Living conditions

The "assembly centers" were hastily erected quarters located throughout the West Coast at fairgrounds, racetracks and other similar facilities. Conditions at these locations were appalling. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. Privacy was next to nonexistent. Most families lived in a 20-by-20-foot room separated from the next "apartment" by wood partitions that did not reach the ceiling. Shortages of food and deplorable sanitation were common. Overcrowding, uncertainty, and stress created tension in the "assembly centers," even as the demoralized camp inmates tried to improve living conditions.

World War II (215)
Temporary Assembly Centers (175)
Living conditions (364)

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364 items
May Y. Namba Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-171-15)
vh May Y. Namba Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-171-15)
Spending twentieth birthday in camp: receiving a birthday cake from a military police officer
May Y. Namba Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-171-16)
vh May Y. Namba Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-171-16)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center: meeting people from Alaska
Yosh Nakagawa Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-172-17)
vh Yosh Nakagawa Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-172-17)
Memories of Puyallup Assembly Center as a child: having fun, selling newspapers
George Morihiro Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-182-18)
vh George Morihiro Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-182-18)
Life in Puyallup Assembly Center: talking with the guards, being warned away from the fence
George Morihiro Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-182-16)
vh George Morihiro Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-182-16)
Entering Puyallup Assembly Center: "the day you walked through that gate, you know you lost something"
Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 43 (ddr-densho-1000-184-43)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 43 (ddr-densho-1000-184-43)
Dealing with difficult living conditions in Pinedale: no privacy, incredible heat, shared facilities
Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-184-41)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-184-41)
Impressions of Pinedale Assembly Center; working for the newspaper, the Pinedale Logger
Kazue Yamamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-197-9)
vh Kazue Yamamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-197-9)
Memories of Portland Assembly Center

This interview was conducted as part of a project to capture stories of the Japanese American community of Spokane, Washington. Densho worked in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Fumi Kaseguma Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-203-11)
vh Fumi Kaseguma Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-203-11)
Life in the Portland Assembly Center, a former livestock exposition area
Art Abe Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-206-17)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-206-17)
Feeling bitter upon being removed: "I couldn't believe what the government was doing to us"
Bob Y. Sakata Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-216-9)
vh Bob Y. Sakata Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-216-9)
Temporary living conditions in Tanforan: "it was sort of a lonely feeling"
Yae Aihara Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-221-8)
vh Yae Aihara Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-221-8)
First impressions of Puyallup Assembly Center, having a graduation ceremony
Min Tonai Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-302-6)
vh Min Tonai Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-302-6)
Coping with difficult conditions 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.

Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-294-17)
vh Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-294-17)
Living conditions in camp: better than farm at home

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 …

Harry Kawahara Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-368-5)
vh Harry Kawahara Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-368-5)
Vivid memories of camp at age ten: "that made an impact"

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 …

Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
vh Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
First impressions of camp: "it was quite a disappointment"

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 …

Yosh Nakamura Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-385-8)
vh Yosh Nakamura Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-385-8)
First impressions of the Tulare Assembly Center

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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