History of Haney Nokai (Farmer's Association)

History of Haney Nokai (Farmer's Association)


This book is dedicated to:
1. Jiro INOUYE, pioneer strawberry farmer and community leader
2. Yasutaro YAMAGA, a devout community leader and a man of great vision.
3. The residents of Maple Ridge , past, present and future.
FRONT COVER: Haney Hall Nokai Hall, 1926
BACK COVER: Berry farm of YasutaroYAMAGA, circa 1912


EDITOR - Yasutaro YAMAGA, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada
PUBLISHER - History Editing Committee of Haney Nokai R #3, Beamsville, Ontario, CanadaR & 1-53 Sakuma-cho, Minato-ku,
Tokyo, Japan
PRINTER - Kasai Publishing and Printing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan
DATE OF PRINTING - February 20,1963
DATE OF DISTRIBUTION - February 25,1963


In the 1980s when I was a mature history student at the University of Victoria, I discovered considerable amount of information on Japanese Canadians stored in the Special Collections at the University of British Columbia library. Among the material were the boxes containing short articles and books contributed by Yasutaro Yamaga. Many were in English, but the most precious and informative was Hene'e nokaishi written in Japanese in 1963. For my PhD dissertation, I painstakingly translated lengthy tracts and used them in discussing the berry industry in the Fraser Valley that the Japanese had virtually monopolized before the wartime expulsion.
Since many researchers, both academic and non-, are unable to read Japanese, I have on many occasions been requested to translate and provide the information in Yamaga's book.
Now, however, with this expertly translated volume by Bill Hashizume, the history of the pioneer Japanese berry farmers of Haney (Maple Ridge), their problems, their ignorance of the workings of the market-place, the anti-Japanese feelings that they aroused, and the community leaders who strove to find peaceful solutions, are now available to all. Academic researchers, history buffs, and those Nikkei who are searching for their roots will find the book most informative.
The book had been originally planned in commemoration of the celebration of the 2600th year of Japan in 1940, Thankfully, at the time that Yamaga wrote this book in the 1960s, the original records were still available and the pioneers, although scattered around the world, were still able to review the material. Thus, it is an invaluable and reliable record of an important and vital segment of Japanese Canadian history.
Bill Hashizume is a rare Nisei in that he is equally competent in both Japanese and English. He spent his childhood and youth on his family farm in Mission, B.C. and then graduated from university in Japan. He not only has the linguistic expertise to translate Yamaga's book but he was familiar with the Fraser Valley berry industry and its problems, both social and economic. We are indeed fortunate that he has made available this invaluable contribution to our historical knowledge.


Haney is a town located approximately 40 kilometres east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Between 1905 and 1942, approximately 140 Japanese moved into Haney and vicinity to begin farming and established a large farming community.
In April of 1942 following the outbreak of the Pacific War, these Japanese living in Haney (Maple Ridge) were uprooted by government order and compelled to move to interior B.C. or to sugar beet farms in Alberta and Manitoba.
Only three books have been written about the Nikkei farming communities that were scattered throughout prewar B.C. They are "Haney Nokai-shi" (History of Haney Nokai) (Nokai - Farmer's Association)(1)(Authors - Yasutaro YAMAGA and History Editing Committee of Haney Nokai, 1963), "Who Was Who: Pioneer Japanese Families in Delta And Surrey" (2) (Author - Michael HOSHIKO, 1998)(ISBN 0.9666155-0-6), and "Japanese Community In Mission, A Brief History, 1904 - 1942 (3) (Author - William T HASHIZUME, 2002)(ISBN 0-9733049-1).
The books by HOSHIKOand HASHIZUME were written in English and are mostly collection of second hand information from references written in Japanese and from interviewing descendants of the pioneers. "History of Haney Nokai" was written in 1903 in Japanese. It was written by pioneers who experienced first hand the struggles, the difficulties, the discriminations, etc. they faced when they moved into an undeveloped and desolate area to start farming.
A great majority of descendants of the early pioneers residing in Canada or the United States cannot read Japanese and hence is not aware of what information of significance is written in them. Many historians and sociologists in Japan have in recent years studied and written (in Japanese) about the Nikkei communities in Canada and the United States. This is possible because they can not only read Japanese but also read and understand written English fluently. It is believed that many similar Canadian researchers, whether Nikkei or not, are not using materials or references written in Japanese mainly because of their non-fluency in the language.
"History of Haney Nokai" contains a wealth of information that is not widely known. Without its translation, it amounts to being just a dormant material. So that materials written in this book would not remain so, I have decided to undertake its translation. I hope it will be of benefit to the descendants of the Nikkei pioneers of Haney and the residents of Haney, past, present and future, so that they can better understand what these early pioneers underwent and contributed to the area development. The translation will hopefully be beneficial also to the endeavours of future researchers whether Nikkei or not.


1. Tsuneharu GONNAMI, Japanese Librarian, Asian Library, University of British Columbia. He has provided me with photo copies of Henei Nokaishi, Kanada Nogyo Hattengo pertaining to farming in Maple Ridge area and numerous other useful data including an overview of materials in the Japanese Canadian Archives at the University of British Columbia.
2. Mrs. Kazuko ONISHI of Hamilton, ON . She is the daughter of Yasutaro YAMAGA and has given me permission to translate the book.
3. Mrs. Midge AYUKAWA, PhD of Victoria, B.C. She has reviewed the translation, offered many valuable suggestions and graciously provided the preface for this book.


1. Terry FRYER, Clerk, and Valerie BILLESBERGER, Archivist, Maple Ridge Municipal Office. They have provided me with Tax Assessment Rolls from 1905 to 1941 that were necessary for preparation of maps.
2. John Mark READ of Whonnock, B.C. . He has given me permission to use his map of pre-war Japanese owned land in Maple Ridge that he prepared for his MA Thesis: THE PRE-WAR JAPANESE CANADIANS OF MAPLE RIDGE: LAND OWNERSHIP AND THE KEN TIE.
3. The many former residents of Maple Ridge , both Nikkei and Hakujin. They have given me precious information regarding their families and community.


Start Of Japanese Immigration To Canada (8)
Start Of Farming By Japanese (9)
Death Of Haney Japanese Pioneer (12)
Haney Japanese Fujinkai (Women's group) (13)
Worshipping The Death Of Emperor Meiji (13)
Haney Japanese Club Era (14)
A Humorous Story During The Club Era (16)
Yobiyose Farm Hands (16)
Picture Brides (18)
First World War Era (19)
World War Victory Celebration (19)
Founding Of Haney Nokai (21)
Constitution Of Haney Nokai (21)
Federation Of Fraser Valley Japanese Nokais (22)
Haney Monroe Doctrine (23)
Birth Of The Seinenkai (Young Mens Group) (24)
Building Of A New Nokai Hall (25)
Farmer’s Handbook (26)
The First University Graduate (26)
Discussion Meetings Between The Japanese And Hakujin Communities (27)
Parting Words Of Jiro INOUYE (28)
Kidokan Branch-Judo (29)
Buddhist Church And The Enshrining Of Image Of Buddha (29)
Redoing Of The General Meeting (30)
Lectures On The Strawberry Market (30)
Studies On Side Crops (30)
Speech By Consul ISHII (30)
Christmas Hampers (31)
25th Anniversary Celebration Of The Fujinkai (Women's Group) (31)
Japan Travel Bureau Invites Women Teachers To Japan (31)
Saskatchewan Drought Relief Campaign (31)
Current Status Of The Nikkeis In Hawaii (32)
Plans To Improve Living Standards (32)
Renouncing Of Citizenship (33)
Retirement Of Miss DeWOLFE(33)
Stone Lantern To Commemorate Dr. Inazo NITOBE(33)
Imperial Saiseikai (Social Welfare Fund) (33)
Battle Against Tuberculosis (34)
Deferment Of Military Service (34)
History Of Haney Nokai (34)
Passing Through Of Prince And Princess Chichibu (34)
Yotaro NAKAYAMA Returns Home To Japan (34)
Seinenkai (Young Mens Group) Library (35)
Coronation Of The King And Queen Of England (35)
Consolation Money For The Imperial Army Soldiers (35)
Cemetery Visit To Pay Homage To Those Who Passed Away Earlier (35)
Stage Plays By The Seinenkai (35)
Grand Entertainment To Celebrate The 2600th year Of The Fatherland (36)
Awards (37)
Kazuitsu TSUCHIYA Returns To Japan (37)
Driver’s Test For Automobiles (37)
Visit To Canada By Their Majesties, The King And Queen (38)
Strike At The Canneries (38)
Major Seisuke KOBAYASHI Of California Salvation Army (39)
Patriotic Campaign By The Nokai (39)
Annual Meeting Of The Imperial Saiseikai (Social Welfare Fund) (40)
First World War Armistice Day Ceremony (40)
Side Crops
Hot House Growers In Haney And Vicinity (40)
Forced Rhubarb (41)
Poultry Farming (41)
Hops (41)
Japanese Language School (42)
Separate School (43)
Forum Of Fraser Valley School Boards (44)
Pros And Cons Of The California Textbook (44)
Haney Kindergarten (45)
PTA Of Public Schools (46)
Corner Mission Sunday School (47)
Anti-Japanese Movement (49)
Campaigning Against Anti-Japanese Enmity (50)
Until The Anti-Japanese Land Law Was Buried (51)
Economic Development Of Haney 's Strawberry Industry (55)
Federation Of Fraser Valley Farmers (59)
Association Of B.C. Coast Growers (60)
B.C. Natural Produce Market Control Law (60)
Murder Of Kijuro SOEDA (62)
Foreign Language School Control Law (63)
Canada Census (63)
Special Survey Of The Japanese (63)
Ban On The Use Of Explosives (63)
Registration Of Enemy Aliens (64)
Jiro INOUYE, Founder Of The Strawberry Industry (65)
Forced Wartime Disposition Of Japanese Owned Lands And Assets
Author - Yasutaro YAMAGA (66)
Chronological List Of Executives Of Haney Nokai (69)
Haney Nokai Membership List (1938) (70)
Settlers Of Japanese Farming Communities In B.C. (71)
Glossary Of Japanese Words (76)
Index of Names (Translation) (79)
Section Maps (99)
Index of Names (Map Section)(128)


