Cold Cream, Masculinity, and Internment: The Archaeology of Japanese American Internees at Idaho's Kooskia Internment Camp, 1943-1945 Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., Anthropology) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | Archaeological excavation in 2010 and 2013 of the Kooskia Internment Camp near Lowell, Idaho revealed the presence of cold cream jars at the site. The Kooskia Internment Camp was an all-male Japanese American Internment Camp during World War II. This thesis analyses the cold cream jars within the context of masculinity and of Japanese American internment during World War II. The main research question addressed in this thesis is: why and how were the men of the Kooskia camp using cold cream? The framework of this research is based in theories that utilize holistic approaches to understanding the archaeology of gender and masculinity, and the archaeology of transnationalism. Analysis of the cold cream jar fragments involved research on the use of cold cream, the history of cosmetics, and the practice of Japanese kabuki performing arts. Three theories were developed as a result of this research. First, that the men of the Kooskia camp were using cold cream for its intended purpose of cleansing and moisturizing to maintain their complexion. Second, that the men were using cold cream as a substitution for shaving cream or lather. Third, that the men were using cold cream to remove stage makeup from kabuki performances such as odori dances.

publication date

  • June 15, 2015