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 (66)
Temporary Assembly Centers (97)
Living conditions (334)

334 items
Drawing of the south east corner of Tanforan (ddr-densho-392-23)
doc Drawing of the south east corner of Tanforan (ddr-densho-392-23)
Caption written by Kenneth Iyeki: "The scene is in the south east corner of Tanforan. Partially hidden behind trees and bushes were [?] guard posts."
Drawing of barracks 16 at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-4)
doc Drawing of barracks 16 at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-4)
Caption written by Kenneth Iyeki: "This # barrack 16 served as our dwelling during the months spent at Tanforan. During our stay, peculiar odors persisted, reminding us of horse manure. We lived in the end apartment. The balcony came in very handy as we had an excellent view. All day long evacuees would be scurrying back …
Drawing of the script books building at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-20)
doc Drawing of the script books building at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-20)
Caption written by Kenneth Iyeki: "This is where the script books were sold, and where they were distributed free. If anyone wanted extras, they would have to pay for them. Cash was not used in in the center."
Drawing of the military camp at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-7)
doc Drawing of the military camp at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-7)
Caption by Kenneth Iyeki: "After drawing this picture of the military camp in the south-west corner of Tanforan, I found that such pictures were prohibited. The soldiers in this camp were all swell fellows, and when on guard duty, were as amicable as could be. Along the fence, the soldiers would play horseshoes, and wash the …
Drawing of the laundry buildings at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-10)
doc Drawing of the laundry buildings at Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-10)
Caption written by Kenneth Iyeki: "These are the laundry buildings from which all the internees left for Topaz, Utah. As the time for the trip to Utah neared, fences were put up around these three makeshift structures and people were leaving the camp every day like herds of cattle."
Drawing of the south side of Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-3)
doc Drawing of the south side of Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-392-3)
Caption written by Kenneth Iyeki: "This is a scene on the south side of Tanforan. The eucalyptus trees were always green, a factor which helped to keep our morale up. The green houses in the background were the better stables, on the opposite side of the track from the 'common' planked horse shelters. These that were …
Amache camp housing (ddr-densho-390-64)
img Amache camp housing (ddr-densho-390-64)
A man walks along a dirt road in front of several Amache concentration camp housing buildings.
Letter from Bill to Tama (ddr-densho-383-543)
doc Letter from Bill to Tama (ddr-densho-383-543)
Dated "2nd Night", describing living conditions at Camp Harmony
Letter from Nobutaka (probably Nobuko Yanagimachi) to Tamako Inouye (ddr-densho-383-556)
doc Letter from Nobutaka (probably Nobuko Yanagimachi) to Tamako Inouye (ddr-densho-383-556)
Re: conditions at Camp Harmony. Nobuko Yanagimachi was a fellow UW student and member of Fuyo-Kai
Memo to assembly center managers on clothing allotment procedure (ddr-densho-356-781)
doc Memo to assembly center managers on clothing allotment procedure (ddr-densho-356-781)
Memo to all Assembly Center Mangers from R. L. Nicholson, Chief, Reception Center on the procedure for the purchasing of clothing for evacuees.
Postcard to Yuri Domoto from May Morioka (ddr-densho-356-286)
doc Postcard to Yuri Domoto from May Morioka (ddr-densho-356-286)
Postcard to Yuri Domoto from May Morioka in which she talks about life at Tanforan and asks for Yuri to write back so they can keep in touch. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-277 and ddr-densho-356-320.
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Sonoko Riusaki (ddr-densho-356-281)
doc Letter to Yuri Domoto from Sonoko Riusaki (ddr-densho-356-281)
Letter to Yuri Domoto Tsukada from her sister Sonoko Domoto Riusaki in which she provides advice for preparing for forced removal and what to prepare for live in the Assembly Centers. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-277 and ddr-densho-356-320.
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito (ddr-densho-356-287)
doc Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito (ddr-densho-356-287)
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito in which she describes life at Tanforan and her volunteering to go to Manzanar early. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-277 and ddr-densho-356-320.
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Rosie Suyeyasu (ddr-densho-356-288)
doc Letter to Yuri Domoto from Rosie Suyeyasu (ddr-densho-356-288)
Letter to Yuri Domoto Tsukada from Rose "Rosie" Nakagawa Suyeyasu. In the letter she writes about life at Tanforan and the mutual friends they have. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-277 and ddr-densho-356-320.
Information Release No. 22: Issue of Clothing (ddr-densho-356-785)
doc Information Release No. 22: Issue of Clothing (ddr-densho-356-785)
Memo to all residents of Merced Assembly Center from Harry L. Black, Center Manager regarding clothing allotments for internees.
Administrative Notice No. 19 Conservation of Water (ddr-densho-356-798)
doc Administrative Notice No. 19 Conservation of Water (ddr-densho-356-798)
Administrative Notice No. 19 from Santa Anita Assembly Center on the conservation of water as water is not draining properly. The Assembly center closed laundry facilities on Wednesday and one shower location each day of the week.
Barrack, mess and issue record (ddr-densho-356-770)
doc Barrack, mess and issue record (ddr-densho-356-770)
A written record of Yuriko Domoto Tsukada's barrack assignment.
Notice to internees, bathroom hours (ddr-densho-356-778)
doc Notice to internees, bathroom hours (ddr-densho-356-778)
Notice to internees that informs of the times in which one of the bathrooms in male only and female only.
Letter to Yuri from Yoshito (ddr-densho-356-219)
doc Letter to Yuri from Yoshito (ddr-densho-356-219)
Envelope and letter addressed to Yuri Domoto from Yoshito Shibata. In the letter Yoshito writes about the descriptions of the Assembly centers he's heard so far and how positive Yuri's description was, pending deployment to Japan, his friendship with fellow Nisei soldier Stg. Harry Fujita, his recent promotion to Tech Sgt. He also describes a USO …
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