There is a phrase in Japanese called "sei-ko, u-doku" which literally means "work in the field during fine weather and read at home in wet weather". If one could live such a life, it would indeed be ideal. Although on and off for only 3 years in total when I was still young, I was able to enjoy such an easy-going life. This was on a farm in a village in British Columbia called Haney. Here, there was the Haney Japanese Nokai (Farmer’s Association), and this book describes in detail the life and development of the Japanese community in Haney from its beginning to its dissolution due to the Pacific War. Haney is also the place where I found life to be the most pleasant and memorable.
Jiro INOUYE, who was called "Soncho of Haney" or "Village Chief of Haney", was a graduate of Waseda University. It was in 1918 that Etsu SUZUKI came to Canada to work for the Tairiku Nippo (Continental Times). SUZUKI was also a graduate of Waseda University. A short while after the arrival of his wife, Toshiko (nee TAMURA), SUZUKI, his wife and I visited Jiro INOUYE’s farm in Haney. SUZUKI must have felt a close kinship with INOUYE as both were graduates from the same university. At the time of this visit, Jiro INOUYE's farm was just south of where the Haney Japanese Nokai hall was. It was at a time when there were hardly any automobiles, and the main means of transportation was by a four-wheeled carriage called "bogie". With this "bogie", Jiro INOUYE showed us around the farms in Haney.
SUZUKI, a devoted fan of the great Russian writer TOLSTOI, was deeply touched after seeing for himself the ideal sei-ko, u-doku type of farming life of Jiro INOUYE." If you want to be a farmer, I will also follow you," said his wife, Toshiko. It looked then that SUZUKI was totally captivated and appeared as if he wanted to settle down on a farm in the future and lead a healthy life. Although there were no definite talks or arrangements made then, it was from this experience that I decided to go to INOUYE’s farm and work there as a farm boy. This did not occur immediately after our visit to Haney but two years later. To raise enough money to go to school, Kisaburo MITARAI half-jokingly persuaded me to dream of striking it rich. With this in mind, I went to Skeena River in northern B.C. to engage in salmon fishing. As this did not pan out, I worked at sawmills and other places.
At that time, INOUYE had moved his farm to another location that was much farther east. Since half of his farm was still uncleared, I was able to experience some clearing work during the winter and spring months. Later on, I moved to a farm owned by a carpenter named HEINZ who farmed as a sort of a hobby. There, over a period of 3 years, I was given free rein to run the farm. It was at this farm that I literally lived a life of sei-ko, u-doku. On a clear day, I went beyond tilling the farm. Whether it was fine or raining, I only worked according to my fancy and only enough to live. At other times, I spent the days leisurely by reading books, going fishing and pheasant hunting.
There came a time when this type of living had to end. In the spring of 1924, "Rodo-shuho", a weekly bulletin published by the Japanese Labour Union in Vancouver, had expanded and became the Daily Minshu. SUZUKI and others looked as if they abandoned their dreams of becoming farmers and began directing their energies to the labour movement. I was called back to Vancouver to assist in this movement. Thus ended my dreams and the pleasant life of my youth days. After returning to Vancouver, I had to undergo hardships (not always) and lead a poor man’s life as if to make up for the 3 years
of leisurely life I enjoyed in Haney. In looking back at the past, all of the foregoing brings back fond memories, but my time spent in Haney was the most pleasant.
When the Pacific War broke out, about 96% of the 23,000 Japanese Canadians in Canada, lived on the west coast of British Columbia. A large percentage of these people lived within the 100-mile zone which was established as a wartime protective area. Under an Order in Council pursuant to the War Measures Act, these Japanese Canadians were mass evacuated and with this evacuation, a large portion of the fruits and efforts that were accumulated by the Japanese Canadians during half a century went up in smoke in one day. The Japanese Canadian community had their very foundation taken away from under them. The Canadian Government’s racial policy to use the war to solve in one stroke the thorny "Japanese Problem" of the B.C. government could be criticized over and over. But to the Japanese Canadian community in general, it ended the social and economic inconsistencies and stalemate that existed within the community and opened a way for it to expand and move forward. To view this in overall perspective, the serious wounds that resulted from this drastic surgery healed relatively fast. At about this time, the Niseis were approaching maturity, and this favorable condition assisted the community in reestablishing itself in a relatively short period of time. The Niseis also moved forward to other fields of development. Notwithstanding the above, the efforts and struggles of Japanese immigrants over the past half century were not that easy. Stories of such difficulties are recorded in this "History of Haney Nokai". This book is a history of Japanese settlement in Haney, a community located in one part of the Fraser Valley. It records its development and also its dissolution due to the Pacific War. Other Japanese farming communities more or less followed the same path. As such, this book is not only a typical history of a Japanese farming community but also a portion of the overall history of Japanese Canadians.
The author of this book, Yasutaro YAMAGA, worked on a government road project after leaving Haney due to the mass evacuation of Japanese Canadians. When the war ended, YAMAGA worked at a sawmill in the Cariboo area of interior B.C. With the support of friends, he poured all of his resources that he had saved for his retirement to found a seniors home for Nikkei pioneers. This is the "Nipponia Home" located in Beamsville, Ontario. As more and more people began showing interest and applied for admission, the home required expansion. This annex was completed this year. YAMAGA personally involved himself in running this home. He and his wife are currently working tirelessly for the compatriot residents. Had there been no tireless and unselfish work on the part of YAMAGA, this book would probably not have been published.
After completing his manuscript in general, YAMAGA asked me to read it over for my advice and comments. He also gave me the honour of writing this inadequate preface which I gladly accepted. This was probably due to the fact that I once lived in Haney and had maintained close ties with him. I still have fond memories of Haney and this fills me with deep emotions.
November 11,1962 Takaichi UMEZUKI
The New Canadian,
Toronto, Ontario


The Rocky Mountains divide Canada geographically into 3 sections, the western, central and eastern. With its source here, the Fraser River flows south for a distance of some 1,200 miles and empties into the Pacific Ocean. The last fifty odd miles is a rich farming area called the Fraser Valley. On the north side of this valley lies Haney.
Into this Fraser Valley where a white community already existed, many Japanese moved in and settled down. The Hakujin (Caucasian) and Nikkei (Japanese) residents were politically the same, however, because of the language difference, the Nikkei residents were compelled to form their own distinct community. What organized and provided guidance to this Nikkei community was the Japanese Nokai.
To Japanese immigrants in B.C., Haney is where the Japanese farmers started the strawberry industry, an industry that grew through the years and grossed over a million dollars in annual sales. They led the way in the systematic marketing of their produce and formed the groundwork for the farmer's cooperative movement. It was also Haney Nokai that initiated a preemptive movement to prevent the anti-Japanese Land Restriction Act from being enacted.
With many memories fading with the passage of time and together with many early pioneers who were still able to pass on these memories leaving this world, there was a desire to leave behind at least, an outline of what farming life was like in the past and also to leave behind a piece of the history of Japanese activities overseas. With the above in mind, a few of the former Nokai members still living got together and decided to publish this book with the help of many other former members. By so doing, it carried out the intent of the resolution that had been passed in 1940 to commemorate the 2,600th year of the Imperial Calendar.
The materials used in this book were derived from the many Nokai records, "Canada and the Orient" (History of Immigration by Orientals) written by Charles J WOODSWORTH, records and statistics of the Provincial Agriculture Ministry, records of individuals, articles from old newspapers and magazines and recollections of seniors still living. As many of the former members were scattered throughout the country, the committee regrets that they were unable to gather a wider range of necessary materials.
We have tried to record events in chronological order. Events that occurred from 1932-1933 onwards till 1939 were taken from Nokai records. In others, the articles in the book may appear somewhat incoherent and difficult to understand. However, we felt that by leaving some parts intact, it will bring back fond memories to the former members. The book describes briefly the early farm developing era, various aspects of the Japanese community, the discrimination movement, industry and education in general within the community as well.
In publishing this book, we received kind editorial comments and advice from Mr. Takaichi UMEZUKI of the New Canadian. Mr. Chiyokichi ARIGA of Tokyo, a former Japanese school principal in Haney, looked after all of the details regarding the publishing of this book. Both contributed greatly in making this book possible.
This committee wishes to express its deepest appreciation to the two individuals mentioned above.


Start Of Japanese Immigration To Canada

Manzo NAGANO of Nagasaki, a young man of 19, boarded a foreign ship to work as a "boy" and disembarked in Canada. It is believed that he was the first Japanese to enter Canada.
Old records mention that in 1880, young Manzo traveled from New Westminster to Vancouver and worked for about 5 years loading timber onto ships. From this, it is estimated that Manzo landed in Canada in either 1875 or 1876 (Translators note - After careful research, Japanese Canadians celebrated the centenary of the arrival of their first immigrant, Manzo NAGANO, in 1977.)
According to a story by a kenjin (person from same ken) who has since passed away, NAGANO was born in Kuchinotsu area of Nagasaki-ken in 1857. His family engaged in loading coal onto foreign ships and also in fishing. He was one of 10 siblings. When he was still young, he was called "Manryo", but he later changed his name to "Manzo". When he was 19, he was hired as a "cabin boy" of the ship captain. When he boarded ship, he had with him one "trade coin" (equivalent to one silver dollar). During the long voyage, Manzo learned English by hand and leg motions. He landed at a place in the United States near the Canadian border called Anacortes. There, he worked as a domestic or at sawmills where everyone around him were Hakujins. Later in 1878, he moved to Canada and New Westminster where he engaged in salmon fishing with a Greek fisherman, etc." (Some say the fisherman was an Italian, not a Greek).
After the fishing season was over, Manzo worked again aboard a ship that plied the Pacific Ocean. He later returned to New Westminster. When he returned, he found that there were already 7 or 8 Japanese fishing for salmon. At that time, the border between Canada and the United States was wide open. While fishing on the American side in 1886, gale force winds blew the boat back to the mouth of the Fraser River. At that time, Manzo saw 5 Japanese fishing for salmon.
Manzo then returned to Seattle again where he started a small business that turned out to be unsuccessful. In 1891,he returned home to Japan but did not feel satisfied. He left his homeland the following year, sailed again and landed in Victoria. From there, he went to Steveston where he became the first in B.C. to salt salmon for export to Japan. This venture turned out to be a success and he made unexpected sums of money.
With this money, he went to Victoria where in 1894, he opened a store dealing in Japanese artifacts and other merchandises. In 1898, Manzo went to Japan, got married and returned to Victoria with his wife. Since then, he occupied himself in running his business. In one’s lifetime, there are good times as well as bad. When the world-wide depression came in 1918 following the end of the Great War, it impacted his business. Manzo became disheartened and decided to spend his golden years in Japan. He returned to Japan around 1925 and died. His descendants are believed to be living currently somewhere in Quebec.
Immigration from Japan began in 1884 and gradually increased over the years. When immigrants during the Meiji era (1868-1912) went abroad to work, they went mainly to Hawaii or mainland United States. They thought Canada was only a part of North America. Around 1907, United States restricted the immigration of people from Asia.
Many began thinking, "If I were to emigrate to Canada, obtaining of a passport should be easy". With this, general immigration into Canada increased. Soon, Canada also imposed immigration restrictions.
In 1889, through Kobe Emigration Co., 24 contract workers immigrated to Canada to work at coal mines in Cumberland. Several more contract coal miners also arrived in Cumberland the following year. These miners were all young and their average age was 22. In all probability, they were bachelors. At any rate, there were hardly any women who immigrated before 1907. It was when these young immigrants had saved enough money to get married that the so called "photo marriages" began. According to immigration records, the number of "photo brides" reached a maximum in 1912. The average number of Yamato-nadeshikos (Japanese women) that entered Canada was 350 a year.
With the Lemieux Treaty between Japan and Canada (known also as Gentlemens Agreement), immigration from Japan was limited to 400 a year (Wives and children were excluded from this number). Because of anti-Asian and labour union movements, the number was further reduced to 150 a year. This included also wives and children.
Working places of the first immigrants were the coal mines and salmon fishing grounds. From around 1880, Japanese living in Seattle area came to fish on the Fraser River during the salmon season. Aside from salmon fishing, there were only about 50 to 60 Japanese working at Hastings Sawmill in Vancouver around 1890.
In 1901, there were 460 immigrants. For 2 to 3 years after 1905, the United States banned the re-sailing from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. As a result, everyone made a mad dash for Canada. This added more fuel to the flame of anti-Japanese movement.

