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The Nutritional Value of Foods Served Inside the Japanese American Internment Camp and Various Irregularities Regarding the Food Supply with Special Focus.

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Presentation on theme: "The Nutritional Value of Foods Served Inside the Japanese American Internment Camp and Various Irregularities Regarding the Food Supply with Special Focus."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Nutritional Value of Foods Served Inside the Japanese American Internment Camp and Various Irregularities Regarding the Food Supply with Special Focus on a Rice Bowl as Material Culture Object. Abrar Zawed Honors Contemporary Investigation of Japanese American Internment Camp

2 Japanese American Internment Camp On February 19 th, 1942 President Roosevelt authorized Executive Order More than 120,000 people with Japanese ancestry were evacuated from the west coast and sent to internment camps. 10 interment camps and few justice department detention camps were built within the first few months of WWII.

3 Location of 10 Internment Camps

4 Overview of Research Japanese are traditionally known for their appreciation towards foods. Inside the camps, they had to eat in the mess hall (large dining hall) Created problems like degradation of family bonds over meal. WRA personnel were involved in creating food shortage and black marketing of food. The quality of foods was not up to the standard. Material Culture Object: Rice Bowl considered as the central meal of the Japanese diet.

5 Why Food?  Internees were really concerned about food.  Allowed to bring 3 luggage and most of them were filled with canned food.  For first few days, plates of canned sausages and an assortment of starches were the most common items available.  One of the internees had to spend his first night eating two slices of discolored cold cut and a piece of moldy bread.

6 Food Sources and Quality Only children under 5 were allowed to drink milk. Army’s contract for milk was with farmers from Oregon. Took more than a week to reach to the camps and most of the milk were spoiled. No special diet for diabetic patients. A diet of heavy salted meats and pickled vegetables led to death of an internees at Jerome. More than 200 internees at Fresno had food poisoning due to improper refrigeration of food. Based on nutritional value, canned food never considered an ideal diet.

7 The Approximate Daily Cost of Ration in Different Camps Internment CampsDaily Allowance for Food ($) Tulare $ Fresno $ Merced $ Stockton $ Tanforan $ Pomona $ Santa Anita $ 0.481

8 Irregularities and Black Marketing Rumor spread that the government intended to solve this “Jap Problem” by starving the internees to death. No food from outside were allowed for first 3 months. Armed guard often destroyed gifts of food such as pies, and cakes as they searched for “contraband.” More than 800 hundred internees went on strike for proper food at Santa Anita. On August 4th 1942, rumor spread that meats and sugar were taken from the camp and sold to black market to nearby town of Santa Anita. Later a white steward was found guilty and eventually fired from the job.

9 Material Culture Object: Rice Bowl Found by an archeological team of the University of Idaho at the Kooskia Justice Department Center. Relation with the research topic: Rice is the primary staple food of Japan. Rice bowl is considered as the central dish of Japanese diet. For many Japanese it carries religious significance too. Used as currency for more than 2000 years. Issei or the first generation Japanese wanted to preserve their family tradition by eating from rice bowl (pressure towards western foods inside the camps).

10 Description of the Rice Bowl 12 cm in diameter Painting method: Fukizumi White porcelain with blue ink. Discussion with Professor Mika Laidlaw, faculty in the Department of Art: Fukizumi technique is used with a stencil for the body of the bird. The bowl was then fired to cone 10 or 11 ( °F) in a reduction firing. My hypothesis: “The bowl wasn’t manufactured in the United States. It might came as a gift for an internee or brought my someone from Japan before WWII.”

11 References  Densho. The Japanese American Legacy Project. Web. 3 rd May  Desselier, Yamashita. Testimony Before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Chicago IL: National Achieve and Records Administration, Print.  Ishizuka, K.L. Lost and found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, Print.  Rogers, Daniel. Concentration Camps: Public Statement by President Roosevelt on January 31, 1943 Praising the Decision to form a Segregated, All-nisei Combat Team. Malabar, Florida: Kreiger Publishing Company, Print.  Skiles, S. When the Foreign is not Exotic: Ceramic at Colorado’s WWII Japanese Internment Camp. Denver, CO: University of Denver Press, Print.  Wegars, Priscilla. Japanese Artifact Illustrations, Terminology, and Selected bibliography. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Print.

12 ??Questions??


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