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
An oral history with Ronald Tanimoto (ddr-csujad-29-44)
av An oral history with Ronald Tanimoto (ddr-csujad-29-44)
An oral interview with Ronald Tanimoto, internee at the Crystal City Department of Justice internment camp. The interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. Transcript is found in item: csufccop_jaoh_0144. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2473_T01
An oral history with Austin Christensen (ddr-csujad-29-47)
av An oral history with Austin Christensen (ddr-csujad-29-47)
An oral interview with Austin Christensen, a child civilian at the Tule Lake 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_0150. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2655_T01
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: 1271.3_T01
An oral history with Fred Tomiyoshi (ddr-csujad-29-51)
av An oral history with Fred Tomiyoshi (ddr-csujad-29-51)
An oral interview with Fred Tomiyoshi, incarceree at the Pinedale Assembly Center and the Tule Lake 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_0158. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2986_T01
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-30)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and 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_0112. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645.3_T01
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-29)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-29)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and 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_0110. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645.2_T01
An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
av An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
Retired Kibei teacher recounts samurai parents' background and their immigration to Seattle, Washington; socioeconomic composition of Seattle's Japanese community; earlier teacher training; prewar stays in Japan as a child and as a tutor in a missionary family; experiences as a teacher in the wartime resettlement in New York; and postwar return to Los Angeles. This oral ...
An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-31)
av An oral history with Kin'ichi Kimbo Yoshitomi (ddr-csujad-29-31)
An oral interview with Kinichi Kimbo Yoshitomi, an incarceree at the Tanforan Assembly Center and 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_0114. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1645.4_T01
An oral history with Margaret Yamamoto (ddr-csujad-29-32)
av An oral history with Margaret Yamamoto (ddr-csujad-29-32)
An oral interview with Margaret Yamamoto, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Assembly Center and the Rohwer 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_0116. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2237_T01
An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-61)
vh An oral history with Togo Tanaka (ddr-csujad-29-61)
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_0102. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1271.1_T01
Evacuee Identification Card (ddr-csujad-29-23)
doc Evacuee Identification Card (ddr-csujad-29-23)
Manzanar incarceree identification card. Block 20, Building 11, Apt. 4. Belonging to Ruth Hochi. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 4137_M02
An oral history with Susie Watamura (ddr-csujad-30-4)
av An oral history with Susie Watamura (ddr-csujad-30-4)
An oral interview with Susie Sakamoto, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0112. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2487_T01
An oral history with Clara D. Hayashi (ddr-csujad-30-2)
av An oral history with Clara D. Hayashi (ddr-csujad-30-2)
An oral interview with Clara D. Hayashi, an incarceree at the Children's Village. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0104. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2334_T01
An oral history with Takeshi Isozaki (ddr-csujad-30-3)
av An oral history with Takeshi Isozaki (ddr-csujad-30-3)
An oral interview with Takeshi Isozaki, an incarceree at the Children's Village orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript to this file is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0108. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2337_T01
An oral history with Sam Masami Tanaka (ddr-csujad-30-9)
av An oral history with Sam Masami Tanaka (ddr-csujad-30-9)
An oral interview with Sam Masami Tanaka, 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_0122. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2333.1_T01
An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-14)
av An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-14)
An oral interview with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama, incarcerees 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_0132. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2494.2_T01
An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-13)
av An oral history with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama (ddr-csujad-30-13)
An oral interview with Lillian Matsumoto and Taeko Nagayama, incarcerees 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_0130. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2494.1_T01
An oral history with Takatow Matsuno (ddr-csujad-30-12)
av An oral history with Takatow Matsuno (ddr-csujad-30-12)
An oral interview with Takatow [Takato] Matsuno, 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_0128. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2339_T01
An oral history with Robert Yamashita (ddr-csujad-30-15)
av An oral history with Robert Yamashita (ddr-csujad-30-15)
An oral interview with Robert Yamashita, 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_0134. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 3502_T01
An oral history with Annie Sakamoto (ddr-csujad-30-18)
vh An oral history with Annie Sakamoto (ddr-csujad-30-18)
An oral history with Annie Sakamoto, an incarceree at the Children's Villag orphanage. The interview was conducted for the Children's Village at Manzanar Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The transcript is found in item: csufccop_cvm_0110. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 2486_T01
Japanese American shoveling coal into a heater (ddr-densho-15-72)
img Japanese American shoveling coal into a heater (ddr-densho-15-72)
Camp inmate shoveling coal into the block's central heater, which will warm water for the laundry and bath facilities.
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