Starting Of Farming By The Japanese

In 1904, a young man named Mankichi IYEMOTO from Yamaguchi-ken moved into Pitt Meadows, a low lying area situated on the north side the Fraser approximately 25 miles upstream from its mouth. IYEMOTO came to work for a Hakujin farmer. He is believed to be the first Japanese to set foot in this area to farm
Pitt Meadows is a flat low-lying area. The Selkirk (Coastal?) Mountains runs east to west like a picturesque folding screen. At the foot of the mountains lie several broad expanses of dairy farms. In the same year, Kumekichi FUJINO from Shiga-ken moved into Mission to work at a sawmill. Mission is located about twenty miles east of Pitt Meadows. FUJINO was the first Japanese to start strawberry farming there. At around this time, there were only a few farmers growing strawberries. In Hammond, which lies east of Pitt Meadows, there were only 2 Hakujin farmers.
During strawberry picking season, the farmers knowing that Japanese workers worked hard, asked "Maki" (Mankichi’s nickname) to recruit some workers for them. He called his friends, and through words of mouth, more and more others would call on him looking for work. These workers were mostly from Yamaguchi-ken. Within 2 or 3 years, many of these workers moved east to Hammond where they each leased 5 acres of cleared land. On this land, they built primitive shacks from split cedar boards to live in. They made their living by growing potatoes and onions on their land, and also by working for Hakujin farmers doing odd jobs. Within the Nikkei community, this clustered community was known as "Yamaguchi-mura". Two or three miles east of Hammond is
Haney. The land here is on higher ground than Pitt Meadows and is most suited for the growing of strawberries and other fruits. Around 1906, Hamaji AZUMA and Tatsuji MATSUSHITA, both from Kumamoto-ken, leased some land here to start growing strawberries.
Haney is located on high ground on the north side of the Fraser, approx, thirty miles upstream from its mouth. To its north lies the Selkirk (Coastal?) Mountains and to its south, the slow flowing Fraser River. To the distant east, Mount Baker that looks similar to Mt. Fuji in Japan, can be viewed between the clouds with its picturesque snow-capped peak. The soil here is moist quaternary period alluvial and as such is suited for the growing of strawberries and vegetables. Means of transportation at the time of settling were the Canadian Pacific Railway that ran along the north side of the Fraser (one hour to Vancouver) and a steam paddleboat that plied the villages on both sides of the Fraser twice a week. Each mode carried passengers as well as freight.
About half a century earlier, immigrants from Europe who came here, received homestead land, settled down and little by little opened up this desolate countryside. Into this community came the Japanese and started to grow strawberries. In 1906, 2 years after Hamaji AZUMA and Tatsuji MATSUSHITA started strawberry farming, Jiro INOUYE, who hailed from Saga-ken and was a graduate of the Law Department of Waseda University, moved in. He bought 20 acres of land with the intent of living here permanently and to start a strawberry farm. With this, he became not only the first Japanese to own a farmland in B.C., but also took the first step in becoming the founder of the Japanese strawberry industry.
In 1907, an anti-Japanese or the so-called Powell Street riot broke out in Vancouver. As a basic policy against anti-Japanese, INOUYE proposed to his compatriots to go into strawberry farming where there were no anti-Japanese sentiments rather than the general labor market where anti-Japanese feelings were more prevalent. He stated, "According to my calculations, if one should run his farm under a solid 10 year plan, there is no doubt that he will realize a net income of $10,000." INOUYE believed in this sincerely and wrote several articles in the Japanese papers expounding his views.
Among those who read these articles were students, merchants, fishermen, barbers, people from all walks of life including farmers. One thing common in these people was that they were all strong, willing to work, start a farm without any money, start from scratch and wanted to end up with $10,000 in 10 years time. INOUYE gladly welcomed these young men and not only helped them in acquiring leased land but also looked after everything they needed to make a living.
Among those who came was a bright young man named SEKIGUCHI who later went on to become chief secretary of Seattle Nihonjinkai (Japanese Association) for a number of years. He had no manual labour experience and on one occasion, he asked INOUYE how a tool called "mattock" was used. There was no way he could ever become a farmer no matter how hard he wished to make $10,000.
Conditions for leasing in the early days were absurd to say the least. Ordinarily, a 5 acre lot of uncleared land can be leased free of rent for a period of 7 years. The farmer would clear this land and plant strawberries. He gets to keep what he reaps from his harvest. Most of the farmers came unprepared to meet their living expenses. During the summer, they would either go salmon fishing or work in the forests in order to save up enough money to survive the winter. They would return during the winter to continue
with the land clearing. Before long, the 7-year lease period lapses, and about half of the farmers had to return the land to the owner without realizing any harvest from the land. Realizing the above absurdness, many of the farmers spent the money they earned during the summer to buy the 5 or 10 acres of land.
As it was relatively easy to purchase land, many became landowners. Ordinarily, an acre costs about $50 of which a quarter was paid as down payment. The balance was paid off on a yearly basis over a period of 3 to 4 years. Interest at that time was 6%/year. Under such conditions, the number of leased farms disappeared. After about 10 years, all Japanese farmers owned their land. Knowing that the land was now theirs, they spent their money in building new homes. Whatever they cleared, it was theirs to keep.
During the early days of settling when newcomers moved in, it was common practice for those who settled earlier to bring their carpenter tools, their own lunch and help in putting up a house (primitive shack), woodshed and digging a well. The house was just a shack, just enough to get by on. The owner just had to buy nails and windows. Rough cedar boards were used for the walls and roof. The floor was dirt. Although rain was kept out, a stove was needed to heat the house during the winter. It was hard to keep your back warm in the winter even with a red hot stove. Ice formed in the water buckets. In the early days of settling, they helped each other out. By experiencing such primitive living, brotherly bond, mutual respect and understanding among the settlers increased. All of the early settlers endured and experienced cooking by themselves, washing their clothes, etc., while they underwent long hours of hard work outside. When they saved up enough money, they bought mill-sawn lumber and built a proper house. Soon thereafter they called over "picture brides" from Japan.
Explosives (dynamite) were used to clear raw land. Those who could not afford explosives had to remove tree roots painstakingly by using mattocks and shovels. The dug out roots were piled up against the stump and burned. The total acreage of raw land that the Japanese cleared in Haney alone amounted to some 3,000 acres. This surely was a contribution made to Canada.
Here and there during the early settling days, columns of smoke and fire lit up the skies during the winter months. The settlers, with hopes and dreams of owning a large acreage of productive land and welcoming new brides in the future, worked hard and struggled through rain and snow.
During the winter of 1914, Noboru YAMAZAKI lost an eye when a can of 100 blasting caps caught fire and exploded. Also homes belonging to KARATSU and KUSHIDA burnt down due to an accidental fire caused by explosives. To add misery to misery, one MASUZAKI who had come to help, suffered severe burns and later died. These were some of the sacrifices made by the early settlers of Haney.
The "picture brides" who came over during the early settling era, in addition to cooking, washing and bringing up children, continued to work tirelessly by helping their husbands clear and farm the land. The roles these women played in keeping up the family are data that should be included in the history of immigration.

Death Of A Haney Japanese Pioneer

One of our earlier pioneers, Tatsuji MATSUSHITA (then aged 49) who hailed from Amagusa area of Kumamoto-ken, farmed on leased land with his son, Nagashige. On one
sleeting night during the winter of 1910, he caught a cold that developed into acute pneumonia. He was unable to call a doctor and consequently died with his shocked son beside him.
There were only about 10 Japanese living in Haney then. Upon hearing the news, they all rushed to MATSUSHITA's home on Miller Road that was covered in snow. Inside was one ABE, who farmed on leased land next door and who also was fond of drinking. It was ABE who relayed the news to others in the community. He knew that old man MATSUSHITA had bought some 4-go bottles of Masamune sake (1-go = 0.38 pint) for new year's use. ABE himself couldn't afford Masamune sake, and consumed only cheap Chinese wines. Abe looked for this sake as if he was cleaning up the house as a neighborly gesture. He eventually found the box where the sakes were hidden underneath the floor where MATSUSHITA had been lying. Abe grinned and screamed, "The poor old man died leaving this behind him. He must have left this as a consoling gesture. I am a friendless scoundrel, but I will look after it (disposition). Please rest assured and go to heaven." INOUYE then placed his hand on ABE’s shoulder and cautioned him, "Please be quiet. Tonight is the wake." The death occurred at a time when it was impossible to summon a priest from Vancouver that was 30 miles away. Therefore, the community asked the NOGAMI brothers from Shiga-ken who were devout Buddhists, to perform the wake services. The 2 brothers with silk sash properly placed around their shoulders conducted the service. The Image of Buddha together with MATSUSHITA's photo were placed on a table together with incense sticks and offerings. The room was silent. With the clinking of a small bell, the service began. Solemnly, with the chant starting with "kimyo muryo junyorai", the room was soon filled with incense smoke and the chanting of the sutra. After the service was over, ABE, who napped throughout the service, suddenly came to life, and started to warm the sake while preparing tea.
Initially, the gathering reminisced quietly the days when MATSUSHITA was still alive, but when 4 or 5 bottles of Masamune became empty, ABE's voice began to grow louder. The faces of the NOGAMI brothers became florid and conversations soon turned argumentative. It erupted into calling each other names like "Goshu thieves" and "Ise beggars". "So you had to say it, you son of a bitch. If you want a fight, we'll give you one," roared the younger NOGAMI as he stood up. Till then, ABE’s spirits were high. With ABE sandwiched between the two NOGAMI brothers, they began throwing punches. The gathering was surprised by the fight and would not tolerate it. "This is not the place or occasion to be fighting," the gathering roared. They dragged the three combatants outside into the snowing night and told them to continue their western (cowboy) fight there.
The following day, a funeral service was conducted by a minister of the Methodist church in Haney and the body interred in Maple Ridge cemetery. Even to this day, MATSUSHITA's Japanese style moss covered stone monument can be seen standing. Every time I visit his grave, it reminded me of that incident. Because of the shame he felt during the wake ceremony, NOGAMI declined to conduct the 7th and 49th day memorial services. Therefore, a lay minister (name unknown) who hailed from Okayama-ken conducted these services according to the Nichiren-sect method and beating of Ogi drum.
Farmers in the early days of settling were faced with language barriers. There were no telephones then. If one became sick, it was difficult to call a doctor. The doctor first had to obtain a horse and buggy in order to make a call. After World War II, his son,
Nagashige returned to Japan with his family. He is currently living in Amakusa and is in fine health.

