Susie Watamura (ddr-csujad-30-4)
av An oral history with Susie Watamura (ddr-csujad-30-4)
An oral interview with Susie Sakamoto, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0112. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2487_T01
An oral history with Sam Masami Tanaka (ddr-csujad-30-10)
av An oral history with Sam Masami Tanaka (ddr-csujad-30-10)
An oral interview with Sam Masami Tanaka, 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_0124. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2333.2_T01
Sign in field at an incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-15)
img Sign in field at an incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-15)
Sign in field at an incarceration camp: "Stop-Area limits for persons of Japanese ancestry residing in this relocation center. Sentry on duty." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_JA_f15
Young artist completing a poster in poster shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-9)
img Young artist completing a poster in poster shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-9)
Young artist completing a poster in poster shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 8, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_009
Machinist operating drill press in motor pool shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-57)
img Machinist operating drill press in motor pool shop at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-57)
Machinist operating drill press in motor pool 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_f22
Incarceree in front of barracks at unidentified incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-26)
img Incarceree in front of barracks at unidentified incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-26)
Incarceree in front of barracks at unidentified incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_026
Howard Hisayasu family in barracks room home at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-56)
img Howard Hisayasu family in barracks room home at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-56)
Howard Hisayasu family in barracks room home at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 1, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f21
Assembling and folding
img Assembling and folding "The sentinel," Heart Mountain incarceration camp newspaper (ddr-csujad-14-55)
Assembling and folding "The sentinel," Heart Mountain incarceration camp newspaper. January 8, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f20
High school students changing classes at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-62)
img High school students changing classes at Rohwer incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-62)
High school students changing classes at Rohwer incarceration camp. November 17, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f27
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