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 (66)
Concentration camps (618)
Living conditions (1023)

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

1023 items
Sam H. Ono Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1003-2-12)
vh Sam H. Ono Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1003-2-12)
First arriving in Manzanar; having to share barracks with another family

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 …

George Nakata Interview Segment 15 (ddr-one-7-29-15)
vh George Nakata Interview Segment 15 (ddr-one-7-29-15)
Moving to the Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho

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.

Clara S. Hattori Interview II Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-427-13)
vh Clara S. Hattori Interview II Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-427-13)
Daily life in camp: making furniture, setting up recreational activities
Gloria Kubota Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-122-13-7)
vh Gloria Kubota Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-122-13-7)
Living conditions in camp

This interview was conducted by filmmaker Frank Abe for his 2000 documentary, Conscience and the Constitution, about the World War II resisters of conscience at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead primarily focusing on issues surrounding the resistance …

Frank Emi Interview II Segment 3 (ddr-densho-122-20-3)
vh Frank Emi Interview II Segment 3 (ddr-densho-122-20-3)
Preparing for mass removal; memories of Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming

This interview was conducted by filmmaker Frank Abe for his 2000 documentary, Conscience and the Constitution, about the World War II resisters of conscience at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead …

Jessie Hatsue Akiyama Okazaki Harry Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-59-9)
vh Jessie Hatsue Akiyama Okazaki Harry Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-59-9)
First seeing Minidoka: "Is this where I'm going to be for the rest of my life?"

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 …

Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-73-5)
vh Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 5 (ddr-one-7-73-5)
First impressions of Minidoka

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.

Shizuko
vh Shizuko "Suzie" Sakai Interview Segment 6 (ddr-one-7-4-6)
Living conditions in Heart Mountain

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.

Jim Tsujimura Interview Segment 3 (ddr-one-7-23-3)
vh Jim Tsujimura Interview Segment 3 (ddr-one-7-23-3)
Living conditions in Minidoka

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.

George Azumano Interview Segment 18 (ddr-one-7-32-18)
vh George Azumano Interview Segment 18 (ddr-one-7-32-18)
First impressions of Minidoka: "it was a very unwelcome arrival"

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 …

Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-33-9)
vh Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 9 (ddr-one-7-33-9)
Transferring to Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho

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.

Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 13 (ddr-one-7-33-13)
vh Henry Sakamoto Interview Segment 13 (ddr-one-7-33-13)
Adapting to living conditions in camp

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.

Isao Kameshige Interview Segment 10 (ddr-one-7-35-10)
vh Isao Kameshige Interview Segment 10 (ddr-one-7-35-10)
First arriving in Poston

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.

API