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
Young women (ddr-csujad-26-123)
img Young women (ddr-csujad-26-123)
A group of young Japanese American women poses with a Caucasian woman in front of a barracks building. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_092
Chapter 8, 9, 10 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-35)
doc Chapter 8, 9, 10 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-35)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including movies, dances, dissatisfaction with recreation, family dynamics, desire to leave camp, cultural and generational differences, and weather. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of a class assignment and collected for the ...
Young man on tractor (ddr-csujad-26-131)
img Young man on tractor (ddr-csujad-26-131)
Photo of a young Japanese American man on a tractor. Barracks building are seen in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_101
Large group photo (ddr-csujad-26-125)
img Large group photo (ddr-csujad-26-125)
Photo of a large group of Japanese Americans and Caucasian men and women pose in front of a barracks building with a baby and a dog. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_094
View from Castle Rock facing east (ddr-csujad-26-129)
img View from Castle Rock facing east (ddr-csujad-26-129)
Landscape photo featuring the Tule Lake incarceration camp and the roads around it as seen in the snow from a nearby hill top. Verso reads, "view from Castle Rock facing east." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_099
Outline of University of California study of evacuation and resettlement (ddr-csujad-26-2)
doc Outline of University of California study of evacuation and resettlement (ddr-csujad-26-2)
Outline for an academic social science study, the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS), led by the University of California of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Outline highlights area of administrative, social, political and personal areas to be studied by a team of researchers encamped with incarcerees. See this object in ...
Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-32)
doc Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-32)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including weather, social interactions, barracks noise, the desire to leave camp, prospect of discrimination, reflections on "one year since 'evacuation,'" and the journey to camp. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of ...
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