Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Film Preservation Project Collection
Title: Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview I
Narrator: Eiichi Edward Sakauye
Interviewer: Wendy Hanamura
Location: San Jose, California
Date: May 14, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-seiichi-02-0012

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ES: This is some of the scenes on the farm, we are planting our first corn. There's Mr. Hosono of Santa Clara Valley planting corn.

WH: Before the Japanese came, had they been able to grow anything there?

ES: No, it was a barren ground with a little sagebrush and a great big anthill, and a little grass to graze the cattle there. It had never been farmed. It's been a buffalo hill country, and there's been no water. Therefore, the CCC boys just before the war, had started to build a canal to get the water to this area. And the evacuees, upon returning or coming to this camp, they were recruited immediately to finish up the canal so that we can have water on these farms the first season we started farming. It was quite a task because the evacuees were not used to the climate, extreme cold weather. This is the first crop that came out, is radishes. You know how radishes, they mature very quickly. These are some of the high school girls, are weeding.

This is another project on the farm, is a hog farm. We have chicken farm, also. These girls, one Sunday afternoon, went to the hog farm area, and I was able to take these pictures.

WH: How much did farm workers get paid?

ES: The farm workers only got paid twelve dollars a month to sixteen, to nineteen dollars a month, what category they fall in. Ordinary labor got twelve dollars a month, if they worked they got three dollars and seventy-five cents for clothing allowance. What can you buy for that?

This is a Los Altos nursery owner, he's taking care of one of the fields. A foreman like him gets nineteen dollars a month. But ordinary worker, twelve to sixteen dollars a month, depends upon his title. But that doesn't pay for anything, although the meals are furnished, the lodging is furnished, but you have no extra money to purchase anything. And you only get paid once a month, too.

Here I am inspecting the cornfield for the mess hall. The dark line behind is the railroad train pulling oil tankers to the town of Cody where there's a refinery. We're looking over the crops one Sunday afternoon. Oops, there goes my hat. Here we are again in the Shoshone Canal.

Mr. Hartman and the two secretaries from the agriculture department. Mr. Hartman and Mr. Ingraham were very nice people, other words, they really can understand us.

This is harvesting grain crop to be thrashed later for our chicken farm and hog farm. They are bundled in this manner, and later stacked for wintertime thrashing. Here's Mr. Alden Ingraham looking over the grain field to see if it's ready to harvest.

This is potato harvest, we're digging potatoes. As the potato goes by, you can see the potatoes are flipping onto the ground. This is another potato digger.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2005 Densho and The Japanese American Film Preservation Project. All Rights Reserved.