Food

The eating facilities in the camps were large mess halls with long lines and crowded tables. Group living tended to erode family solidarity, as teenagers escaped parental authority by eating with friends rather than family. The quality of the food was poor and milk and fresh meat were constantly in short supply. Inexpensive foods such as wieners, dried fish, pancakes, macaroni and pickled vegetables were served often. The diets of the camp inmates improved only after they began growing some of their own food.

Food (116)

116 items
Visitor's receipt for meals (ddr-densho-25-110)
doc Visitor's receipt for meals (ddr-densho-25-110)
In 1943, Mitsuo Iseri was on leave from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He visited Minidoka, and received this receipt for meals.
Mess hall food (ddr-densho-37-413)
img Mess hall food (ddr-densho-37-413)
Original WRA caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Meals are being served cafeteria style at this War Relocation Authority Center.
Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
img Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
img Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. A group of residents loll over their evening meal.
Letter to Molly Wilson from Tomoko Ikeda (June 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-1)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Tomoko Ikeda (June 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-1)
Handwritten letter written by Tomoko Ikeda to Molly Wilson, June 10, 1942. Letter was written from an assembly center or a relocation center, and mentions adjusting to food in center and missing school.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942). Envelope is postmarked June 11, 1942 and addressed from Lillian Nishioka from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-1-95)
doc Letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-1-95)
Handwritten letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Mealtime in mess hall (ddr-densho-151-432)
img Mealtime in mess hall (ddr-densho-151-432)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Mealtime in one of the messhalls at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry.
The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 32 (August 10, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-80)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 32 (August 10, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-80)
Selected article titles: "Meningitis Case: Great Effort Made to Save Tule Baby" (pp. 1-2), "July: Harvest Yields 372,580 Pounds of Vegetables" (p. 2), "Resettlers May Obtain Materials" (p. 2), and "Allowances for GI's Dependents" (p. 4).
The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 7 (April 20, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-12)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 7 (April 20, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-12)
Selected article titles: "82 in Center Receive Notices to Report for Physical Exams: Base Hospital to Be Utilized" (p. 1), "More Arrivals Expected as Segregation Plan Resumed" (p. 1), and "Red Cross Gifts Distributed to CA and Japanese Library" (p. 2).
Co-Op News, Vol I. No. 9 (July 29, 1943) (ddr-densho-288-7)
doc Co-Op News, Vol I. No. 9 (July 29, 1943) (ddr-densho-288-7)
Selected article titles: "Election Results: Five New Directors Chosen; Ito, Yoda, Oida Re-elected" (p. 1), "New Faces Seen at Canteen, Office; Circulation Head Named" (p. 1), "Sanitation Prevents Sale of Fresh Fish - Mangement" (p. 1).
Harry Ueno Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1002-7-13)
vh Harry Ueno Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1002-7-13)
Working in the camp mess hall: making do when certain foods are in short supply

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are ...

Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (November 27, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-108)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (November 27, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-108)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (November 27, 1943). Envelope is postmarked November 29, 1943 from the Manzanar Incarceration Camp in Manzanar, California.
Farewell dinner at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-22)
img Farewell dinner at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-22)
Caption on front: "Tom Sashikara Aug '44." Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain Aug. 1944. Caption reads: 'Farewell dinner for Tom Sashikara leaving for Cleveland, OH. Guy Robertson, the camp director and Mrs. Pryne were there.' K. Hatchimonji is seen on left with his hand on his chin."
Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
img Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for [the] Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
API