Haney Japanese Fujinkai (Womens group)

Fujinkai was the first organization to be formed within the Japanese community in Haney. In November of 1910, during the non-busy farming period, 7 to 8 women gathered under the leadership of Kane INOUYE (Mrs. Jiro INOUYE) to form the Fujinkai. Its purpose was to learn Canadian customs and simple conversational English.
As soon as World War I erupted, they established the Japanese branch of the Red Cross as Japan then was allied with Britain and others. They worked as a part of the women's group and continued their patriotic activities for 4 years till the war ended.
In 1913, the community acquired an old school building and turned it into a social gathering place for the Japanese Club. The Fujinkai also used this building for their meetings. Every Sunday, they provided a 15-cent meal consisting of 1 soup and 1 dish to those who came to the hall to enjoy themselves. This not only enabled the Fujinkai to raise money but also provided supper for those who came from far away. This served to kill two birds with one stone. It provided a venue or place where people could come and leave with lasting memories. These women did a good job once a week by providing warm cheers and nostalgic memories of the homeland to the bachelors who came.
In 1919, the membership in the Japanese Club increased to 42. With the formal establishment of the Nokai, Japanese language school, kindergarten and Sunday school, the activities of the Fujinkai in providing kitchen and other services to many visitors were spectacular.
Fujinkai also devoted attention to children's health. They invited doctors and dentists so that they could detect illnesses early and also administer medications properly. In particular, Dr. SHIMOTAKAHARA was asked to set up a free clinic, perform tuberculin skin tests for the early detection of tuberculosis. These achievements are well worth mentioning. Starting with Kane INOUYE, Hisae YANO, Kume HIDAKA, Etsu YOSHINO, Hisae OTANI, Tokiwa NAMBA, Mrs.TADA and Setsu RYOJI led the Fujinkai as chairwomen.
During that period, activities of the Fujinkai in character building were undertaken. In 1927, Miss DeWOLFE, a missionary of the Women's Division of United Church provided guidance to the Fujinkai as well as the kindergarten's Mother's Group. Through the guidance of Mrs. AKAGAWA, Fujinkai ladies learned etiquette manners, cooking and childraising.

Worshipping The Death Of Emperor Meiji

On July 30,1912, Emperor Meiji died. A double suicide by General NOGIand his wife followed. On September 13th, Haney Japanese community conducted a Yohai (bowing reverently from afar in the direction of the Imperial Palace) ceremony to observe the funeral of EmperorMeiji. On this day, some 56 people gathered for the ceremony. The community rented a hall in the exhibition grounds where an altar decked in black was set up. A portrait of the late Emperor was placed in the center together with bouquets of flowers and offerings. Three veterans of the Russo-Japanese War, Soshichi TANAKA,
Kurahachi YOSHINO, Teizo HIDAKA, with medals attached, served as doormen. With Jiro INOUYE acting as MC, the Yohai ceremony was solemnly conducted. At the end, Teizo HIDAKA read the eulogy. He extolled the virtues of the Emperor. When he reached, "The death of Your Highness, in terms of your age —", he choked. He remained silent for some time, but he somehow managed to complete his eulogy. HIDAKA started to say that His Highness's death was predestined like an ordinary man. He suddenly realized that what he about to say was very disrespectful to the Emperor. To atone for the faux pas in his eulogy, he, as a loyal subject, showed his remorse by refraining to drink sake altogether which he liked. This incident became a subject of talk amongst the elderly. If this had occurred in some past era, the authorities would have ordered him to commit hara-kiri (suicide by disembowling himself). Looking at the photo taken then, two hinomaru (flag of Japan) flags were crossed (not Japanese and the Union Jack). People in 3 rows were lined up in front of the flag (of which 3 were women) with black mourning bands on their left hand. The immigrants in those days thought only of earning money and returning to Japan and it would appear they had no other pride except as being a citizen of Japan.

Haney Japanese Club Era

After Jiro INOUYE bought land in 1907 and took steps to live here permanently, many followed him and moved into Haney. In addition to Kurahachi YOSHINO, Ryohei YAMAMOTO, TAKEDA, EBISUZAKI, ABE, KUSHIDA, KARATSU, YAMAGA, NOGAMI Brothers and one Yazaemon TAMURA of Yamaguchi-ken moved in with his family and bought 20 acres of uncleared land. A few years later, Yotaro NAKAYAMA moved in, bought land and built a house. In addition to the farmers, there were others who worked in sawmills and brick plants in Haney. With these people, the Japanese population reached 20. None of these people understood English. Whenever they needed to negotiate with a Hakujin, they always sought help from INOUYE in interpreting.
To seek respite away from this lonely alien place, the men would walk 4 or 5 miles every Sunday to the Club to enjoy making hand-made udon (noodles), shiruko (sweetened red bean soup with rice cakes) just to while away the time. Every year at New Years time, people would gather to pound rice (mochitsuki) in a one-to (one-to = 4.0 imp/gal) shoyu (soy sauce) barrel to make mochi (pounded rice). Japanese is one race that cannot greet in a new year without having mochi.
Year after year, more and more came into the community including the ''picture brides". Once these women came into this boring male-only community, the atmosphere somewhat changed for the better. In 1910, the Fujinkai was formed and started to operate.
In 1913, an old school building (16' x 32') on a one-acre lot was advertised for sale. This school was built in the 1860s. The current leaders of the Hakujin community all had attended this one-room school.
Since the Japanese community did not have any place to congregate, and not wanting to have this place slip by them, INOUYE, NAKAYAMA and YAMAGA jointly outbid the others and bought the property for $700. After adding on a 12 foot kitchen, and providing benches and tables, an impressive meeting place was born. This facility served literally as a "club" and provided go, shogi (Japanese chess) boards and other equipment so that men
could come here every Sunday during the non-busy winter months and enjoy themselves. This facility was used not only by the Fujinkai but also by others, such as English night school, Japanese language school, Sunday schools and also for various meetings. It truly became a busy hall. A few years later, a pool table was installed and this made it a fully equipped rural recreation center.
Among the early immigrants, there were many who indulged in drinking and gambling due to loneliness and ended up ruining their lives. Fortunately, such bad habits did not end up in our community.
Many people who gathered every Sunday between noon and evening enjoyed playing hyakunin-isshu (playing cards of 100 famous poems) and other games in which men and women participated. When they became hungry, they gathered around the table and enjoyed the Fujinkai's 15-cent meal. These episodes vividly come to mind even 50 years later.
On one New Years day, an impromptu shibai (stage play) was staged in which all members and their families participated. They all took turns as stage carpenters, curtain drawers and spectators. This event started from 7 pm till 2 am the following morning with some bento (box lunch) in between. Love affair between Otare, daughter of Hezaemon of Haney and Kanbei of Waya, Jurobei TOKUSHIMA of Awa; sword dancing; odori dancing; these were some of the performances done on stage. Those who hailed from Shiga-ken led the group in doing the Goshu-ondo (line dancing peculiar to Shiga-ken) as a finale. The time then was 2 am. Outside was deep snow. Some were unable to return to their faraway homes. They laid blankets on the stage floor, leaned against each other and slept until morning.
Before the Club was formed, on November 03, 1908, about 20 people assembled at the home of soncho (village chief), Jiro INOUYE, to celebrate the Emperor's Birthday. A large table was set up in the parlour and everyone sat down. After the Yohai (bowing from afar towards the Imperial Palace) ceremony, an impromptu amateur shibai (stage play) was staged. MIURA, ABE, KOGA (all of whom were veteran actors), plus 3 or 4 more men from Fukuoka-ken who worked at nearby sawmills and who had kabuki (type of Japanese stage play) acting experience participated. KOGA had already prepared wigs and costumes for the event. A double bed sheet was hung between the parlour and the dining room to serve as a curtain. Drawing of the curtain was done to the beat of wooden clappers. It goes without saying that there were no electricity then and all lightings were by lamps, lantern and chochins (paper lanterns) and these were hung in each room. The bedroom was used as a dressing room, the dining room as the stage and the parlour for spectators. To the accompaniment of the 4 ft.10 in. tall Mrs. ABE, the play began. They all laughed at the Hakata play performed by KOGA, MIURA and ABE. Even SonchoINOUYE participated in the event. Wearing a paper wig and a ceremonial kimono, INOUYE dressed as an arbitrator who was settling an argument between an eel restaurateur and a rickshaw man. When he began saying "Both of you-----" instead of the proper "You two —", everybody broke out laughing.

A Humorous Story During The Club Era

On April 01,1916, that special feature of B.C., the rain, was falling. One Enji ARIZA went to see INOUYE for personal reasons. As soon as INOUYE saw ARIZA, he said to
him, "ARIZA! something awful has happened. I can't deal with it by myself. Will you run and notify others? I just received a telegram that a unit of volunteer soldiers (Japanese) will be coming to Haney to attack us. They probably will be coming around noon today. The Japanese community here must defend against them as a unit." The color on ARIZA's face changed. He ran like a swift heavenly warrior to each Japanese farmer's house shouting, "An awful thing is about to happen. The volunteer soldiers are about to come to attack us. Please assemble immediately at Mr. INOUYE’s place." Soon, everybody came running to INOUYE's home.
Two weeks earlier on March 18th, 1916, the volunteer soldiers raided the offices of the Canada Shinpo (Newspaper) for allegedly writing a derogatory article about them. They overturned the typesetting tables and destroyed the office. Rumours spread that Haney and New Westminster would be next as both were sympathetic to Canada Shinpo. Everyone believed this was about to happen here. After the crowd assembled, INOUYE asked everyone to assemble inside. On the kitchen table were a dozen bottles of beer and glasses. INOUYE still kept a poker face as if something was about to happen. Suddenly he bursted out with a big laugh, "April Fool" (shigatsu-baka), followed by, "Thank you for coming all the way. Have some beer!" (April Fool — a custom whereby one can jokingly fool another person on April 1st.)

