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 (137)

137 items
Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-107-18)
vh Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-107-18)
Memories of Minidoka concentration camp: sand everywhere, even in the food
Envelope and letters to Dr. Keizaburo
doc Envelope and letters to Dr. Keizaburo "Kei" Koyama from Teru Koyama (ddr-one-5-20)
White air mail envelope with a red, white and blue border. The envelope is addressed to Dr. Keizaburo Koyama at Camp Livingston from his wife, Teru Koyama. The envelope is postmarked Jul 21, 1942, and in red pencil below the postmark is the date 7/25/42. On the left side of the envelope is a purple "Censored" ...
CO-OP canteen moving out sale (ddr-csujad-7-19)
doc CO-OP canteen moving out sale (ddr-csujad-7-19)
Advertisement for sale at the camp commissary at Amache. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Co-op Canteen Moving Out Sale
Farm [farm workers loading truck] (ddr-csujad-26-72)
img Farm [farm workers loading truck] (ddr-csujad-26-72)
Three workers smile at the camera while loading a truck. Caption on back of photograph reads, "The farm." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_009
Man in a garden (ddr-densho-242-19)
img Man in a garden (ddr-densho-242-19)
For 16.1, 16.2, and 16.3. Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain Victory Gardens 1943-45. Organized by Kumezo Hatchimonji who supplied the Japanese vegetable seeds which were in storage after he left for camp. It was very successful because farmers were ablt to grow their favorite crops and supply them to the other internees. Kumezo is seen ...
Japanese American preparing meal (ddr-densho-15-70)
img Japanese American preparing meal (ddr-densho-15-70)
Jim Shiga, well-known for his cooking skills, prepares a meal in the camp's warehouse kitchen.
Child waiting for mess hall meal (ddr-densho-37-518)
img Child waiting for mess hall meal (ddr-densho-37-518)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. It is a long time between meals at the mess hall for a hungry man, so the cracker box at the Kobayashi barracks gets a frequent raiding.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
Original WRA caption: The paste-like crushed bean mash is cooked thoroughly in the big vat shown in the picture and constantly stirred. This tofu (pronounced To-o-fu) factory is operated by the Tule Lake Co-op.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-157)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-157)
Original WRA caption: This product called "Age" is made from the bean curd. This is shown in the picture. The curd is fried in deep soy-bean fat until browned. This factory is operated by the Co-op.
The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 27 (July 6, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-75)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 27 (July 6, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-75)
Selected article titles: "Officials Give Views on Closing of Stores" (pp. 1-2), "Skeleton Remains of Young Indian Found at Blk. 51" (p. 1), "Housing Adjustments Necessary Says Thomas" (p. 2), and "Farm Produces 250,545 Pounds" (p. 2).
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (July 1, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-75)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (July 1, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-75)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (July 1, 1943). Envelope is postmarked July 14, 1943 from the Granada (Amache) Incarceration Camp in Amache, Colorado.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (March 25, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-105)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (March 25, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-105)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (March 25, 1943). Envelope is postmarked March 26, 1943 from the Manzanar Incarceration Camp in Manzanar, California.
Letter to Molly Wilson from Yuri Shimobochi (August 1, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-56)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Yuri Shimobochi (August 1, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-56)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Yuri Shimobochi (August 1, 1942). Letter is from the Heart Mountain Incarceration Camp in Cody, Wyoming.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (June 6, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-74)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (June 6, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-74)
Handwritten letter to Mollie Wilson from Violet Saito (June 6, 1943). Envelope is postmarked June 7, 1943 from the Granada (Amache) Incarceration Camp in Amache, Colorado.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (December 26, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-104)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (December 26, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-104)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (December 26, 1942). Envelope is postmarked December 30, 1942 from the Manzanar Incarceration Camp in Manzanar, California.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Miyeko Imamura (March 2, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-66)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Miyeko Imamura (March 2, 1944) (ddr-janm-1-66)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Miyeko Imamura (March 2, 1944). Envelope is postmarked March 2, 1944 from the Heart Mountain Incarceration Camp in Cody, Wyoming.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (June 2, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-30)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (June 2, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-30)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (June 2, 1942). Envelope is postmarked June 4, 1942 from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Mess hall (ddr-densho-151-433)
img Mess hall (ddr-densho-151-433)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Messhall #16 at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry. An evacuee of 290 persons are fed three meals a day in each messhall, and all work is done by the evacuees themselves.
Mas Okui Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1003-13-13)
vh Mas Okui Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1003-13-13)
Description of food in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

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