Types of Employment

View item information

The "chief resident Japanese physician" working on an emergency appendectomy in the operating room of the Granada Japanese Relocation Camp, 1942. Courtesy of the University of Southern California Libraries.

Evacuee work was essential to keep the camps in running order and to fulfill community needs. From doctors to janitors, there was a job for nearly everyone. Each camp had its own hospital, police department, and fire department. Evacuee dentists, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff worked under Caucasian directors. Since school was mandatory, internee teachers were employed, although they earned considerably less than their Caucasian counterparts.

Each camp had its own newspaper, meaning that journalists, typesetters, illustrators, and paper boys all had job opportunities. Each camp also had dry goods stores that employed cashiers and sales representatives. There was an especially great need for mess hall workers and cooks to provide the camp residents with three daily meals. Office work that supported the administration of the camps was an option for many. Construction projects were always ongoing, requiring the hands of many carpenters. Sanitation workers had the unforgiving, but necessary, task of tending to the latrines.