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 (954)

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

947 items
Girl posing by tree (ddr-hmwf-1-95)
img Girl posing by tree (ddr-hmwf-1-95)
"Sumiko Minato posing by tree beside barracks"
Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-443)
img Women Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-443)
"May Harada request, 9/25/1943" as described on back, two young women posing together on steps into barracks
Furumura family (ddr-hmwf-1-239)
img Furumura family (ddr-hmwf-1-239)
"Furumura family, 29-3-C, Oct 26 1943 1:20pm" as described on back, l6 f6.3 1/5 SuperXX D76 - 40min
Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-309)
img Woman and baby (ddr-hmwf-1-309)
"Woman holding baby while sitting on bed in barracks room"
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-76)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-76)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks" Jan 11, 1944
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-573)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-573)
"Heart Mt. Block 25-29 intersection, Dec. 30-1944, l21 f16 1/10E PlusX DK20-45, 76-12" as described on back
Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-525)
img Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-525)
"Carrol Inouye, Sueko Horiuchi, April 9 1944, l7 f6.3 1/5, Pancho Press cut film, DK20-45' En 0 2 20-25" as described on back
Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-226)
img Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-226)
"Apartment room with clothes and furniture"
Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-227)
img Apartment room (ddr-hmwf-1-227)
"Apartment room with clothes and furniture"
Girl Beside Garden (ddr-hmwf-1-444)
img Girl Beside Garden (ddr-hmwf-1-444)
"Yasuko Idishi, 29-6-C, Aug 6, 1943 1:45pm, l18 f9 1/50 G3, Agfa Superpan Supreme, DK20 21 min, C #2 10 AN 27-30" as described on back, young girl fixing her hair beside a barrack's garden
Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-476)
img Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-476)
Group picture of children with Christmas decorations
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-625)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-625)
"Mrs. Hirano 29-4-E, Oct 6-1943 10:45am, l5 f8 1/2 sec. PlusX D76-34min En1 #2 50" as described on back
Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-520)
img Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-520)
"Terakami, Matsumoto, 29-6-D, Nov. 27 1943, l4 f5.6 1/2, PlusX DK20-35min D76-10min, En 1 #4 30" as described on back, two men sitting on sofa in barracks room
Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-88)
img Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-88)
"July 26-1944 4:00pm" as described on back, gardening behind barracks, l19 f16 1/50 G3 Superpan Press-Super Ikonta B, D76-42'
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-567)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-567)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-566)
img View of camp (ddr-hmwf-1-566)
View of camp with Heart Mountain in background
Haircut (ddr-hmwf-1-119)
img Haircut (ddr-hmwf-1-119)
"Jan 15-1945, Isamu Sam Kihara 30-1-A" as described on back, Yoshio Okumoto, Flash f22 1/100 Super xx D76-22'
Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-206)
img Hospital Complex (ddr-hmwf-1-206)
"Heart Mt. Hospital Unit Dec. 27 1944" as described on back, l20 f19 1/5 K2 Verichrome D76 - 50'
Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-644)
img Group Picture (ddr-hmwf-1-644)
Group picture outside of barracks building
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-315)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-315)
"Matsushita 14-12-D June 2 1944" l8 f4.5 1/25 SuperpanPress, D76-37'
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-68)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-68)
"2 men collecting coal with baskets and wagons"
Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-87)
img Gardening (ddr-hmwf-1-87)
"Yoshio Okumoto gardening, back yard, Aug. 17 1943 10am, (potato, green onion, radish, corn, celery, daikon, carrot, cucumber, tomato, peanut)" as described on back, l20 f19 1/50 G3, Super xx DK20-27min
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