Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Film Preservation Project Collection
Title: Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview II
Narrator: Eiichi Edward Sakauye
Interviewer: Wendy Hanamura
Location: San Jose, California
Date: May 14, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-seiichi-03-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

WH: You did a lot of interesting jobs, including one as a weather monitor. Tell us about that, your job in camp?

ES: Well, weather job was held by someone, I can't remember now, but he had relocated. So that department, weather monitoring came under the agriculture department head. So they asked me to, if I would be interested in doing it. I had never done that before and it would be interesting to me that along with the ag. job that I have, to take that position. So that's how I started, so every day at four o'clock and after, I would go out there in my little station and check the temperature, high and low of the day, any precipitation. If there is a precipitation in the little can on the outside, which is, snowed, and that snow and it's cold temperature, it doesn't melt. So on a Sunday, the administration building where I have my little cubbyhole, has no heater, it's closed. But I can get in there to keep my records there. So I would go out there and one snowy, late afternoon and pick up my little canister which was filled with snow, fluffy snow. So I had to melt that to bring it to liquid to show how much moisture. But I'm not gonna hold that with my hands and melt that snow. It's plenty cold enough without it. So I stuck it in my coat like this, and it takes a long time to melt. Finally I get it melted, then I measure how much precipitation we had. That was one of the coldest jobs. When it's hot and clear day, I had high and low temperature and no precipitation or anything, so it was easy. It was the winter months that was very hard.

WH: I bet you hated those days when it snowed and you had to warm the water up against your body to measure the moisture. What about those little huts that you had in the fields? What were those for? You know, when you were in the agriculture superintendent, there's these little buildings? What was that, that for?

ES: Oh, little hut. Each foreman had a little hut whereby they could get shelter in the thunderstorm. We had frequent thunderstorm and if you were caught in a thunder in there, boy, it just blows your ears off. And then all of a sudden it just pours, then it's gone, sunshine again. Well, other sections are just clear and dry, so those thunder clouds just keep moving around. So when it pours, it pours, and these little huts keep 'em out of the rain, from getting wet.

WH: Was it ever dangerous to be out in those thunderstorms?

ES: Pardon?

WH: Was it dangerous to be out in those thunderstorms?

ES: Some people say that, but I never heard from people that have been hit by lightning, so I really don't know. But it is scary; it's just so loud that it's just scary, you don't want to be caught in there.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2005 Densho and The Japanese American Film Preservation Project. All Rights Reserved.