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)

364 items
Hisaye Yamamoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1002-10-6)
vh Hisaye Yamamoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1002-10-6)
Memories of mass removal; first impressions of Parker Dam Assembly Center, Arizona

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not …

Jim Hirabayashi Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-5-9)
vh Jim Hirabayashi Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-5-9)
Memories of Pinedale Assembly Center: playing sports, attending school

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead …

Yoshiko Kanazawa Segment 4 (ddr-jamsj-2-15-4)
vh Yoshiko Kanazawa Segment 4 (ddr-jamsj-2-15-4)
Frightening camp experiences as a child: vaccinations and a long train ride
Akiko Okuno Interview Segment 20 (ddr-manz-1-133-20)
vh Akiko Okuno Interview Segment 20 (ddr-manz-1-133-20)
First impressions of camp: typhoid inoculation, lack of privacy
Gene Akutsu Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1016-4-2)
vh Gene Akutsu Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1016-4-2)
Preparing for mass removal

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.

Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 19 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-19)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 19 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-19)
Journey to Santa Anita Assembly Center, California; description of conditions
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 20 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-20)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 20 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-20)
Working in an assembly center as a custodian of camp inmates'' property
George Hanada Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-5)
vh George Hanada Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-5)
Witnessing the so-called Santa Anita "riot"

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 30 (ddr-manz-1-23-30)
vh Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 30 (ddr-manz-1-23-30)
First impressions of Puyallup: living under the roller coaster
Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 31 (ddr-manz-1-23-31)
vh Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 31 (ddr-manz-1-23-31)
Passing the time in camp: volunteering for the dishwashing crew
Bob Fuchigami Interview Segment 15 (ddr-manz-1-28-15)
vh Bob Fuchigami Interview Segment 15 (ddr-manz-1-28-15)
Adjusting to confinement as a child: contemplating sneaking out of camp
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