Social and recreational activities

Despite deplorable living conditions at the "assembly centers," camp inmates tried to make the best of it by organizing various social and recreational activities. Japanese Americans participated in dances and musical groups; sports and gardening were also popular.

World War II (216)
Temporary Assembly Centers (177)
Social and recreational activities (90)

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90 items
Group playing Monopoly (ddr-densho-36-38)
img Group playing Monopoly (ddr-densho-36-38)
Japanese Americans did their best to lead normal lives in the Puyallup Assembly Center. They cultivated gardens, engaged in different types of activities, and played games such as Monopoly.
Group playing Ping-Pong (ddr-densho-36-37)
img Group playing Ping-Pong (ddr-densho-36-37)
Japanese Americans made every effort to lead normal lives in the Puyallup Assembly Center. They cultivated gardens, engaged in different types of activities, and played games such as ping-pong.
Japanese American gardening (ddr-densho-36-35)
img Japanese American gardening (ddr-densho-36-35)
Japanese Americans tried hard to make life at the assembly center bearable. Here, a camp inmate tends to a garden.
Merced Commencement Program (ddr-densho-356-775)
doc Merced Commencement Program (ddr-densho-356-775)
Program for a Commencement ceremony at Merced Assembly Center.
Grade School Musical and Dramatic Program (ddr-densho-356-776)
doc Grade School Musical and Dramatic Program (ddr-densho-356-776)
Program for the Grade School Musical and Dramatic performances on August 8, 1942.
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.
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 …
Two letters to Yuri from Min Yonekura (ddr-densho-356-285)
doc Two letters to Yuri from Min Yonekura (ddr-densho-356-285)
Two letters to Yuriko Domoto Tsukada from Minoru "Min" Yonekura. Both letters stored in one envelope, unclear if they were mailed together or separately. Letter 5/11: describes forced removal, details items needed in assembly center to make barracks feel homey, food quality in the assembly center and general life there. Letter 2: discusses plans to move …
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito (ddr-densho-356-291)
doc Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito (ddr-densho-356-291)
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Margaret Saito in which she details life in Tanforan, asks Yuri to keep in touch once she is moved from Merced, and describes her desire to move East and find a job in which she is getting help from a former boss. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-277 and …
Four letters to Yuri Domoto from Tomi Domoto (ddr-densho-356-289)
doc Four letters to Yuri Domoto from Tomi Domoto (ddr-densho-356-289)
Four letters stored in one envelope to Yuriko Domoto Tsukada from her cousin Tomi Domoto. Appears the letters were mailed separately and later stored together in one envelope. 6/8 letter: discusses events leading up to forced removal, inquires about how family are settling into the camp and how hers is and mutual friends. 8/8 letter: discusses …
Young Japanese Americans gathering outside barracks (ddr-densho-151-253)
img Young Japanese Americans gathering outside barracks (ddr-densho-151-253)
Original caption: Stockton, California. Young persons of Japanese ancestry, second and third generation Americans. They have been in camp about a week, where there is little for them to do as yet. The sun is very hot. The oldest of these boys has been studying this morning. The book that he carries is a text on …
Japanese Americans playing basketball (ddr-densho-151-464)
img Japanese Americans playing basketball (ddr-densho-151-464)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Evacuee boys in the foreground are playing basket-ball. This is one of eight recreation centers which are distributed about the assembly center. One of the barrack buildings is, in each case, set apart for games and recreation under the Recreation program administered by a Wartime Civil Control Administration official with college …
Japanese Americans carving wood (ddr-densho-151-338)
img Japanese Americans carving wood (ddr-densho-151-338)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Father and son while away the hours carving small wooden animals for the children in front of their home in the barracks. They have been living at the Assembly center for approximately two weeks.
Japanese Americans working in garden (ddr-densho-151-340)
img Japanese Americans working in garden (ddr-densho-151-340)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Mrs. Fujita and her neighbor inspecting the tiny vegetable garden she has planted in front of their barracks.
Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-13)
doc Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller, circa 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-13)
Letter from the Suzuki's to Rev. and Mrs. Miller regarding recent happenings at the Santa Anita Assembly Center. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_14
Letter from Lester Suzuki to Brother [Wendell L.] Miller, May 4, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-3)
doc Letter from Lester Suzuki to Brother [Wendell L.] Miller, May 4, 1942 (ddr-csujad-20-3)
Personal letter written from the Santa Anita Temporary Assembly Center and describing early days there, including lack of regular work and schooling schedules and of appropriate food for children; scouts and boys' clubs being in development; religious services on Sundays attracting nearly 2000 people; and the need to wait for community facilities such as laundry and …
Letter from George K. Sakai,  1942 May 4 (ddr-csujad-20-14)
doc Letter from George K. Sakai, 1942 May 4 (ddr-csujad-20-14)
Letter from George Sakai to United Methodist Church regarding address information for a mutual friend. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WLM_01-46_13
Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. H. A. Strong, Electrolux Corporation, August 9, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-13)
doc Letter from Henry [Katsumi] Fujita to Mr. H. A. Strong, Electrolux Corporation, August 9, 1942 (ddr-csujad-23-13)
Letter from Henry K. Fujita to his boss Mr. H. A. Strong of the Electrolux Corporation in San Francisco dated August 9, 1942. Rich in details, the letter describes the physical layout of the Merced Assembly Center, the poor-quality construction of the barracks, the daily schedules, the camp organization and facilities, the hardships and illnesses and …
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June 1942, Japanese typescript (ddr-csujad-42-52)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June 1942, Japanese typescript (ddr-csujad-42-52)
Japanese typescript of the letter: csudh_tak_0050. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tak_01_28_001_jpn
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942, English translation (ddr-csujad-42-54)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942, English translation (ddr-csujad-42-54)
English translation of the letter: csudh_tak_0053. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tak_01_29_001_eng
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June, 1942 (ddr-csujad-42-50)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June, 1942 (ddr-csujad-42-50)
A letter from Tsuruno Meguro in the Pomona Assembly Center to her daughter, Yoneko Takano in the Santa Anita Assembly Center. In the letter, Tsuruno describes the lives and conditions in the camp, including the hot weather, classes and entertainment, church, allowance and wages, and other incarcerees who she met in the camp. She writes about …
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June 1942, English translation (ddr-csujad-42-51)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Yoneko Takano, June 1942, English translation (ddr-csujad-42-51)
English translation of the letter: csudh_tak_0050. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tak_01_28_001_eng
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942, typescript (ddr-csujad-42-55)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942, typescript (ddr-csujad-42-55)
Japanese typescript of the letter: csudh_tak_0053. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tak_01_29_001_jpn
Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942 (ddr-csujad-42-53)
doc Letter from Tsuruno Meguro to Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano, July 13, 1942 (ddr-csujad-42-53)
A letter from Tsuruno Meguro in the Pomona Assembly Center to her son-in-law and daughter, Fumio Fred and Yoneko Takano in the Santa Anita Assembly Center. In the letter, she describes the lives in the assembly center, including her daily routine. English translation is found in item: csudh_tak_0054. Typescript is found in item: csudh_tak_0055. See this …
Some of the first arrivals to the assembly center at Tanforan Race Track, near San Francisco in 1942 (ddr-csujad-52-4)
img Some of the first arrivals to the assembly center at Tanforan Race Track, near San Francisco in 1942 (ddr-csujad-52-4)
A LaserPhoto copy of an Associated Press image, taken in 1942, shared in 1981. Caption on photo reads "These were among the first Japanese to be moved into the newly built assembly center at Tranforan Race Track, near San Francisco in 1942. The people here were watching a horse race at the track." A message from …
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