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 (66)
Concentration camps (592)
Social and recreational activities (687)

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

687 items
Japanese American and handmade cabinet (ddr-densho-37-357)
img Japanese American and handmade cabinet (ddr-densho-37-357)
Original caption: Shinkichi Kiyono, 56, evacuee from Longview, Washington, exhibits the cabinet which won him first prize (a carpenter's plane) in a furniture building contest. All pieces of furniture were made from scrap lumber.
Camp Boy Scouts receiving badges (ddr-densho-37-554)
img Camp Boy Scouts receiving badges (ddr-densho-37-554)
Original WRA caption: Topaz, Utah. Boy Scouts hold court of Honor at Central Utah Relocation Center at Topaz. Deputy Director, James F. Hughes, presents merit badges to first class scouts.
King of Hunt High School (ddr-densho-37-3)
img King of Hunt High School (ddr-densho-37-3)
Original WRA caption: King of Hunt High School May Day festival being crowned by Richard A. Pomeroy, Supt. of Education, is shown with his attendants. The court was chosen by popular vote in a contest sponsored by the student body. Left to right: Prince Victor Fujioka, princess Dorothy Sugawara, Mr. Pomeroy, King Johnny Okamoto, Princess Sue ...
Talent show skit (ddr-densho-37-380)
img Talent show skit (ddr-densho-37-380)
Original WRA caption: Tule Lake Segregation Center, Newell, California. Skit by boys in talent show sponsored by Tri-State High School student body June 9 at Tule Lake Center to help finance the annual.
Japanese American playing a board game (ddr-densho-37-428)
img Japanese American playing a board game (ddr-densho-37-428)
Original WRA caption: Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. An early immigrant from Japan, now residing at Heart Mountain, after evacuation from West Coast areas, reaches for a pawn in a game of Shogi, similar in characters and playing to chess. Although previously mumbling in Japanese, startled by the camera flas, the old gent let ...
Knitting class (ddr-densho-37-134)
img Knitting class (ddr-densho-37-134)
This camp knitting class was taught by a camp inmate.
Japanese American carpenters (ddr-densho-37-41)
img Japanese American carpenters (ddr-densho-37-41)
Original WRA caption: Carpenters at work on the high school gym.
Drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-432)
img Drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-432)
Original WRA caption: Topaz, Utah. A drum and bugle corp, formerly a boy scout unit in Los Angeles, performs at the dedication of the new hospital at Topaz.
Beauty queen contest advertising (ddr-densho-37-318)
img Beauty queen contest advertising (ddr-densho-37-318)
Original WRA caption: Signs tacked on barracks advertising the Labor Day beauty queen contest which was held at this relocation center.
Boy Scout drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-5)
img Boy Scout drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-5)
Original WRA caption: The Hunt District Boy Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, parading in the administration area. This Drum and Bugle Corps, before evacuation was in Troop 123, Portland, Oregon. There are five troops in the Hunt District of the Snake River Area council.
Japanese Americans fishing (ddr-densho-37-367)
img Japanese Americans fishing (ddr-densho-37-367)
Original WRA caption: Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. During the noon hour, evacuee farm workers fish for carp in a nearby slough.
Camp garden and pond (ddr-densho-37-830)
img Camp garden and pond (ddr-densho-37-830)
Original WRA caption: Poston, Arizona. Landscaping done by evacuee residents of Camp Number1.
Drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-565)
img Drum and bugle corps (ddr-densho-37-565)
Original WRA caption: Topaz, Utah. A section of the drum and the bugle corps, a former boy scout unit, performs at the dedication of the hospital at the Topaz Relocation center.
U.S.O. show (ddr-densho-37-625)
img U.S.O. show (ddr-densho-37-625)
Original WRA caption: Jerome Relocation Center, Dermott, Arkansas. First U.S.O. [United Services Organizations] show held in the M.P.P.X. [Military Police Post Exchange].
Japanese American making plans for a model ship (ddr-densho-37-596)
img Japanese American making plans for a model ship (ddr-densho-37-596)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Tadao Kawate, former drafting student from Los Angeles City College, at work on plans for model ships. Blueprints, drawn to the scale of 50 feet to the inch, are supplied by the Navy but must be redrawn to the scale of 60 feet to the inch before ...
Wood carving class (ddr-densho-37-551)
img Wood carving class (ddr-densho-37-551)
Original WRA caption: Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. In a wood carving class, this center resident, a former Californian of Japanese ancestry works on a patriotic carving out from a natural hardwood formation.
Japanese American building a model ship (ddr-densho-37-592)
img Japanese American building a model ship (ddr-densho-37-592)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Chic Yamaguchi, former farm worker from Kingsburg, California, is shown turning a section of one of the model ships on the lathe in the model ship factory at the Gila River Relocation Center. Chic had never operated power machinery before starting work in the factory here. Prior ...
High school band members (ddr-densho-37-539)
img High school band members (ddr-densho-37-539)
Original WRA caption: Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. A snare drum section of the high school band, in a practice session at the school band room. Most of the student band members are playing instuments for the first time, and the band is fast becoming a matter of much pride among center residents, former west coast ...
Children playing marbles (ddr-densho-37-831)
img Children playing marbles (ddr-densho-37-831)
Original WRA caption: Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. Three small boys compete in a staff marble game on a Sunday afternoon in Block 8.
Camp fashion show (ddr-densho-37-320)
img Camp fashion show (ddr-densho-37-320)
Original WRA caption: A fashion show was one of the many exhibits held at this relocation center on Labor Day. Great skill was shown in dressmaking and tailoring, and was thoroughly appreciated by the large audience which witnessed this display.
High school dance orchestra (ddr-densho-37-505)
img High school dance orchestra (ddr-densho-37-505)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. The High School dance orchestra at the Granada Relocation Center at Amache, Colorado.
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