Yobiyose Farm Hands

In 1907, the U.S. passed a law that prevented Japanese immigrants from continuing on to mainland U.S.A. from Hawaii. As these immigrants could no longer continue on to U.S., they changed direction and sailed for Canada. 1,707 of these immigrants sailed for Canada from Hawaii on one of the ships called "Kumeric". The Canadian labour unions applied pressure on the government to restrict immigration. As Japan was allied with Britain then, the Canadian government dispatched LEMIEUX to Japan and signed a treaty with Japan. Under this treaty, Japan would voluntarily restrict the number of emigrants (wives and children excluded) to 400 a year. This was a gentlemen's agreement that preserved Japan's dignity.
Even with this restriction, the anti-Japanese campaign escalated more and more. Therefore, as a result of discussions by the Canadian government and Japan, the number of immigrants into Canada starting in 1928 was decreased to 150 (including wives and children) a year or a third of the previous number. Within this framework of 150, it was arranged so that the immigrants could be "called over" either as wives, as domestic helps in the cities or as workers of established farmers. It was truly a narrow gate through which immigrants from Japan entered Canada. Therefore, the method of selecting from the countless applications of those hopeful immigrants was extremely strict and the competition, fierce. Problems between the Japanese Consul's office and the various Nokais, Nihonjinkai (Canada Japanese Association), other organizations arose regarding the checking of qualifications of yobiyoses, determining the extent of assurance and responsibility, and assessing the interests of each organization.
These yobiyose immigrants were duty obliged to work faithfully for their yobiyosenin (sponsor of the yobiyose) for a period of 3 years. Naturally, they were paid wages although they were lower than the ordinary. It was the intent of the Canadian government
that these new immigrants would not enter the general labour market for a period of 3 years and that when they do after this period, they will have a better understanding of the situation in Canada. The government also hoped that most would end up in commercial and agricultural fields where they would not become targets of anti-Japanese actions by the general labour market
Haney Nokai, at a meeting held in October, 1921, adopted the following resolution regarding the qualifications of a yobiyose sponsor.
1. Those wishing to obtain approval for the calling over of a must be a Nokai member for at least a year.
2. He must have a minimum of 4 acres of cleared land.
3. He must have already harvested a minimum of 2 acres.
4. He must be an owner of a minimum of 5 acres.
5. In order to call over a replacement yobiyose, the old yobiyose who the new one will be replacing, must have been in Canada a minimum of 2 years.
With the above conditions as a base, the Nokai executives checked each application and submitted it to the Consul's office in Vancouver with their assurances. Treatment of the yobiyose by the sponsor differed according to whether they were related, friends, rich or poor. Their wages and hours of work, terms of their labour were not necessarily the same. As a result, there were some nasty disputes and some who ran away.
At the regular meeting of the executives in October of 1922, the following resolutions regarding the improvement of treatment of yobiyoses were passed.
1. The character of the yobiyose shall be respected, and shall be treated the same as if he was a member of the family.
2. The wage to be paid the yobiyose shall be $450.00 over the contract period of 3 years with room and board included. It shall not be below $100/year.
3. Regarding working hours, the daily working hours shall not exceed the average of the general working hours.
3. When there is a dispute between the parties, Nokai will set up a special committee to investigate and resolve the dispute. The members of this committee are to be selected from the membership and officers are excluded.
4. When deemed necessary, Nokai may report the dispute to the Consul's office.
The above treatment improvement plan was approved by the Nokaiexecutives. In January of 1923, this proposal was adopted by the Federation of 5 Nokais with each different Nokai to implement them. The Nokai made the newly arrived yobiyose learn English, and as for their recreation, the Seinenkai (Young mens group) provided guidance through English night schools, libraries, etc.
Some of those who immigrated to Canada within this restricted framework 40 to 50 years ago have made their fortunes and returned to Japan. Others have remained to live in Canada and have raised their children magnificently. They have since retired, are babysitting their grandchildren, or otherwise enjoying their golden years. There are those who came over as young domestic or farm yobiyoses. During the 35 year history of the Haney Nokai, over 200 yobiyoses were called over.

Picture Brides

Before the Powell Street Riots of 1907, there were hardly any Japanese women in Canada. From around 1910, a convenient system called ''Picture Bride" (shashin hanayome) came into being. The parents of those who were financially able to form a family went around the village with photos of their sons to search for a bride. They sent photos of prospective brides for approval. After receiving approval from their son, the parents entered the bride into the family register as the son's wife. The son would then go to the Consul's office in Vancouver for issuance of a certificate to call over the wife. Such arrangements were common between childhood friends or the younger sister of a friend from the same village. When couples with totally different background and character were joined, they resulted in numerous tragedies. Some took photos looking smart with a Kaiser-type mustache, some showed only the upper half to hide the fact that his height was under five feet. Whenever a ship docked in Victoria, the usual scenario was that the bride realized she had sailed five thousand miles to come here, and despite her disappointment, she could not return to her parents in tears and decided with fatalistic resignation to start a new life. Surprisingly, this worked out happily for many. There are many who are blessed with grandchildren. A friend of mine wore a false mustache to acquire a bride. When the bride arrived in Victoria, she argued that he was not the same person but another. The Consul’s office certified he was so and she finally accepted. Whenever there were quarrels between them during their years of marriage, she would bring out the false mustache and show it to him. Scratching his bald head, he would wryly say, "One should not do such foolish things". Some say that to get married is like rolling a dice. Whether through true love, or by arranged meeting or by "picture bride," the resulting marriage is still the same.
According to immigration records, the number of immigrants allowed under the Lemieux treaty of 1908 was restricted to 400. Since wives and children that could be called over by those residing in Canada were not included the restriction, they came in droves as "picture brides". Of the 724 that immigrated into Canada in 1913, 424 were women and 48 were children. In 1921, of the total of 531 immigrants, 338 were women and 49 were children. In 1901, the number of Japanese in Canada was only 4,738, and they were all men. However in 1921,the nikkei population swelled to 15,568 (male -10,520, female - 5,348). On the other hand, anti-Asian discrimination movement escalated furiously and this discrimination movement provided fodder to the debate in the provincial legislature. Immigration head tax for Chinese jumped from $50 to $100 and later to $500. To stop immigration from Asia, they petitioned for a head tax of $500 for Japanese also. The Canadian government did not permit this because of the 1913 Anglo-Japanese Treaty.
In 1928, the Lemieux Treaty was revised and the number of Japanese immigrants per year was decreased to 150. Women and children were included in this number. The golden years of "picture brides" were between 1910 and 1928 and the current survivors (as of 1962) were brides during that period.
The children they raised after undergoing many years of difficulties, are now married and raising their own families. Of the "picture brides", many are enjoying retirement with their spouses and some have been widowed. History of their struggles over the past half a century has become a thing of the past.

First World War Era

Although the Japanese farmers participated in patriotic activities during the war. they more or less all became rich. Due to the so-called wartime demand boom, merchants and brokers competed with each other and bought strawberries, raspberries and other berries. Prices for jam strawberries sky-rocketed to 21¢/lb from the earlier average cannery price of 4 to 5¢/lb. The merchants would bring with them several wooden barrels. When they were filled with strawberries, the merchants would haul them out that evening. He would return the following morning with empty barrels and roll of cash for the previous day. In this way, the farmers made lots of money during the four war years. Its human nature, that the more you make, the more you want. Moreover, immigrants are speculative in nature. With the money they made during the war, they recklessly bought more land to enlarge their farm. Some even borrowed money to remit to Japan. Those were the ones who made money with the rise and fall of the exchange rate. Riding on this wave of unnatural good times, there were those who enlarged their farm and those who switched to farming thinking that one can do no wrong here. As a result, one after another, the number or Japanese farmers increased. However, one cannot realize any profit immediately by farming. Harvesting can only be done a year after clearing. As soon as the bugle sounded the end of the war, the boom and financing stopped. There weren't any buyers for strawberries even at 3¢/lb. Nowadays, as the economy is controlled, you won't see any of the so-called reactionary business conditions. Jams that were made with strawberries costing 21¢/lb were left stacked on shelves without any buyers. Even if one asked a Hakujin neighbor to help himself, he only got a polite reply, "No thank you". Among the new farmers, there were those who went bankrupt, those who failed to pay their debts, and those who lost their land when they couldn't keep up with their mortgage.
Be that as it may be, Japan was a member of the Alliance during World War I. It was at a time when the high speed German cruiser, the Emden, was roaming the Pacific Ocean, and the people of B.C. were afraid of being shelled by it. As Japan dispatched two cruisers, the Izumo and Bandai to guard the west coast of B.C., the inhabitants along the coast began to breathe a sigh of relief. Only then, the rhetorics of the anti-Japanese group quieted down. People were thanking the Japanese everywhere, even to the farmers here in Haney, and shaking their hands. The Japanese who had until then remained small and meek began to walk around tall and proud, thanks to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the mighty power of their fatherland.

World War Victory Celebrations

World War I Victory celebrations were held at Haney exhibition grounds. It was lively. One of the Japanese newspapers in Vancouver, the Canada Shinpo (News), reported on that days event as follows.
"FARMING VILLAGE CELEBRATES - Peace celebrations were held at Hammond, Haney and Whonnock fair grounds. Many compatriots living there also participated in the event that turned out to be very successful. At the entrance to the grounds, a 35 foot high arch that was built by the Haney Japanese Nokai soared into the sky. This caught the attention of many Hakujin people. Flags of all the allied countries, wreathes and
exquisitely arranged flowers decorated the interior of the large exhibition hall. Large tables capable of accommodating 600 people were set up. Types of dishes that are rarely seen around these areas were placed on the tables. With the firing of a cannon shell at 1 pm and to the tune of the brass band, both Japanese and Hakujin people sat down together at the table to eat. Serving was done by some 150 Hakujin ladies. As there were about 1,800 people to be fed, dinners were served in 3 shifts. Everyone appeared satisfied and the dinner ended successfully. After dinner, the crowd gathered outside. Following a congratulatory speech by Senator TAYLOR, Major MARTIN (representing the Prime Minister), awarded silver medals to some 50 returned veterans. After speeches by KING (Minister of Public Works), GREY (Mayor of New Westminster), STACY (Member of Parliament), WHITESIDE (MP). Jiro INOUYE, Capt. ROBERTSON (Veteran's representative) and a few others, a variety of some 20 entertainment shows were presented. The ceremonies ended at 7 pm. Around 8 pm that evening, the local Japanese residents gathered at the Japanese Club and with the McINNES band leading the way, a chochin-gyoretsu (paper lantern parade) was staged from the Club right up to the fair grounds. Approx. 300 people participated in this event. Many Hakujin people lined the route, welcomed and cheered the parade as it passed through. The parade circled the grounds and ended with 3 banzai (long life) cheers for Canada. A dance party started in the hall at 10 pm and was still going at 4 am with no signs of stopping. The large arch built by the Japanese, its colourful decoration designed by YAMAGA, the fireworks during the day and night, speech by INOUYE, the parade, all were a success. They won the praise and satisfaction of the Hakujin people. The colorful events presented an impression the whole show was monopolized by the Japanese. Our compatriots usually laid low and out of sight in ordinary times, but on this day, they showed no signs of being inferior and proudly showed themselves off as sons from a mighty nation. These were some of the remarkable results that the Japanese achieved from their participation in the celebrations.


