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
Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-23-28)
vh Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-23-28)
Housing arrangements and divided communities in Tule Lake concentration camp
Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-10-19)
vh Fumiko Uyeda Groves Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-10-19)
First impressions of Minidoka concentration camp, rattlesnakes underfoot
Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-92-17)
vh Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-92-17)
Life in Poston concentration camp: people were "fainting like flies" from the heat

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-98-19)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-98-19)
Conditions in Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, dust everywhere -- turning to mud in winter
Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-155-13)
vh Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-155-13)
Memories as a child in Twin Falls, Idaho: visiting playmates inside the Minidoka concentration camp every weekend
Woman walking with mail (ddr-densho-321-123)
img Woman walking with mail (ddr-densho-321-123)
Fuzy getting the mail at Heart Mountain concentration camp.
An Oral History with Sumiye Takeno, Part I - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-59-1)
vh An Oral History with Sumiye Takeno, Part I - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-59-1)
An oral history with Sumiye Takeno, a current resident of Denver, Colorado. This interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Takeno's incarceration and resettlement experience during World War II. Specifically, the interview covers her childhood in Florin ...
An oral history with Joe Yamakido (ddr-csujad-29-67)
vh An oral history with Joe Yamakido (ddr-csujad-29-67)
An oral interview with Joe Yamakido, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and the Jerome 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_0168. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3733_T01
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-28)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-28)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and the 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_0108. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site ...
An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-62)
vh An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-62)
An oral interview with Togo Tanaka, newspaper editor, documentary historian, and businessman who was incarcerated at the Manzanar 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_0104. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1271 ...
An oral history with Herbert Takashi Suyumatsu (ddr-csujad-30-11)
av An oral history with Herbert Takashi Suyumatsu (ddr-csujad-30-11)
An oral interview with Herbert Takashi Suyematsu, 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_0126. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2336_T01
Memo from Co-ordinating Committee to R. [Raymond] R. Best, Project Director, Kiyotake, February 5, 1944 (ddr-csujad-2-71)
doc Memo from Co-ordinating Committee to R. [Raymond] R. Best, Project Director, Kiyotake, February 5, 1944 (ddr-csujad-2-71)
Memo requesting for release of Abe. Describes the situation of Abe (Joe Kiyotake Abe), who had been in Army custody since the end of December, 1943, and whose wife was hospitalized, leaving their three children without parental care. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sjs_sch_0071
Amache directory (ddr-csujad-7-17)
doc Amache directory (ddr-csujad-7-17)
Directory of the administrative and education staff and incarcerees at the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Amache Directory
Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-12)
img Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-7-12)
Manzanar incarceration camp, July 1942. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_JA_f12
Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
doc Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-07_04
Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
doc Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-04_01
An oral history with Yoshie Mary Tashima (ddr-csujad-29-27)
av An oral history with Yoshie Mary Tashima (ddr-csujad-29-27)
An oral interview with Yoshie Mary Tashima, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and the Granada (Amache) 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_0106. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project ...
An oral history with Izumi Taniguchi (ddr-csujad-29-43)
av An oral history with Izumi Taniguchi (ddr-csujad-29-43)
An oral interview with Izumi Taniguchi, incarceree at the Turlock Assembly Center and the Gila River 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_0142. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2472_T01
Letter from Emiko [Amy] Terada to Miss Laura Thomas, August 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-12)
doc Letter from Emiko [Amy] Terada to Miss Laura Thomas, August 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-4-12)
A letter from Emiko [Amy] Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to Miss Laura Thomas. The letter contains basic correspondence between the two individuals, talking about family members, the weather, and school. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nis_06_013
Tule Lake nighttime panorama (ddr-csujad-3-6)
img Tule Lake nighttime panorama (ddr-csujad-3-6)
High vantage point panoramic nighttime photograph of Tule Lake camp with the lights from the buildings inside camp on. The photograph shows the expanse of the camp against the darkened landscape. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_006
Lloyd Kurihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-15)
doc Lloyd Kurihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-15)
Oral history interview with Lloyd Kurihara. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: SCRC_KURIHARA_LLOYD
Relocation Communities for Wartime Evacuees, September 1942 (ddr-csujad-19-23)
doc Relocation Communities for Wartime Evacuees, September 1942 (ddr-csujad-19-23)
This paper describes the relocation communities for "the wartime evacuees" from the Pacific Coast. It also talks about the community life and the work opportunities for the incarceress in the different incarceration camps. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WRA_01-15_01
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