Collection 2023.10 - Torajiro Sasaki Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Torajiro Sasaki Collection

General material designation

  • Moving images

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • July 1952 (Creation)
    Sasaki, Torajiro

Physical description area

Physical description

1 film reel (17 min., 25 sec.) : master, b&w, silent ; 16 mm

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(8 Jan. 1914-5 July 1994)

Biographical history

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.

Scope and content

This 16mm film of Eagle Lake Sawmills was produced by Torajiro Sasaki in July 1952, likely commissioned or with permission from the sawmill owners, the Spurs. The film depicts logging and sawmilling operations at the Eagle Lake Sawmill, as well as shots of the bunkhouses, exterior shots of the mill, and the beehive burner. Employees of the mill are shown at work. In 1952, Eagle Lake Sawmill used both machinery and horses in their operations.

Notes area


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

    Availability of other formats

    Film has been digitized and is available in MP4 and MOV format.

    Restrictions on access

    No restrictions.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Personal or academic use of materials is welcomed under the standard fair dealing and educational use clauses of Canadian Copyright Law. Commercial use is, however, forbidden without the express permission of the copyright holder. For information on obtaining written permission from the copyright holder, please contact the Northern B.C. Archives and Special Collections.

    Finding aids

    Associated materials

    Related materials


    Alternative identifier(s)

    Standard number

    Standard number

    Access points

    Subject access points

    Place access points

    Name access points

    Genre access points

    Control area


    Accession area