The eating facilities in the camps were large mess halls with long lines and crowded tables. Group living tended to erode family solidarity, as teenagers escaped parental authority by eating with friends rather than family. The quality of the food was poor and milk and fresh meat were constantly in short supply. Inexpensive foods such as wieners, dried fish, pancakes, macaroni and pickled vegetables were served often. The diets of the camp inmates improved only after they began growing some of their own food.
World War II
Concentration camps (1355)
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
img [Incarcerees preparing food] (ddr-csujad-56-134)
Photo of three people preparing food with two others standing next to them. A third young man is exiting the scene. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-001
img [Mess hall] (ddr-csujad-56-156)
Incarcerees eating in the mess hall. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-023
img Japanese Americans in front of canteen (ddr-densho-2-38)
Peggie Yorita and her friend, Fumie Hariguchi, stand in front of Canteen 30.
doc Jap Farm Production At Center Is High (December 18, 1943) (ddr-densho-56-1000)
The Seattle Daily Times, December 18, 1943, p. 1
img Japanese American in mess hall line (ddr-densho-15-75)
Mr. Okawa in the cafeteria line.
img Japanese American preparing meal (ddr-densho-15-70)
Jim Shiga, well-known for his cooking skills, prepares a meal in the camp's warehouse kitchen.
doc Visitor's receipt for meals (ddr-densho-25-110)
In 1943, Mitsuo Iseri was on leave from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He visited Minidoka, and received this receipt for meals.
img Japanese American child (ddr-densho-26-91)
Minidoka camp photograph
img Child eating in mess hall (ddr-densho-39-18)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a little boy (girl?) ready to bite into a morsel of food at the Minidoka internment camp. There is a plate with two huge sausages and a roll. A coffee cup full of coffee and other plates and another coffee cup are in view. Windows have curtains. …
img Japanese Americans lining up for mess hall (ddr-densho-93-21)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Mess line, noon, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
doc Letter from Uhachi Tamesa to H.E. Nims (ddr-densho-333-11)
Letter of thanks for shipment of Japanese pears
img Topaz Camp (ddr-densho-357-774)
Hanako Terakawa's caption: "Taken at Topaz, Utah 1944?" Families gather around a picnic table to eat.
img Dinner was served (ddr-densho-253-6)
Caption: "Dinner was served - and consumed standing up owing to lack of tables and chairs. Camp steward Arthur Hirano, former New York restauranteur. His first menu consisted of beef stew, steamed rice, string beans, peas, apricots, bread and jelly. His customers were appreciative."
img Farewell dinner at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-242-22)
Caption on front: "Tom Sashikara Aug '44." Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain Aug. 1944. Caption reads: 'Farewell dinner for Tom Sashikara leaving for Cleveland, OH. Guy Robertson, the camp director and Mrs. Pryne were there.' K. Hatchimonji is seen on left with his hand on his chin."
img Hand over garden (ddr-densho-242-20)
Caption on front: "My V garden in v.g. Area The hand of Mike Aug. 1944."
img Man in a garden (ddr-densho-242-19)
For 16.1, 16.2, and 16.3. Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Heart Mountain Victory Gardens 1943-45. Organized by Kumezo Hatchimonji who supplied the Japanese vegetable seeds which were in storage after he left for camp. It was very successful because farmers were ablt to grow their favorite crops and supply them to the other internees. Kumezo is seen …
img Victory garden (ddr-densho-242-21)
Caption on front: "The V.G. sponsored by me in 1943. This picture taken in 1944, August."
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 7 (April 20, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-12)
Selected article titles: "82 in Center Receive Notices to Report for Physical Exams: Base Hospital to Be Utilized" (p. 1), "More Arrivals Expected as Segregation Plan Resumed" (p. 1), and "Red Cross Gifts Distributed to CA and Japanese Library" (p. 2).
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 20 (May 18, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-69)
Selected article titles: "New Acts of Terrorism Are Disclosed by WRA" (p. 2), "Sugar Allotment Cut Announced" (p. 2), "New Steps Assist House Hunters" (p. 3), and "Employment in April Shows Slight Increase" (p. 4). Page 1 of the edition is missing.
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 19 (May 11, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-68)
Selected article titles: "Treasury Department Move Aids Resettlers" (pp. 1-2), "Action Taken on Casualty List Schemes" (p. 2), and "Philadelphia: Teamsters Union Admits Japanese" (p. 3).
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 32 (August 10, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-80)
Selected article titles: "Meningitis Case: Great Effort Made to Save Tule Baby" (pp. 1-2), "July: Harvest Yields 372,580 Pounds of Vegetables" (p. 2), "Resettlers May Obtain Materials" (p. 2), and "Allowances for GI's Dependents" (p. 4).
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 24 (August 10, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-30)
Selected article titles: "Canada Gives Postwar Policy on Japanese" (p. 1), "Patrolmen: Reorganized Force Asks Residents' Cooperation" (pp. 1-2), and "WRA Announces Revision of Food Ration Quotas" (p. 2).
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 23 (June 8, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-72)
Selected article titles: "Food Committee to Be Elected" (p. 1), "Eight Violators Given Jail Terms" (p. 1), "Doubt Constitutionality of 2 Sections of New Law" (p. 2), and "Japanese in LA Hold Memorial Day Services" (p. 3).
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 15 (June 8, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-22)
Selected article titles: "Voluntary Terminations Asked in Families of Two" (p. 2) and "Hayward Assures Ample Supply of Vegetables" (p. 2).