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.

World War II (66)
Concentration camps (592)
Food (153)

153 items
Mitsue Matsui Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1008-3-13)
vh Mitsue Matsui Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1008-3-13)
Food in Topaz concentration camp

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1005-1-4)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1005-1-4)
Served food in the mess hall

Eiichi Edward Sakauye shot footage of the Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming, from 1943-1945, on 8 mm film. This interview is of Mr. Sakauye providing voice-over descriptions for his original footage.

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.

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 ...

Aiko Herzig Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1002-8-10)
vh Aiko Herzig Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1002-8-10)
Having a baby in camp: feeling angry because of lack of nutritious food for child

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 ...

Aiko Herzig Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-8-9)
vh Aiko Herzig Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-8-9)
Life in Manzanar concentration camp, California: lack of privacy, "dreadful food"

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 typically not life ...

An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
vh An Oral History with Norman Y. Mineta - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-55-1)
Japanese American congressman, representing the Thirteenth Congressional District of California, born and raised in San Jose, California, discusses his early life, graduation from the University of California, Berkeley, and receiving a commission and serving in the armed forces from 1953-1956. Recalls the removal, "relocation," and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II at the Heart ...
Frank Isamu Kikuchi Interview Segment 10 (ddr-manz-1-5-10)
vh Frank Isamu Kikuchi Interview Segment 10 (ddr-manz-1-5-10)
Description of food in camp: "wholesome and adequate," but "awfully boring"
Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 57 (ddr-densho-1000-12-57)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 57 (ddr-densho-1000-12-57)
Organized activities, fresh vegetables and well-cooked rice at Minidoka concentration camp
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
Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-92-18)
vh Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-92-18)
Recruited to become a mess hall cook at fourteen years old in Poston concentration camp

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-92-19)
vh Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-92-19)
An accident while working in the camp mess hall

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Marian Asao Kurosu Interview Segment 57 (ddr-densho-1000-118-57)
vh Marian Asao Kurosu Interview Segment 57 (ddr-densho-1000-118-57)
Meals and mess halls: "there was a line for everything"

During this interview, Mrs. Kurosu alternately speaks in both English and Japanese. As a result, the English translation of the transcript contains [Jpn.] and [Eng.], which indicate whether the original dialogue was spoken in Japanese or English.

Miyoko Kaneta Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-449-6)
vh Miyoko Kaneta Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-449-6)
Living conditions in camp: six in one room, bad food, dust
Gene Akutsu Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-1-9)
vh Gene Akutsu Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-1-9)
A teenager's memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: bad food, and games on the 4th of July
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