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-03-0006

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WH: Now, you held a lot of different jobs, I've heard you mention throughout this interview.

ES: Yes, I didn't want to just sit all day long. First job, I got a job as timekeeper, so I'd go out and see who reported to work and if they reported or not. When they finished their job, I'd report whether they... coming home, checked them out. But that was nothing to me, because that's what I don't like. I like to be active in something more useful, and something that will help me to enjoy it. So I turned down that job, then I got to be a postal clerk, then I got to be a postal master of substations, and then I participated in the community agriculture meetings, and that's where I became interested in seeing different crops grow in the camp because what I saw in the commissary is not the first-grade quality. I see great big squashes come in, and vegetables are kind of dried up and that's due to transportation and so forth. We're not eating first-quality produce or fruit. So I became very interested in agriculture. But not knowing the country, not knowing the climate or anything about this area, it was very difficult for me to try to fit in this. But after serving on the committee for a while, and I got the cooperation of the farmers, and -- I mean, the farmers-to-be in camp, and the Issei farmers. Of course, the younger farmers were helping their dads and their brother while they were in California, Oregon and Washington. But when, after they were uprooted, they had no farm to take care of. So naturally, they didn't care about, much about farming. But the Isseis, they had nothing else to do, so they became interested in growing daikon and nappa for our own use, which we would, never would have. And that made, created interest, so we got our heads together and we got, a soil agronomist, we got a chemist, we got seedsmen, and we got mechanics, and all fields of endeavor together to help us to create a successful farming community in a community that we didn't know a thing about what could be done and what cannot be done.


ES: ...successful, we got our heads together, and I'm glad that each and every one of us were able to put some input to make this agriculture a success. Otherwise, we only had 109 growing days, and if we don't make a success, why, we can grow the crops and may not be able to harvest. But we were able to grow the crops to the help of the students as well as the Issei members to help harvest the crop, to take care of the crop, we were very successful.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2005 Densho and The Japanese American Film Preservation Project. All Rights Reserved.