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-03-0008

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WH: You showed us some film of the agriculture that you helped to get started in Wyoming, and before that, had there been much farming in that area?

ES: No, I haven't. I have never farmed the area, I don't know anything about climate, anything about soil, anything about insects or what you gotta combat. But we had information from nearby Japanese farmers, Mr. Endo, and Wasugi, were two farmers that came into camp and gave us some information.

WH: So you were able to make crops grow in desolate prairie?

ES: Yes, due to these Yakima people who are, who started farming in a similar condition, gave us a lot of information as what we can expect from this, this area.

WH: On your film, we saw these beautiful crops of corn, you said a freeze came in and ruined the whole thing.

ES: Yes.

WH: How did you feel that morning when you woke up and saw that?

ES: Well, the Caucasian personnel commuted from Cody to camp, and that morning freeze and he came by and the officer says, "The crop is gone." I wondered what happened, what he means. And he says, "This freeze this morning destroyed everything. But it can be salvaged for mess hall purpose, immediate use." So we picked some for the mess hall, but the mess hall cooks found out that they were bitter because of frostbitten, so that was the end of that huge beautiful crop. Not a single worm in the entire field. Here we grow one corn in the backyard, there's about half-a-dozen worms on it. Where they come from? [Laughs]

WH: After the war was over, you went back to Cody once, right?

ES: Yes.

WH: And met a woman, what did she say to you?

ES: She said, "Wait a minute." I was getting out of the car, I thought I did something wrong. No, she says, "You fellows did a wonderful thing here and opened our eyes as to what we can grow here." So it made me feel good, you know, to see a native Cody people think that we have done something to the community.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2005 Densho and The Japanese American Film Preservation Project. All Rights Reserved.