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 (231)
Temporary Assembly Centers (231)
Living conditions (395)

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395 items
An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
av An Oral History with Margaret Masuoka (ddr-csujad-29-25)
An interview with Margaret Masuoka, a volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), conducted for the Japanese American Project at California State Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History. Specifically, this interview provides insight to Masuoka's personal history dealing with the prejudice that she and her family faced due their Japanese ancestry; her family's settlement …
Lillie McCabe (ddr-csujad-29-19)
img Lillie McCabe (ddr-csujad-29-19)
Photo of Lillie McCabe. Oral history audio and transcript are found in csufccop_jaoh_0030, csufccop_jaoh_0031, and csufccop_jaoh_0032. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: 1949_P03
Oral history of Morris and Cherry Abe (ddr-csujad-28-3)
av Oral history of Morris and Cherry Abe (ddr-csujad-28-3)
Oral history Interview of Morris and Cherry Abe. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: csuci_vcc-jic_0005
An Oral History with Lillie Y. McCabe, Part I (ddr-csujad-29-16)
av An Oral History with Lillie Y. McCabe, Part I (ddr-csujad-29-16)
An oral history with Lillie Y. McCabe, an incarceree at the Santa Anita Temporary Assembly Center and the Granada (Amache) incarceration camp. This interview was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The interview covers her childhood in Hollister, California, her family background; moving to Los Angeles, California in 1920 …
Newspaper clipping
doc Newspaper clipping "Tanforan, 1942" (ddr-janm-4-42)
Newspaper clipping titled "Tanforan, 1942". The article was written by Soji Kashiwagi on December 17, 1984.
Information sheet about the Tanforan Racetrack/Detention Center (ddr-janm-4-22)
doc Information sheet about the Tanforan Racetrack/Detention Center (ddr-janm-4-22)
Information sheet about the history of the Tanforan Racetrack/Detention Center.
Newspaper clipping
doc Newspaper clipping "Tanforan Assembly Center Plaque Dedication" (ddr-janm-4-43)
Newspaper clipping titled "Tanforan Assembly Center Plaque Dedication". The article was written by J.K. Yamamoto on September 25, 1991 for the Hokubei Mainichi newspaper.
Postcard to Molly Wilson from Haruko Nagahiro (May 20, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-53)
doc Postcard to Molly Wilson from Haruko Nagahiro (May 20, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-53)
Postcard to Molly Wilson from Haruko Nagahiro (May 20, 1942). It is postmarked May 20, 1942 from the Pomona Assembly Center in Pomona, California.
Letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (May 9, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-101)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (May 9, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-101)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (May 9, 1942) from the Owens Valley Assembly Center in Manzanar, California.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (May 30, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-84)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (May 30, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-84)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from June Yoshigai (May 30, 1942). Envelope is postmarked but does not give a date from Chicago, Illinois.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (June 3, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-7)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (June 3, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-7)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (June 3, 1942). Postmarked June 5, 1942 from the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Arcadia, California.
Letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (April 28, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-100)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (April 28, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-100)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Chiyeko Akahoshi (April 28, 1942) from the Owens Valley Assembly Center in Manzanar, California.
Letter to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (May 2, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-8)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (May 2, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-8)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (May 2, 1942) from the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Arcadia, California. Letter has return address in the upper left hand corner but not stamped nor postmarked.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (July 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-10)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (July 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-10)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sandie Saito (July 8, 1942). Envelope is postmarked July 8, 1942 from the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Arcadia, California.
Telegram from Shigeo Fukuhara to Tatuya Ichikawa (ddr-densho-258-205)
doc Telegram from Shigeo Fukuhara to Tatuya Ichikawa (ddr-densho-258-205)
A telegram sent to Tatsuya Ichikawa at Santa Fe Department of Justice Internment Camp from Shigeo Fukuhara at Minidoka Concentration Camp informing Tatsuya that his two youngest children have been hospitalized. Fukuhara informs Ichikawa that telegrams from the Minidoka Health Nurse and Social Service Counselor have been sent to help Ichikawa get temporary parole so he …
Tule Lake Cooperator, Vol. 2 No. 36 (November 13, 1943) (ddr-densho-289-3)
doc Tule Lake Cooperator, Vol. 2 No. 36 (November 13, 1943) (ddr-densho-289-3)
Selected article titles: "Co-op Will Keep Cash For Colonists With Interest" (p. 1), "Editorial: Government" (p. 1), "Difficulty in Supplying Laundry Soap" (p. 1).
Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-2)
doc Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-2)
Contains information about living quarters, meals, and other services in the camps.
Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-1)
doc Information Bulletin No. 1 (ddr-densho-320-1)
Contains information about living quarters, meals, and other services in the camps.
Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
doc Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
Correspondence from Kinuta Uno's wife and daughter discussing life at Pinedale Assembly Center.
Japanese Americans walking between barracks (ddr-densho-36-40)
img Japanese Americans walking between barracks (ddr-densho-36-40)
The Puyallup Assembly Center, also known as "Camp Harmony," was on the racetrack of the Puyallup fairgrounds. The center was open from April 28, 1942, through September 23, 1942. Most camp inmates were from Seattle, Washington. This is a view of the barracks that housed them.
Puyallup Assembly Center (ddr-densho-36-43)
img Puyallup Assembly Center (ddr-densho-36-43)
The Puyallup Assembly Center, also known as "Camp Harmony," was on the racetrack of the Puyallup fairgrounds. The center was open from April 28, 1942, through September 23, 1942. Most camp inmates came from Seattle, Washington. This is a view of the barracks that housed them.
Japanese Americans cooking (ddr-densho-36-34)
img Japanese Americans cooking (ddr-densho-36-34)
The assembly center was composed of blocks, each with its own kitchen and dining area.
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