Founding Of Haney Nokai

One opinion held by Jiro INOUYE, the pioneer of Haney Japanese community, was that creating an organization for Japanese only would give an impression to the Hakujin community that a separate country was being built inside Canada. For this reason, for the past 14 years, the community solved problems of common interest under the name of the Japanese Club. However, as the activities of the anti-Asian group became more and more intense, it became necessary that Haney Japanese community maintain relations with the Nikkei organizations of other communities to formulate plans to counter these anti-Asian movements. At a general meeting of the Club on February 23, 1919, it was decided to draw up a new constitution. The founding members, Jiro INOUYE, Yotaro NAKAYAMA, Teizo HIDAKA, Yasutaro YAMAGA, Shunsuke TAKATSU, Yohei KOHI were selected to do this. This was submitted to the general meeting attended by 42 members on March 15, 1919, and adopted. With this, Haney Nokai was founded and registered under the province’s Charitable Organizations Act.

Constitution Of Haney Nokai

Article 1 This Association shall be called The Haney Nokai (Farmers Association).
Article 2. The members of this Association shall be those compatriots residing in Haney and are actively engaged in farming and those who own land and show definite interest in farming in the future.
Article 3 The aims and activities of this Association shall be as follows:
1. Promote the development of farming by compatriots and maintain mutual friendly relationship among its members.
2. Improve the living standards of the compatriots, adapt to the customs of the host country, and work towards improving relationship with the Hakujin community.
3. Build facilities suitable for the mutual assistance of the members.
4. Make sufficient effort in providing support for public projects.
5. This Association shall provide the guarantees necessary for the submission of documents to the Consul’s office in the calling over of yobiyose farm hands, domestic help, wives and children by its members. Justification of the guarantee to be decided by the executive committee. (Details omitted)
6. This Association shall consist of the following officers:
1 President
1 Vice President
1 Secretary
1 Treasurer
5 Councillors
At the founding general meeting, the foregoing constitution was adopted and the following officers were elected.
President: Jiro INOUYE
Vice President: Teizo HIDAKA
Secretary: Shunsuke TAKATSU
Treasurer: Yotaro NAKAYAMA

Federation Of Fraser Valley Japanese Nokais

As soon as the Haney Nokai was organized, it called on the existing Nokais of Mission, Hammond and Whonnock to join together to study and eliminate the farming problems that have accumulated between the Japanese and Hakujin farmers. The first and second meetings were held in Haney. In December of the following year, the third meeting was held in Hammond. The following representatives attended.
The items discussed at this meeting were
A. Japanese farmers were not following the Sunday law. They were using horses and working close to the main roads. Women were doing heavy manual labor such as clearing work. Such are against good Canadian customs and each Nokai should stop its members from working on Sundays. Exception is during the strawberry picking season, where the village authorities have permitted this.
B. Women weeding with babies on their backs. Care should be taken so that such are not visible to the Hakujin public.
C. Strawberry blossoms are very susceptible to frost. A committee to study and counter this problem to be set up.
D. Criteria regarding the qualifications, treatment of yobiyoses should be unified among the four Nokais .
The meeting ended with each Nokai agreeing to implement the discussed items.
There was this incident. At around this time, a Japanese farmer was working on his farm that fronted a main road in Haney. He was blasting stumps with explosives from early morning one Sunday. A well dressed Hakujin couple were on their way to church. When they saw this farmer working, the man politely asked him to stop work as it was Sunday.
This farmer apparently thought only Christians rested on Sundays. He replied back to the Hakujin man in broken English, "Me, Buddhist. You, no policeman. I don’t care." This Hakujin man soon called the police as he must have understood what the farmer was saying. A policeman arrived and lectured the farmer, "Whether you are a Buddhist or not, you must not work on Sundays. This is the law. As this is your first offense, I will let you go, but next time, you will be fined."
Wages to be paid for berry picking that was agreed to at the Four Nokai Federation meeting were reported to each Nokai. Strawberry picking wage was 200/crate, hourly wage was 200/hr, monthly wage including room and board was $15.00. From this, one can imagine the economic conditions existing at that time.
The officers of the Haney Nokai met regularly once a month. Majority of the problems were related to investigating yobiyose applications. But problems regarding liaison with the other Nikkei organizations often came up. For example, there was the donation question relating to the erection of a memorial tower for the Japanese volunteer soldiers in Stanley Park, Vancouver. Haney Nokai contributed money towards this. This tower memorializes the 197 Japanese volunteer soldiers (of which 54 died in action) who served in the Canadian Army during World War I.
Haney Nokai also cooperated and participated in various events in Maple Ridge. As reported earlier, it participated in the Great World War Victory celebrations.
In earlier Japan, the term "dekasegi" meant going overseas to work, forgetting the shames that you experienced while there, and to return home after making money. They thought that working on Sundays was not against the law and that these were excuses used by the anti-Japanese people. Executives of the Nokai on several occasions passed resolutions banning the working on Sundays, but found it difficult to carry out.

Haney Monroe Doctrine

Within the Japanese community in B.C. in general, there were many charitable and vocational organizations. Their operating policies did not always agree with ours. How to guide the Nisei (second generation Japanese), how the Japanese language school should be run, how every day life style should be, etc. These were some of the items we could not agree on. This made it impossible for Haney Nokai to keep in step with the other organizations. Living environment is different, especially between urban and rural communities. Here in Haney, we live side by side with Hakujin farmers. HaneyNokai therefore resolved we would not interfere with the guidance policies of other organizations nor would we allow interference by them, and that we would go about our things our own way. We called this our "Monroe Doctrine".
This did not rule out common concerns regarding anti-Japanese and language school problems. On these matters, we maintained constant communications with the other organizations.
At the executive meeting of September, 1919, a resolution regarding the teaching of English to newly arrived yobiyoses and wives was passed. Anyone living in Canada without understanding English has no chance of succeeding in Canada. It was decided to make it a responsibility of the yobiyose sponsor to foot the tuition fee. There were only a few yobiyoses then, and they attended night classes twice a week. Originally, teaching at this night class was by a Japanese, but later, it was decided to have the principal of the public school do the teaching (Teacher’s wage was borne by the village authorities). The Seinenkai was made responsible for the running of this night school.
In October of 1922, at the time when the maples of the Selkirk Mountains (Coastal ?) began to change colours, the 4th general meeting was held. The following officers were elected:
Honorary President - Jiro INOUYE
President - Seiji YANO
Vice President - Yohei KOHI
Secretary - Shiro OKA
Treasurer - Yazaemon TAMURA
All of the above were the community’s choices.
The anti-Japanese problem returned to confront the new executives. The feelings of Japan being an ally of Canada during the war seemed to disappear somewhere and the movement by the anti-Japanese group returned. The recepients of this movement, i.e., the Japanese had plenty of faults also.. The puritanical Canadian customs of standard living were being ignored by the Asians. They carried goods with poles on their shoulders. Their wives were engaged in doing heavy work as men. Whenever these things that tend to degrade the normal Canadian living standard occur, the anti-Japanese people made a big fuss about them.
To counter this, the Nokai executives, although busy with year-end work, decided to conduct educational course on assimilating with the Hakujin community. No matter how hard the shouting was at executive and general meetings, the rhetorics never reached the women who stayed at home. Therefore, it was decided that women in each area (Haney Nokai in those days were divided into 5 areas) be assembled at one house and given these courses. To implement this action, INOUYE and YAMAGA were appointed. They went around to each house and explained to the women the current anti-Japanese situation, what things we are doing during our daily life that are being used as excuses for their anti-Japanese propaganda. This action produced good results.
In the same year, those who still couldn’t shake off the fever of becoming rich through strawberries, began expanding their farms. These farmers and the newly arrived ones grew strawberries without any planning. They competed to sell their berries in the already depressed market and faced near mutual destruction. To overcome this situation, the farmers and the broker (EDGETT and GILLAND) formed a joint partnership company called the Pacific Berry Growers Co. and shipped the berries by carloads to the markets in the Prairies.

Birth Of The Seinenkai (Young Mens Group)

By 1923, the number of farmers in Haney increased. To address the needs of young men in character building and recreation, the Seinenkai was formed. Its founding president was a middle school graduate and a good leader named Kazuitsu Tsuchiya. He was a brilliant man who later rose to become Secretary and President of Haney Nokai. The Seinenkai steered the young men away from temptations and engaged them in character building and recreation. Judo (Judo) and kendo (Fencing) halls were built. These were some of the notable legacies it left behind.
There were 31 members in the Seinenkai at the time of its inauguration. When we checked on the latest news regarding these 31 in 1962, we came up with these interesting statistics:
Church ministers
Goichi NAKAYAMA (Anglican)
Iwao KATSUNO (Roman Catholic, Japan)
Newspaper Editor - Takaichi UMEZUKI (Toronto New Canadian)
Sawmill Operator - Chiaki Katsuno ( B.C. )
Garage Operator
Tetsuma SAKAGI ( Richmond, B.C. )
Tetsuo SAKAGI (Successful businessman in Kamloops )
Tamotsu MITANI ( Winnipeg , TV Store, Import & Export)
Hideo FUKUSHIMA ( Toronto , Variety Store)
Ichiro SHIMIZU ( Vancouver , Variety Store)
Insurance - Kazuo OKANO ( Winnipeg , Sun Life)
Denchiro Kitagawa (Successful in Alberta )
Takuma OKA (Successful in Alberta )
Sozaburo OKA (Successful in Alberta )
Mitsuru SATO ( Manitoba , Dairy Farming)
Rinichiro YOSHIHARA ( B.C. , Hothouse Farming)
Isamu YAMAMOTO ( B.C. )
Makoto KIKA ( B.C. )
In addition to the above, there were 12 who returned to Japanand 2 who passed away.
In 1923, we received the sad news of a great earthquake that struck the Kanto area of Japan. Countless number of lives and possessions were lost. Haney Nokai immediately collected $690.00 in donations and sent it to Japan through the Consul's office.
From the end of 1923 to the beginning of 1924, a campaign was started by the Japanese farmers to unify the shipment of berries. The highly productive Japanese farmers were causing uncontrollable turmoil in the near eastern markets. Because of this, the Hakujin farmers on Vancouver Island initiated a political campaign to stop the owning and leasing of land by the Japanese. To counter this movement, the entire Japanese farming community united. It cooperated with the Hakujin farmers and brought about equal opportunities to both sides. This was the agricultural cooperative movement that aimed to bury the anti-Japanese Land Law by killing two birds (economic and political) with one stone. In 1925 at the hall in Hammond, a meeting was convened to discuss the same problems. As this was very important to the Japanese, the Japanese consul, the president of Japan Canada Association, reporters from the local Japanese press attended in support of this systematic campaign of joint Japanese-Hakujin marketing of strawberries. Representatives from the different Nokais who attended this meeting were as follows:

