Torajiro Sasaki was born on January 8, 1914 in Mieken, Japan. He came to Canada in 1931 and lived in Vancouver, working in a greenhouse operation in Steveston, BC.
After Canada's declaration of war on Japan on 8 December 1941, the Canadian federal Government forcibly removed nearly 22,000 persons of Japanese ancestry starting in 1942. About 14,000 of those forcibly removed people were interned in isolated and declining former mining towns and hastily created camps in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions of the province. As the Internment camps were made ready, Japanese Canadians were moved to these camps through the summer and fall of 1942.
Torajiro Sasaki was one of those affected. On 7 February 1942, when he was detained and his property confiscated, his only possession of note (according to the British Columbia Police) was his Kodak camera. Torajiro was initially sent to Lempriere Camp and later to Red Pass internment camps, likely to work on the Yellowhead-Blue River Highway Project. The Yellowhead-Blue River Highway Project was a project of the Surveys and Engineering Branch of the federal Department of Mines and Resources. It ran from 1942 to 1944 and "employed" Japanese-Canadian males 18-60+ (mostly Japanese nationals) whether physically fit or not, originally living in West Coast of British Columbia. The project area spanned from the BC interior into the province of Alberta: Lucerne, Geikie, Yellowhead, Rainbow, Fitzwilliam, Grantbrook, Red Pass, Tete Jaune, Albreda, Blackspur, Gosnell, Lempriere, Pyramid, Thunder River, Red Sands, and Blue River.
When the war came to an end and the internment camps were dismantled, Torajiro Sasaki moved to Giscome, BC for work. At that time, there was a high demand for manpower at the many sawmills along the Upper Fraser River. As a single man, Sasaki was lodged in the bunkhouses and worked at Eagle Lake Sawmills. Torajiro's Kodak camera, which was held by the BC Provincial Police until his release, was finally returned to him in Giscome via a parcel shipment in 1946.
Sasaki and his family later lived on an acreage outside of Giscome. Torajiro Sasaki was a hobbyist photographer, filmmaker, and gardener.