Living conditions

All of the camps were constructed according to the War Department's specifications, which included barbed-wire fences, guard towers, and armed guards around the perimeter. The camps were organized in "blocks" consisting of twelve to fourteen barracks, a mess hall, communal showers and toilets, laundry facilities, and a recreation hall. Each barracks was divided into four or six rooms with each room housing one family, no matter how large, and there was no running water. The furnishings that Japanese Americans found on their arrival were canvas cots, a potbellied stove, and a single bare light bulb. The thin walls offered little protection from the harsh weather, which ranged from 110 degrees in the summer to 25 degrees below zero on winter nights. The flimsy construction allowed no privacy and made normal family life difficult. Camp inmates improved their own living conditions by creating interior walls and partitions, constructing furniture from scrap lumber, and planting gardens.

World War II (215)
Concentration camps (1245)
Living conditions (1697)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Arts and crafts in camp, Community analysts, Manzanar Children's Village

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1697 items
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, August 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-51)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, August 21, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-51)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. Transcript is found in item: ssu_nbea_9049. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-049
[Nakamura screen printing] (ddr-csujad-56-221)
img [Nakamura screen printing] (ddr-csujad-56-221)
Dorothy Nakamura works on a screen print in the camp printing shop. Page 7 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book Two. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-030
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, August 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-4)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, August 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-4)
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. Transcript is found in item: ssu_nbea_9002. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-002
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, December 8, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-29)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, December 8, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-29)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-027
[Crop land] (ddr-csujad-56-169)
img [Crop land] (ddr-csujad-56-169)
Field of crops with some trucks on a road in the distance. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-036
[Digging] (ddr-csujad-56-240)
img [Digging] (ddr-csujad-56-240)
Young Japanese American man with shovel full of sand from the banks of the Arkansas River near Camp Amache. Page 26 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book Two. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-049
Cow-poly (ddr-csujad-56-223)
img Cow-poly (ddr-csujad-56-223)
Young Japanese American incarcerees pose around a sign reading 'We miss you Cow-Poly'. Page 9 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book Two. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-032
Letter from Lea Perry to Frank Ito and family, May 10, 1944 (ddr-csujad-56-79)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to Frank Ito and family, May 10, 1944 (ddr-csujad-56-79)
Letter from Lea Perry to Frank Ito and family. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-077
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, May 2, 1947 (ddr-csujad-56-127)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, May 2, 1947 (ddr-csujad-56-127)
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-125
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, January 4, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-33)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, January 4, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-33)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-031
[Amache in the snow] (ddr-csujad-56-186)
img [Amache in the snow] (ddr-csujad-56-186)
Camp Amache photo in the snow. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-053
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, January 27, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-36)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, January 27, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-36)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-034
[Ladies group photo] (ddr-csujad-56-210)
img [Ladies group photo] (ddr-csujad-56-210)
Group portrait of young Japanese American women incarcerated at Camp Amache. Page 19 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-019
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, December 19, 1944 (ddr-csujad-56-98)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, December 19, 1944 (ddr-csujad-56-98)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-096
Letter from Lea Perry to George Ito, January 7, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-34)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to George Ito, January 7, 1943 (ddr-csujad-56-34)
Letter from Lea Perry to George Ito. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. Transcript is found in item: ssu_nbea_9032. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-032
[Trip to the river] (ddr-csujad-56-144)
img [Trip to the river] (ddr-csujad-56-144)
Wide shot of incarcerees at the river. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-011
[Group photo] (ddr-csujad-56-212)
img [Group photo] (ddr-csujad-56-212)
A group of Japanese American incarcerees standing in sun, wearing coats. Same group in 'Group Photo'. Page 21 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-021
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-27)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, November 30, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-27)
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-025
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, October 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-18)
doc Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito, October 5, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-18)
Letter from Lea Perry to Kazuo Ito. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. Transcript is found in item: ssu_nbea_9016. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-016
[Cutting the cake] (ddr-csujad-56-211)
img [Cutting the cake] (ddr-csujad-56-211)
A group of incarcerees watch a woman cut a cake. Page 20 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-020
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, July 5, 1945 (ddr-csujad-56-116)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, July 5, 1945 (ddr-csujad-56-116)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-114
[Picnic by the river] (ddr-csujad-56-235)
img [Picnic by the river] (ddr-csujad-56-235)
Fred, Sadayo, Taneko and other Japanese American incarcerees eat a picnic lunch by the Arkansas River near Camp Amache. Page 21 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book Two. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-044
[Tsurumoto in the garden] (ddr-csujad-56-200)
img [Tsurumoto in the garden] (ddr-csujad-56-200)
Bill Tsurumoto in rock garden near living quarters. Page 9 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-009
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, October 28, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-21)
doc Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry, October 28, 1942 (ddr-csujad-56-21)
Letter from Kazuo Ito to Lea Perry. The original letters are housed with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and were borrowed for digitization courtesy of the JACL, December 2014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-01-019
[Camp crafts] (ddr-csujad-56-166)
img [Camp crafts] (ddr-csujad-56-166)
Display of crafts made at camp including model ship, flower arrangement, carved hearts, etc. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-033
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