Tales from the Vault #2

Dr. Ed Sasaki

This edition of Tales from the Vault takes us into the area of oral history. The Historical Research Center in the Walter W. Stiern Library has a vast inventory of oral histories that cover a variety of aspects of history (more about that will be covered in the next Tale). One of the most intriguing portions of the oral history collection is the faculty memoirs. This oral history project was initiated by the Public History Institute to document the early history of the campus. A highlight from this collection is the interview with the late Dr. Edwin Sasaki, who died on August 4. Dr. Sasaki served CSUB for forty years in many academic and administrative positions.

Dr. Sasaki was born in Sacramento, California in 1940. When he was still very young he and his family were uprooted to Tule Lake Segregation Center in Newell, California. The reason for this was his family was subject to the relocation of the Japanese to camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tule Lake was the only relocation camp that had a Federal prison associated with it. This camp was reserved for those the United States Government considered as “enemy aliens.” Dr. Sasaki explains why his family was designated as such: “My grandfather was put in prison because he was the vice-president of the Loomis Farmer’s Cooperative and it just so happened that all the members of the Loomis Farmer’s Cooperative were Japanese citizens or Japanese Americans.”

This is just one incredible story out of many in Dr. Sasaki’s life. Do you want to learn more about the remarkable life of Dr. Sasaki? Come visit us! You never know what you’ll discover!