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
Two young children in camp (ddr-densho-39-44)
img Two young children in camp (ddr-densho-39-44)
Irene (left) and Hiroshi Ito walking near the laundry in Block 44.
Letter (with envelope) to Mollie Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-51)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Mollie Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-51)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Lillian (Nobie) Igasaki (March 31, 1944). Envelope is postmarked April 1, 1944 from the Manzanar Incarceration Camp in Manzanar, California.
Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-202)
img Heart Mountain (ddr-hmwf-1-202)
"Ht. Mtn. between blocks 29 and 25, Feb 6 1944" as described on back, f16 1/50 K2 SuperIkontaB SuperXX roll, "faulty developing, roll started from centerl of spool, developer probably did not circulate well enough in center of tank"
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-478)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-75)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-75)
"Men and women collecting coal between barracks" Jan 11, 1944
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-551)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-551)
Nellie Yamamoto, Arthur Yamamoto, 29-3-D, Jan 12 1945, Flash f8 1/100 PlusX, family portrait in barracks room, Arthur in military uniform
Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-434)
img Woman Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-434)
"Dec 30-1944, f9 1/25 PlusX DK20-47' D76-15' "as described on back, young woman posing
Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-555)
img Woman and Child (ddr-hmwf-1-555)
"Gloria-Dianne Oki, 24-21-F, Dec 12 1943, SuperIkontaB, Verichrome snap D76-40' " as described on back, woman and child sitting together in barracks
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-481)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-481)
Men, women, and children ice skating with barracks in background
Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-203)
img Snow scene (ddr-hmwf-1-203)
"Snow scene, 29-5,6 Feb 4 1944 5:30 pm" as described on back, l17 12.7 1/25 G3, SuperXX DK20-50 D76-25
Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-46)
img Collecting coal (ddr-hmwf-1-46)
"Coal Rush 29-27, Jan 7, 1944 2:30pm, f16 1/50 Super Ikonta B, Super xx Roll DK20-50', D76- 20'" as described on back
Family Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-435)
img Family Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-435)
"at depot, Dec 30-1944, f6.3 1/25 PlusX" as described on back, family posing together
Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-514)
img Men Sitting (ddr-hmwf-1-514)
"Nov 27-1943, l4 f5.6 1/2 PlusX DK20 35min, D76 10min, En 1 #4 30" as described on back, 2 men resting on sofa in barracks room
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-613)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-613)
"Sue, July 29-1944, l8 f8 1/10, SuperpanPress D76-42', SuperIkontaB C-2-8, 1-2-45-50" as described on back
Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-224)
img Coal Rush (ddr-hmwf-1-224)
"5 minutes after coal rush- 29-28 Jan 7 1944" as described on back, f12.7 1/100 SuperIkontaB SuperXX Roll DK20-50' D76-20'
Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
img Ice Skating (ddr-hmwf-1-549)
Woman ice skating, barracks buildings in background
Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-446)
img Girls Posing (ddr-hmwf-1-446)
"Sally, Nancy Gushiken, 29-23-E, Nov 30-1943, l19 f16 1/25 G3 Plus X DK20-40' D76-10' " as described on back
Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-637)
img Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-637)
"Meriko Inouye, 29-23-CD, Jan 1-1944, l4 f4.5 1/5, SuperXX DK20-50' D76-15' EN1 #2 30" as described on back
Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
img Family Portrait (ddr-hmwf-1-640)
"6-1944" as described on back, family posing together
Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-318)
img Baby (ddr-hmwf-1-318)
"Matsushita 14-12-D June 2 1944" l8 f4.5 1/25 SuperpanPress, D76-37'
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