Masami Nonaka, a Child’s Memories of WWII Internment Camp Amachi, Part Three



The Nonaka family had arrived at Camp Amache, the internment camp near Granada, Colorado. Their home for the next 3 years.

Each family was assigned a number and a name badge which the Nonaka family were required to wear on their journey to Camp Amache.


There were 349 barracks located in 30 blocks, 12 barracks per block.  The Nonaka family was given one  of the four rooms located in each barrack.   Their room was  approximately 20’×24′  which housed Mas, his older brother and sister, and his mother and father.  Each Nonaka was given an Army bed or cot, one blanket and one straw mattress.  The Nanakas were also given a pot bellied coal stove for heat and one light bulb.

There were no toilets only an out house.  Eventually there was a latrine which also contained group showers and community laundry room.  The men’s and women’s  areas were separate but that was the extent of the privacy.

There was one large building assigned as a mess hall. The internees could not all be fed at one time so they ate in shifts.  The internees ate quickly from their tin trays to make room for the next group of people to get their meal.

There were two or three meatless days a week. Often the meals were mutton or liver, unfamiliar to the internees, with no attempt to try to make the strong flavors more tasty.

Children and adults learned to stand in line to eat and use the bathroom, it was just a daily occurrence for them.

The adults attempted to shield the children, keeping busy and making routines.  Mas remembers playing with the other boys and marbles were a favorite.



Three years to go!

To be continued.


2 thoughts on “Masami Nonaka, a Child’s Memories of WWII Internment Camp Amachi, Part Three”

  1. I am always saddened by the way Americans of Japanese descent were treated during this time in history. Where was our compassion and understanding? White America at its worst.

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