Daily Life

Daily life in the camps was artificial and difficult. Inmates started schools, sports teams, theater groups, and other civic organizations to try to fill their days with a sense of normalcy.

Himeo Tsumori, like thousands of other teens, had to complete his high school education in the Topaz camp in Utah. This diploma and senior yearbook recognize his 1943 graduation from Topaz High School.

Baseball was one of the most popular sports played in the camps. This softball belonged to George Hirahara, who was incarcerated at the Heart Mountain camp. The numbers indicate his barracks location and the years he was imprisoned. Kelly Matsumura used this baseball glove at the Gila River camp in Arizona from 1942 to 1945.

The Ozamotos used this wooden address plate, written in English and Japanese, at the Manzanar camp so friends could locate them. The numbers stand for Block 24, Barracks 4, Apartment 3.
Relentless winds carried desert sands into every corner of the barracks at the Topaz camp in Utah. Chiura Obata sketched the result in 1942, recalling that the never-ending sweeping and mopping “wears out the women to exhaustion.”