Building Of A New Nokai Hall

Despite the depression that followed after the Great World War, there were many fishermen who came to farm as the authorities decreased the number of fishing licenses that were issued. As a consequence, the number of members increased. The
number of school children also increased. It became impossible to look after these people with the existing small Club House building and the community was faced with a need for a new hall. Building of this new building started during the non-busy autumn month of September, 1926. It was completed by the end of the year. Those who were paid wages were carpenter KENNY and his assistant, Shiro KOGA. All others supplied voluntary labour. This hall was a 2 story building, 30' wide and 60' deep. The main hall was on the 2nd floor. The ground floor was partitioned into rooms for the language school, kindergarten, kitchen, medical clinic and furnace rooms. This new hall was located at the corner of Haney Trunk and Lillooet Roads where it was central to the scattered community. It was a novel and imposing landmark building in a rural setting. The nearby Hakujin people used this new hall as a center for their social club activities for a number of years. The total cost for building this hall was $3,000 plus. The chairman of the building committee was Jiro Inouye and the construction supervisor was Yasutaro YAMAGA. At the end of October ,1926, when the leaves were in colours, a grand opening ceremony was held with many prominent Hakujin people present.
Simultaneously with the opening of the new hall, the language school and kindergarten moved into the ground floor. At around this time, the number of students, both boys and girls, swelled to 35. Chikaye KUBODERA, a graduate of a normal school, was appointed as teacher. The policy of the Nokai then was to have the Nisei not observe the national holidays of Japan. In other schools, there were many that conducted Empire day and Emperor's birthday ceremonies. In this area, the intent of the Haney Monroe Doctrine was also carried out

Farmer's Handbook

At the Canada Japanese Association in Vancouver in 1927, there was a section called the Agriculture Section. Through the sponsorship of this section, Sutematsu WAKABAYASHI, Dr. of Agriculture and a graduate of the University of Washington, was invited to B.C. Over a 2 month period, he toured the Japanese farms in the Fraser Valley. He gave lectures on farming in general and also gave practical guidance on faming. His lecture notes, studies and instructions were compiled into a booklet. This booklet was published by the Canada Japanese Ass'n and distributed to every Japanese farmer. This booklet became a very handy handbook to those farmers with studious minds.
In October of 1927, the following new officers were elected at the general meeting.
President - Shiro KOGA
Vice President - Sekijiro Kumamoto
Secretary - Rikizo Yoneyama
Treasurer - Ainosuke Ito
Chairman of Councillors - Takejiro MITANI
The newly elected executives faced many difficult problems that year, but it was also an auspicious year that saw the first man from the Haney Nikkei community to graduate from a university.
The First University Graduate
At about the time when the cherry blossoms were blooming in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Morikiyo, the eldest son of Yazaemon TAMURA, a Haney pioneer, graduated from the Electrical Engineering Dept. of U.B.C. TAMURA went to attend the graduation ceremony. He wore a collar and necktie and looked uncomfortable. He sat down at a seat reserved for parents accompanied by Jiro INOUYE.
TAMURA didn't understand the president's admonitory speech and congratulatory address but when the time came for the awarding of graduation certificates, TAMURA with his sun-baked face turned and fixed his eyes at the rows of square hats and black gowns. The instant when Morikiyo was handed his certificate, the happy tears that he held back suddenly burst out, and with his clenched fist, wiped it away,
TAMURA was born in Yamaguchi-ken, Oshima-gun. He used his savings from farming towards the education of his children. He worked and worked regardless of his age and gave university education to each of his 2 sons and a daughter. Even while serving as a Nokai officer, he tirelessly went about looking after children’s education. He is presently past 80 and is being looked after by his son, Morikiyo, in Alberta.

Discussion Meetings Between The Japanese And Hakujin Communities

The spiteful propaganda of the anti-Japanese group contained many foolish and groundless things. As it would be more troublesome to ignore them, the Federation of Five Fraser Valley Nokais got together to discuss this matter. The Federation invited the school principals and aldermen from each town including church ministers to sit down together and talk candidly about this problem. On the evening of February 17, 1930, a banquet meeting was held at Haney Nokai hall with some 20 interested Hakujin people from Mission to Pitt Meadows attending. After dinner, Haney Nokai, representing the hosting side, addressed the gathering as follows: "For the sake of keeping harmony within our communities, we would like to have a heart to heart talk with you". The hosting side presented the topic to the audience by briefly giving an outline of the living conditions within the Japanese community, explaining the need for a Japanese language school and the reasons for the agricultural cooperative movement. Yasutaro MORIKAWA’s second son, Jitsuo (then a student at MacLean High School in Haney, a brilliant young man, and who later went on to become head of the missionary division of the Baptist Church) got up and eloquently spoke about the current anti-Japanese problem and racial discrimination and rattled off some actual examples. Even at that time, Dr.MORIKAWA showed his eloquency and brilliancy.
Surprisingly, almost all of the interested Hakujin people who attended were not aware that the Japanese Niseis were being discriminated against both legally and socially. From the above, it is clear that the anti-Japanese sentiments were produced by only a small number of politicians. Even this speech by MORIKAWA had a large eye-opening effect. Some of the high school principals expressed a view that the language school after
normal school hours was unreasonable from viewpoint of children’s health and welfare. One high school principal stated that he would have his students understand the importance of Japanese language schools in furthering trade and friendship between the two countries. STOKER (school board trustee) stated, "The Japanese are only interested in working, and are not giving their children any opportunity of playing with other (Hakujin) children. This naturally becomes the cause of rift between the two." He also pointed out the weak points of the Japanese social life here. At any rate, the heart to heart dialogue between the two communities carried on for 3 hours and it turned out to be a very interesting evening.
It was proposed by Reverend HENDERSON that this type of meeting be held once a year in the interest of maintaining harmony and peace within the community. This was unanimously accepted by those attending with a huge applause. It was 11 pm when this meeting ended in a friendly atmosphere.

Parting Words Of Jiro INOUYE

In early September of 1931, Jiro INOUYE entered Vancouver General Hospital with advanced gastric ulcer. The ulcer worsened and on September 23, he summoned 7 leaders to his bedside. They were Yazaemon TAMURA, Kurahachi YOSHINO, Shiro OKA, Soshichi Tanaka, Shiro KOGA, Toyonori Namba and Yasutaro YAMAGA.
He expressed his dearest wish with these words. "You have given me much help to this day. Thank you for answering my call. I have been told by my doctor that death is near. I no longer have any chance of recovering. I am ready to die. I no longer fear death. I have no regrets to leave behind. There is however something that prevents me from passing away peacefully. With the present situation in Haney, I can't go away peacefully. Even if I was able to recover, I would no longer be able to do anything productive. I was thinking that during my golden years at least, I would work to maintain peace and harmony in Haney and also for the Niseis. I no longer am able to fulfill this dream. I would like you to carry on my dream. That is why I called you here. I would have liked to talk to as many people as possible, but since that is impossible, I am asking you here to carry on my dreams.”
"I felt it was my duty to do the foregoing, and my asking you to carry on may sound unreasonable to you, but please listen to my dying wish. Please make Haney as pleasant and peaceful as it was in the earlier days. That is all I wanted to say." (The group, moved by INOUYE's words, silently shook his hand and left.)
“Thank you, please don’t shame the words of a dying man. Conduct my funeral at the Nokai hall. Bury me at the Hammond cemetery. Many people would like to attend, so for the sake of the Nisei, have the service conducted in Christian. I have not done anything worthwhile for the community while I was living. If my body can be used for academic studies, it may be used for autopsy. Thank you. Please leave."
On October 06, 1931, our pioneer and leader passed away. He left behind his wife, Kane, and a daughter, Ruiko.
Haney Nokai convened a special general meeting at which INOUYE's parting words were reported. The meeting unanimously passed a resolution declaring the funeral a Nokai funeral.
It was bright and clear on the day of the funeral. The service was conducted by Rev. AKAGAWA of the Japanese Methodist Church at the Nokai hall with interment later at Maple Ridge cemetery. A large crowd including many people from neighbouring Fraser Valley communities attended this funeral. With the cooperation of his many friends, a natural stone measuring 30" in length and 18" in width was dug out from Lillooet Creek in Haney and used for INOUYE's headstone. On one side were inscribed the following words in English:
Pioneer of the Japanese Settlement in Maple Ridge
and devoted Leader in all its interests
Settled here in 1907 Died Oct. 6, 1931 Age 61 years
Erected to his Memory by his many friends

Kidokan Branch - Judo

The Seinenkai began to teach judo (Judo) and kendo (fencing) for the purpose of providing spiritual and mental training to its members. Toyonori NAMBA, Shiro KOGA, Masaichi OKI, Kenzo NAGAO, Kaichi IMADA, Takiji KANZAKI and Terukichi OKABE, assisted in forming a support group. In particular, NAMBA literally immersed himself in this cause. The support group collected donations, negotiated with TAKIMOTO Sawmills for donation of large amount of lumber. With these, the group built a dojo (hall for training in judo and kendo) adjacent to the Nokai hall in 1936. The dojo measured 30' by 60'. It bought 31 tatami (straw mat) mats from Japan. In those days, it was the only new dojo in Canada. Its membership was over 80. Instructors who enthusiastically taught the young boys were Kazuta RYOJI, 2nd dan (black belt degree) and Tamotsu MITANI (currently 4th dan). During practice nights, one could hear shouts reverberating throughout the hall. It was where the youngsters sweated their energies out. One of the annual events was to host a red and white judo tournament. Young judoists from Vancouver and Steveston dojos were invited to participate. With the help of the entire Haney Japanese community, the event became a local attraction. MUSSALLEM, reeve of Haney, was one of the great supporters. The late NAGAOKA 9th dan once visited this dojo. During the club's 10 year existence, and from the enthusiasm and encouragement by the support group, Maple Ridge dojo produced many with black belt degrees. They were Kazuta RYOJI, Noboru KIKUTA, Shizuo TAKARAZAKI, Noboru SHIMIZU, Tamotsu MITANI, Hiroshi MITANI and Sadayoshi OZAKI. They have since moved to different areas of the country. Many are teaching judo to Hakujin youngsters in Eastern Canada.

