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 (231)
Concentration camps (1434)
Living conditions (1750)

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

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1750 items
Manzanar diary (ddr-csujad-34-1)
doc Manzanar diary (ddr-csujad-34-1)
One diary written by Hiroshi Fukuwa, a Kibei Nisei of Los Angeles, California. His diary starts from his departing day from Los Angeles to move into the Manzanar incarceration camp as one of the first group of volunteer incacerees. He was transferred to the Gila River camp, Arizona, to join his brother's family, and segregated into …
Manzanar diary (ddr-csujad-34-2)
doc Manzanar diary (ddr-csujad-34-2)
English translation of a diary written by Hiroshi Fukuwa, a Kibei Nisei of Los Angeles, California. His diary starts from his departing day from Los Angeles to move into the Manzanar incarceration camp as one of the first group of volunteer incacerees. He was transferred to the Gila River camp in Arizona, to join his brother's …
Grove of the Poston desert (ddr-csujad-35-13)
img Grove of the Poston desert (ddr-csujad-35-13)
A photograph of a grove of the Poston desert. Dried sage plants are captured. The handwritten note on the back side reads: A grove of the Poston desert, Colo. River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona, 1942-1945. Aug. 18th. Title from note. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_13_001
Poston mountains with dried sage plants (ddr-csujad-35-32)
img Poston mountains with dried sage plants (ddr-csujad-35-32)
A photograph of Poston mountains with dried sage plants in Arizona. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_24_005
Mesquite trees (ddr-csujad-35-31)
img Mesquite trees (ddr-csujad-35-31)
A photograph of mesquite trees in the Poston camp in Arizona. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_24_004
Dried trees in the Poston camp (ddr-csujad-35-30)
img Dried trees in the Poston camp (ddr-csujad-35-30)
A photograph of dried trees in the Poston camp in Arizona. Signed by: June Kuwahara. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_24_003_01
View of Colo. River (ddr-csujad-35-14)
img View of Colo. River (ddr-csujad-35-14)
A photograph of the Colorado River. The handwritten note on the back side reads: View of Colo. River, May 27th 1942-1945. Colorado River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona. Title from note. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_13_002
Poston I barracks (ddr-csujad-35-28)
img Poston I barracks (ddr-csujad-35-28)
A photograph of barracks in the Poston camp in Arizona. The handwritten note on the back side reads: Poston I, June Kuwahara, original. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_24_001
View of Poston mountain (ddr-csujad-35-15)
img View of Poston mountain (ddr-csujad-35-15)
A photograph of Poston Butte. The handwritten note on the back side reads: View of Poston mountain, Colo. River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona, 1942-1945. Title from note. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: kuw_01_13_003
Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-6)
img Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-6)
Photograph of two children sitting on a bench with two other people, possibly children, standing behind them near a tree. Manzanar incarceration camp barracks are pictured behind them. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_007
View from camp of Manzanar (ddr-csujad-36-13)
img View from camp of Manzanar (ddr-csujad-36-13)
Colored photograph of the barracks at the Manzanar incarceration camp. Verso states, "View from camp of Manzanar." Title from verso. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_014_01
Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-2)
img Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-2)
Photograph of four children standing on or near a bridge at the Manzanar incarceration camp. Camp barracks can be seen in the background. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_002
Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-1)
img Children at Manzanar incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-36-1)
Photograph of two children standing next to each other at the Manzanar incarceration camp. Mountains and camp buildings can be seen in the background. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_001
Manzanar group photograph (ddr-csujad-36-8)
img Manzanar group photograph (ddr-csujad-36-8)
Group photograph of women at the Manzanar incarceration camp. Camp barracks are pictured in the background. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_009
Manzanar camp barracks (ddr-csujad-36-4)
img Manzanar camp barracks (ddr-csujad-36-4)
Photograph of barracks at the Manzanar incarceration camp. A photo from: Manzanar Photo Album. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: man_01_004
Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-37-16)
img Heart Mountain incarceration camp (ddr-csujad-37-16)
Panorama of Heart Mountain incarceration camp in Cody, Wyoming. People pictured walking down a street in between camp barracks. Snow covered Heart Mountain is seen behind. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_016
Johnny Hiranuma (ddr-csujad-37-11)
img Johnny Hiranuma (ddr-csujad-37-11)
Photograph of Johnny Hiranuma holding a cigarette at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. Handwritten note on back of photograph states, "Johnny Hiranuma, [heart symbol] [Int.] Wyoming." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_011_01
Camp barracks at Heart Mountain (ddr-csujad-37-14)
img Camp barracks at Heart Mountain (ddr-csujad-37-14)
Landscape photograph of camp barracks at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp in Wyoming. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_014
Man in military uniform (ddr-csujad-37-10)
img Man in military uniform (ddr-csujad-37-10)
Photograph of a man in a military uniform standing at snow covered Heart Mountain camp, Wyoming. Handwritten note on front of photograph states, "To [Elda] Johnny, and [Nike] Sincerely Shigeto." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_010
Camp barracks at Heart Mountain (ddr-csujad-37-13)
img Camp barracks at Heart Mountain (ddr-csujad-37-13)
Photograph of snow covered camp barracks at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp in Wyoming. Handwritten note on the back of the photograph states, "Heart Mt. [Mountain] Wyoming." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_013_01
Women standing on stairs of camp barrack (ddr-csujad-37-2)
img Women standing on stairs of camp barrack (ddr-csujad-37-2)
Photograph of two women standing on the stairs of camp barrack F-E at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. Handwritten note on back of photograph states,"Heart Mt, Reloc [Relocation] Cl [Camp] Wyomming 21-13-F." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_002_02
Woman standing in front of camp barracks (ddr-csujad-37-5)
img Woman standing in front of camp barracks (ddr-csujad-37-5)
Photograph of a woman wearing a winter coat in snow at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. Barracks pictured behind her. Handwritten note on back of photograph states "Heart Mt. (Mountain) Reloc (Relocation) Cl [Camp] Wyoming." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_005_01
Women in apron (ddr-csujad-37-6)
img Women in apron (ddr-csujad-37-6)
Photograph of two women in apron standing in front of a barrack at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_006
Man in front of camp barracks (ddr-csujad-37-9)
img Man in front of camp barracks (ddr-csujad-37-9)
Photograph of a man wearing an overcoat and hat standing in front of camp barracks and a utility pole at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_009
Men posing out window (ddr-csujad-37-4)
img Men posing out window (ddr-csujad-37-4)
Photograph of two men posing out the window of a camp barrack at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mhf_004_01
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