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.

World War II (66)
Concentration camps (592)
Living conditions (974)

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

974 items
University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
doc University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
Correspondence regarding a profile of incarceree Harry Osaka written by Robert Spencer. The profile was taken during a trip to Fresno for Harry's mother's funeral with Spencer as the escort and includes Harry's life and family story, farm business before incarceration, religious practices, holiday practices, description of funeral. Profile included as part of the Japanese American ...
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Unpublished manuscript includes a collection of diary entries, letters, and essays written by school students incarcerated at the Tule Lake camp and collected through the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 ...
Cooperatively owned canteen (ddr-csujad-26-130)
img Cooperatively owned canteen (ddr-csujad-26-130)
Photo of people working and shopping inside a canteen. Goods are seen divided by type. Verso reads "cooperatively owned canteen." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_100
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
Landscape with barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-121)
img Landscape with barracks building (ddr-csujad-26-121)
Photo of the desert landscape with a portion of a barracks building. Leftover wood crates are stacked next to the building while the camp border fence can be sen in the distance. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_090
Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
doc Fire department of Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-14)
Description of the establishment, structure and operations of the fire department at Tule Lake. The report includes accounts of fires, what firemen do while waiting for fires, schedules, issues with wardens and administration, and ethnographic observations of "social status" in the camps. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). ...
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
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 ...
Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
img Four women and two men (ddr-csujad-26-117)
Four women and two men pose together in front of barracks buildings. All but one person is Japanese American. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_086
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
Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
doc Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including family interactions, memories, homesickness, friendships, social interactions, school, self-reflection, juvenile delinquency, peer behaviors, death, religion, opinions, and worldviews. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of a class assignment and collected for ...
Group photo in front of barracks (ddr-csujad-26-136)
img Group photo in front of barracks (ddr-csujad-26-136)
Three Japanese American women and one man pose together in front of a barracks building. An automobile and additional barracks can be 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_106
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
Tule Lake recreation center community affairs report for the period August 20, 1942 to September 20, 1942 (ddr-csujad-26-11)
doc Tule Lake recreation center community affairs report for the period August 20, 1942 to September 20, 1942 (ddr-csujad-26-11)
Summary of community youth recreation activities at Tule Lake before school began including descriptions of administration, leadership and training, the "Community Activities Commission," advisory board, planning board, staff, organization, and activities. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization ...
Large group photo (ddr-csujad-26-143)
img Large group photo (ddr-csujad-26-143)
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_116
Victim of the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) (ddr-csujad-26-31)
doc Victim of the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) (ddr-csujad-26-31)
An affidavit written to invalidate purported distortions and false accusations made against the author in two books published using research material collected by Rosalie Hankey Wax during de Cristoforo's incarceration at Tule Lake. The books are "Doing Fieldwork: Warnings and Advice" by Rosalie H. Wax and "The Spoilage" by Dorothy Swaine Thomas and Richard S. Nishimoto ...
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
Young women (ddr-csujad-26-142)
img Young women (ddr-csujad-26-142)
Four young Japanese American women pose with a Caucasian woman in front of an automobile. Barracks building is in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_112
An Oral History with Sumiye Takeno, Part II (ddr-csujad-29-60)
vh An Oral History with Sumiye Takeno, Part II (ddr-csujad-29-60)
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, California, ...
Oral history of George Wakiji (ddr-csujad-28-2)
av Oral history of George Wakiji (ddr-csujad-28-2)
Oral history Interview of George Wakiji. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: csuci_vcc-jic_0003
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
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 Lucy Adams (ddr-csujad-29-35)
av An oral history with Lucy Adams (ddr-csujad-29-35)
An oral interview with Lucy Adams, an assistant project director in charge of community management at the Manzanar 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_0122. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: ...
An oral history with Frank S. Emi (ddr-csujad-29-68)
vh An oral history with Frank S. Emi (ddr-csujad-29-68)
An oral interview with Frank S. Emi, civil rights activist and leading figure of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0170. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3734_T01
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