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 (957)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Arts and crafts in camp, Community analysts, Manzanar Children's Village

950 items
Tule Lake panoramic landscape (ddr-csujad-3-9)
img Tule Lake panoramic landscape (ddr-csujad-3-9)
Photograph of Tule Lake camp showing expanse of camp including buildings, barracks, watch towers, and railways within the basin landscape. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_010
Report on incarcerees stealing plasterboard (ddr-csujad-2-51)
doc Report on incarcerees stealing plasterboard (ddr-csujad-2-51)
Report on three incarcerees accused of stealing plasterboard at Tule Lake Incarceration Camp in order to make closets in their apartments. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sjs_sch_0051
Memo from Co-ordinating Committee to W. [Willard E.] Schmidt, [1944] (ddr-csujad-2-98)
doc Memo from Co-ordinating Committee to W. [Willard E.] Schmidt, [1944] (ddr-csujad-2-98)
List of names, addresses, family numbers, and start dates of active fielders (in subject line, the job title is spelled "fiedlers" but is elsewhere spelled correctly); start dates of the 32 fielders range from January 13, 1944 to February 4, 1944. Names: Hamada, Isao; Nakanishi, Yoichi; Iwohara, Tsugio; Okamoto, Chiyoko; Keiunji, Masaru; Sakai, Masayoshi; Oda, Yoshitsugu; ...
Tule Lake perimeter landscape (ddr-csujad-3-7)
img Tule Lake perimeter landscape (ddr-csujad-3-7)
Panoramic photograph of a part of the perimeter of Tule Lake with buildings, telephone poles, fencing and watch towers lining up in the distance. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_007
Amache summer carnival program (ddr-csujad-7-18)
doc Amache summer carnival program (ddr-csujad-7-18)
Program listing events and showing locations for a carnival put on by the incarcerees at Amache. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Amache Summer Carnival
Deserted Senses [spoof title for Desert Sentinel], Vol. I, No. 9, April 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-3)
doc Deserted Senses [spoof title for Desert Sentinel], Vol. I, No. 9, April 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-3)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp; this is an April Fools' Day issue with articles and illustrations making fun of life at camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_04-01_03
Desert Sentinel, Vol. I. No. 15, June 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-1)
doc Desert Sentinel, Vol. I. No. 15, June 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-1)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. According to an announcement on the back page, publication seeks to make known the War Relocation Authority's "plans and policies," the results of Community Council deliberations, and various regulations and news about life at the Gila River Incarceration Camp. Issue features articles about and by the Camp's ...
Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.5, November 11, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-6)
doc Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.5, November 11, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-6)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-01_06
An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta (ddr-csujad-29-55)
vh An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta (ddr-csujad-29-55)
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 Fred Tomiyoshi (ddr-csujad-29-51)
av An oral history with Fred Tomiyoshi (ddr-csujad-29-51)
An oral interview with Fred Tomiyoshi, incarceree at the Pinedale Assembly Center and 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_0158. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2986_T01
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-29)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-29)
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_0110. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645.2_T01
Toshiye Hirose interview (ddr-csujad-6-7)
doc Toshiye Hirose interview (ddr-csujad-6-7)
Oral history interview with Toshiye Hirose. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: SCRC_HIROSE_TOSHIYE
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
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