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Social and recreational activities

Japanese Americans found ways to fill the long days created by the enforced idleness of camp life. They made jewelry from shells found in the desert, built furniture for their rooms using scrap lumber and renovated the exteriors of their barracks. People also played cards, chess, checkers, mahjongg, and the Japanese games 'go' and 'shogi.' Camp inmates held dances, concerts, plays, and arts and crafts exhibitions. In Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, they even held a beauty contest to select the "Sweetheart of Minidoka."

World War II (54)
Concentration camps (556)
Social and recreational activities (642)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Arts and crafts in camp, Music in camp

642 items
Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-47)
img Japanese Americans digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-47)
These individuals are digging for shells to make jewelry, which was a popular pastime for many Japanese Americans in camp. Left to right: Kumataro Nishimura, Kadju Nishimura, Jimmie Yorita, Neal Frost (son of one of the teachers at Tule Lake), and Patsy Yorita. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on ...
Japanese American and friend sifting for shells (ddr-densho-2-59)
img Japanese American and friend sifting for shells (ddr-densho-2-59)
Patsy Yorita (left) and Neal Frost, (son of a teacher at the Tule Lake concentration camp), sift dirt for shells. The shells were used by people in the camp to make jewelry. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where people found shells for making jewelry ...
Japanese American and friend digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-60)
img Japanese American and friend digging for shells (ddr-densho-2-60)
Jimmie Yorita (right) digs for shells used by people in camp to make jewelry. His sister, Patsy (left), and Neal Frost, son of one of the camp's teachers, sift the dirt. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where camp inmates found shells for making jewelry ...
Japanese American making shell jewelry (ddr-densho-2-58)
img Japanese American making shell jewelry (ddr-densho-2-58)
Peggie Yorita making jewelry from shells found within the confines of the Tule Lake concentration camp. Making jewelry was a popular pastime for the Japanese Americans. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed. As a result, shells were available for people to fashion into jewelry for ...
Jewelry made in camp (ddr-densho-2-49)
img Jewelry made in camp (ddr-densho-2-49)
This corsage pin was made by Peggie Yorita, a Japanese American at the Tule Lake concentration camp. The flowers and leaves are composed of shells found at the camp. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where people found shells for making jewelry to sell to ...
Japanese Americans preparing shells for jewelry making (ddr-densho-2-50)
img Japanese Americans preparing shells for jewelry making (ddr-densho-2-50)
Kumataro (left) and Kadju Nishimura measure and separate shells to be used in jewelry-making. The Nishimuras woke up at the crack of dawn and dug waist-deep holes to find the shells. The shells were then bleached white and later painted. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake ...
Ruth Okuye Ihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-8)
doc Ruth Okuye Ihara interview (ddr-csujad-6-8)
Oral history interview with Ruth Okuye Ihara. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: SCRC_IHARA_RUTH
Song lyrics (ddr-csujad-7-31)
doc Song lyrics (ddr-csujad-7-31)
Several pages of well known popular song lyrics from the era. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Song Lyrics
Saka Tanaka (ddr-csujad-8-73)
doc Saka Tanaka (ddr-csujad-8-73)
Oral history interview with Saka Tanaka. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Tanaka, Saka
Kazuye Matsunaga (ddr-csujad-8-38)
doc Kazuye Matsunaga (ddr-csujad-8-38)
Oral history interview with Kazuye [Kazue] Matsunaga. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Matsunaga, Kazuye
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
img Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-37)
Teenage incarceree spending Sunday afternoon in various activities such as ironing, playing cards, etc. at Granada incarceration camp. August 30, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f02
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
img Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-58)
Young former California boy learning to ice skate at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. January 10, 1943. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f23
Artist completing a watercolor at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-49)
img Artist completing a watercolor at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-49)
Artist completing a watercolor at Granada incarceration camp. Photo by Tom Parker. December 13, 1942. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f14
High school Junior Class dance at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-43)
img High school Junior Class dance at Granada incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-43)
High school Junior Class dance at Granada incarceration camp. December 11, 1942. Photo by Tom Parker. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f08
Incarcerees watching outdoor musical performance at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-20)
img Incarcerees watching outdoor musical performance at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-20)
Incarcerees watching outdoor musical performance at Manzanar incarceration camp. June 5, 1942. Photo by Francis Stewart. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_020
Swing Band practice at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-51)
img Swing Band practice at Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-14-51)
Swing Band practice at Heart Mountain incarceration camp. September 16, 1942. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_TOMO_f16
Desert Sentinel, Vol. I. No. 15, June 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-1)
doc Desert Sentinel, Vol. I. No. 15, June 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-1)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. According to an announcement on the back page, publication seeks to make known the War Relocation Authority's "plans and policies," the results of Community Council deliberations, and various regulations and news about life at the Gila River Incarceration Camp. Issue features articles about and by the Camp's ...
Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 12, May 14, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-2)
doc Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 12, May 14, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-2)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and items include a report on a bond drive and on a "Kampus Karnival"; news about the debate team and about a talent show, as well as about goings-on at Topaz, Utah; Manzanar, California; Echoes, Wyoming; Hunt, Idaho; and Amache, Colorado; and illustrations. See this object ...
Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 3, December 24, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-4)
doc Desert Sentinel, Vol. I No. 3, December 24, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-4)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp. Features and topics include a constitution and new principal for Butte High School; news of campus, sports, and social and holiday events; items about classes, students and teachers; and short prose and poetry pieces. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: ...
Deserted Senses [spoof title for Desert Sentinel], Vol. I, No. 9, April 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-3)
doc Deserted Senses [spoof title for Desert Sentinel], Vol. I, No. 9, April 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-3)
School newspaper published at the Gila River incarceration camp; this is an April Fools' Day issue with articles and illustrations making fun of life at camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_04-01_03
Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
doc Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 21, January 15, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-9)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-07_04
Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 20, January 8, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-8)
doc Granada Pioneer, Edition 2, Issue 20, January 8, 1944 (ddr-csujad-17-8)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-07_03
Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.5, November 11, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-6)
doc Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.5, November 11, 1942 (ddr-csujad-17-6)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-01_06
Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
doc Granada Pioneer, Vol. I, No.61, May 1, 1943 (ddr-csujad-17-7)
Newspaper published at the Granada incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: JARC_02-04_01
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