Friday, October 3, 2014

SHSU Botanical Study (Field Work)-Yellow Groove Bamboo, PART 1

In my last post I asked the question, who planted the yellow groove bamboo?  My investigation into this subject kept leading me back to the same source, Reo Kataoka.  Mr. Kataoka was a gardener employed by Judge Elkins in the 1940's.  One of his jobs was to tend to Judge Elkin's Japanese garden that was planted around his lake home. 

It appears history changed the course of Mr. Karaoke and his family's life with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The act of war set into motion national concerns about the Japanese Americans living in our country and their possible involvement.  Therefore in 1943 all Japanese Americans were sent to interment camps, including one that was located in the Huntsville area.  The camps locally not only housed the Japanese Americans, but also Germans.

Judge Elkins, did not want to see Reo and his family sent to one of these camps, so instead using his influence was instead able to get him employment caring for the Sam Houston Museum grounds. 

This is were the bamboo comes into play.  As a result, Reo for whatever reasons brought some bamboo seedlings which were planted behind the Houston home over 60 years ago. I can speculate it was to help with soil erosion and possibly even as a privacy screen.

Location behind Houston home.

Possibly planted to prevent soil erosion
and make a privacy screen

After the war his family decided to stay in Huntsville, work and attend school.  The family even opened and operated a successful plant nursery on the East end of Huntsville. 

Obituary article found about Mrs. Kataoka

My next post about the Yellow Bamboo will be showcasing my Field Sketch and interesting facts about this plant.

Until Next Time.

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