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Nature Behind Barbed WireAn Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration$
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Connie Y. Chiang

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842062.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 August 2021

Maintaining the Camps

Maintaining the Camps

(p.68) 3 Maintaining the Camps
Nature Behind Barbed Wire

Connie Y. Chiang

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the maintenance of the camps. It explores how wartime shortages and Japanese American labor protests intersected with harsh environmental conditions, complicating the WRA’s efforts to keep the camps running smoothly. One of the first challenges was finding adequate coal to heat the camps during the winter. The WRA then confronted the protests of detainees, who called attention to how seasonal changes added to their labor duties. Alkaline soil, moreover, ate away at water pipelines and required constant repairs. The natural world helped to shape modes of Japanese American resistance, as some individuals refused to work or went on strike.

Keywords:   War Relocation Authority, Japanese Americans, labor, protest, resistance, coal, pipeline

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