Buddhist Church And The Enshrining Of Image Of Buddha

In 1932, the followers of the Buddhist faith living in Pitt Meadows, Hammond and Haney areas got together and built a magnificent new church building at the northwest corner of Trunk and Townline Roads. Upstairs was used for worshipping, and the large room in the lower floor was equipped with kitchen facilities so that all types of wedding receptions could be held. In March of 1934, an Image of Buddha arrived from Japan. A
grand and pompous ceremony was held to enshrine this Image. A procession of some 10 children dressed in colourful kimonos paraded their way from the church to Maple Ridge cemetery, around the Japanese memorial tower for the deceased and back..

Reholding of General Meeting

In 1933, at the regular general meeting of the Nokai, election of officers was held. Because of the turmoil existing then within the Japanese community, all of the officers elected declined to serve. As this situation could not be left as is, the general meeting was convened again and again. At the third meeting, the following officers were elected.
President - Shiro OKA
Vice President - HIROWATARI
Secretary - KITAGAWA
Chairman of Councillors - YOSHINO
In December of same year, Mrs. Kane INOUYE, accompanied by her 12 year old daughter, Ruiko, returned to Japan and Kobe where her brother resided.

Lectures On The Strawberry Market

To promote unified marketing by the Japanese strawberry growers, DICKEY, a union broker; GRANT, a market inspector; and CLARK, a Dominion (Canada) fruit inspector, each delivered a speech at Haney Nokai hall to a gathering of Japanese strawberry growers. Yasutaro YAMAGA acted as interpreter. Several from neighbouring areas also attended
From these lectures, the farmers learned much about the market conditions in the east. Such lectures on the market greatly promoted the controlled marketing of B.C. strawberries.

Studies On Side Crops

In the same year, the executives of the Nokai had Masuzo EBISUZAKI conduct studies on side crops. Studies on the growing and marketing of sugar beets and mints were undertaken. Studies found that the soil in Haney was unsuited for growing them. There were reports that three-dimensional farming such as growing hazel-nuts, almonds and grapes were promising. There were reports on Japanese yams, but the market for this was limited.

Speech By Consul ISHII

In 1934, within the membership of Haney Nokai , there were differences in opinion regarding what "Yamato-damashi" (Soul of Japan) meant and also how the Niseis should be brought up. In order to unify their thoughts, the Japanese Consul in Vancouver, Yasushi ISHII, was invited to speak. The following is a gist of his speech.
"If a decision is made to raise Nisei children to be good Canadian citizens, the rest will all fall naturally into place. Teach Japanese based on this basic principle. Niseis who are able to work in both Japanese and English languages are treasures of both countries.

Christmas Hampers

In 1934, Canada was in deep depression. There was no work available. There were many Hakujin families in Haney in dire poverty. The Maple Ridge Chamber of Commerce started a campaign to raise money so that each family can be presented with a $5.00 Christmas hamper consisting mainly of foodstuffs. There were only 2 Japanese families that received these hampers. Haney Nokai also cooperated and lent support to this campaign and sought donations from its members.

The 25th Anniversary Celebration Of The Fujinkai (Womens Group)

1936 was the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Fujinkai in Haney. To celebrate this event, a gala entertainment party was held during the non-busy month of October , 1936. The brides, all born during the Meiji era, donned kimonos danced and sang.

Travel Bureau In Japan Invites Hakujin Women Teachers to Japan

In 1937, Japan Travel Bureau, through the Consul's office, invited many women high school teachers in the United States and Canada to tour Japan. Haney Nokai was asked by the Consul's office to recommend a suitable person. After discussing this matter with the Fraser Valley Board of Education, Miss Margot GORDON, a 25 year old teacher of English and French at MacLean High School in Haney was recommended. The Boards of Education of the Five Nokai Federation gave Miss GORDON a $300 "bon voyage" gift. The Haney Nokai separately gave her an 8 mm camera together with some film.
On October 14 , 1937,, Miss GORDON boarded the Hie-maru and together with other teachers from Washington and Oregon States, sailed for Japan.
Miss GORDON not only toured Japan, but also studied and learned the dance art called "Fuji-musume" (Wisteria Maiden) under Master YANAGISAWA, a great master and teacher of Japanese style of dancing (buyo). She returned in December, 1937, traveled to various places. showed movies of her travels in Japan and performed the “Wisteria Maiden” dance fully clad in kimono. The Hakujin/Japanese audience was taken by surprise at her performance. The Japan Travel Bureau more than achieved their objectives with this publicity tour and campaign.

Saskatchewan Drought Relief Campaign

A drought occurred in the so-called granary of Canada, Saskatchewan. If the drought continues on the wheat farms, there are often times when the farmers would not able to recover their seed costs.
There was a serious drought in 1937 and a relief campaign for the 200,000 affected farmers was started in various regions of B.C. In Maple Ridge, the United Church as well as 3 other denominational churches cooperated in this effort. The four church ministers,
Reeve MUSSALLEM, YAMAGA of the Strawberry Growers Cooperative Union and others took the lead with the help of other organizations such as the Veteran's Association, Womens Group (Hakujin) and the Chamber of Commerce, etc. Members from each district of the municipality went door to door and collected foodstuffs. On the Japanese side, the presidents of Haney, Hammond and Whonnock Nokais pitched in and collected a total of 36 tons of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips) and also $354.00 in cash donations. The collected cash was converted into jam and canned goods. Approx 46 tons in total were loaded onto 2 large freight cars. As directed by the relief headquarters, one car was sent to Pageant (?) and the other to Keddleton (?), Saskatchewan. The C.P. Railway provided transportation free of charge. The strawberry farmers in the Haney area were generally faced with poor crops and were in difficulties economically at that time, but in spite of this, both communities (Japanese/Hakujin) unstintingly cooperated and helped in the campaign.
Current Status Of The Nikkeis in Hawaii
In January, 1936, the Fraser Valley Board of Education invited OGAWA, a Secretary of the Consul’s Office, to give a talk on the current status on the Niseis in Hawaii. OGAWA was transferred recently from Hawaii to Vancouver. The following is a gist of his speech.
"According to the census of 1934, the population of Hawaii was 378,948 of which 48,000 are Japanese. The number of Japanese language schools was 168 with a total of 40,959 students. In Hawaii, the influence of Buddhism is very high and the number of religion related schools was 40. The rest, 128, were ordinary schools. Among the Niseis in Hawaii, there were 6 lawyers, 53 public school teachers, 20 police officers, 40 medical doctors, 62 dentists, 1 Shinto priest, 6 church ministers and 5 missionaries. In Hawaii, they considered the public school readers used in Japan as being idealistically unsuitable and reformed them. However, they were persecuted severely by the conservative people (those who opposed reforming). However, in looking at it today, maybe it was foresight, but I think it was a good thing."

Plans To Improve Living Standards

At the Nokai general meeting held in 1936, a plan to improve the standard of living of its members was presented and adopted. This proposal was also submitted to the Five Nokai Federation and adopted. Despite the general depression existing then, wedding ceremonies and funeral services were becoming more lavish. Because of such lavish spending, many became saddled with debts and were struggling to repay them. In order to overcome this situation, the following plan to improve living standards was proposed.
1. Bridal veil for weddings shall be stocked by the Fujinkai and used.
2. The Nokai hall to be used as much as possible for funerals and receptions.
3. In funerals, place emphasis on memorializing the deceased and abolish the providing of lavish meals after funerals.
4.In weddings, abolish the exchange of betrothal gift money. In the case of liquor, restrict it to only toasting. For the future sake of the newlyweds, keep it as simple as possible.
This proposal was adopted by the Five Nokai Federation. Many said that weddings are once in a lifetime events. As for funerals, they said that if attendees are fed well, Buddha will be happy. For these reasons, the community returned to its old lavish and showy ways with many ending up saddled with debts.
Renouncing Of Citizenship
In 1936, OGAWA, Secretary at the Consul’s Office, was again invited to talk The subject of his talk this time was about the renouncing of citizenship.
"Up till now, when a Japanese becomes a naturalized citizen of Canada, he or she had to renounce their Japanese citizenship. As far as the Japanese government is concerned, it has no way of knowing unless that person notifies it. If there is no such notification, that person will have dual citizenship. In the case of the Canadian born Nisei, the parent wishing to bring him or her back to Japan some day, will also be sending the notification of birth to Japan, thus making it dual. By so doing, that person now becomes a part of the population of not only Canada but Japan. From viewpoint of the Consul's office, by all means, please submit the application for the renouncing of citizenship.

Retirement Of Miss DeWOLFE

Miss DeWOLFE, who for the past 10 years or so worked to teach the women of Fujinkai and the children of the kindergarten, retired. Miss TATE came as her replacement. In recognition for her many years of service to the community, she was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a souvenir gift.

Stone Lantern To Commemorate Dr. Inazo NITOBE

In 1934, Dr. NITOBE died in Victoria while on a mission for world peace. As a memorial to Dr. NITOBE, the Japanese government presented a large stone lantern to the University of British Columbia for erection inside the university grounds. Haney Nokai also donated towards this project.
In 1960, University of B.C. invited Kannosuke MORI of Chiba University to design and build a Japanese garden incorporating this large stone lantern. In this garden are ponds, arched bridges, teahouse, etc. The garden is open to public view.

Imperial Saiseikai (Social Welfare Fund)

Saiseikai (Social welfare group) was formed with the monetary grant from Emperor Meiji to promote the welfare and well being of Japanese residing in Canada. The Saiseikai in Canada was administered by a committee whose membership came from the Canada Japanese Ass’n and other Nikkei organizations, A committee meeting was held in 1935 with many representatives attending from the outlying regions. The meeting discussed how this Imperial Foundation could be strengthened for the benefit of the residents. Shiro OKA attended from Haney.

Battle Against Tuberculosis

In Vancouver, due to the efforts and volunteering by Reverend SHIMIZU and Dr. SHIMOTAKAHARA, the number of Japanese stricken with tuberculosis in Vancouver was reduced to the same number as Hakujins. 4 to 5 years earlier, the number of Japanese with tuberculosis was 5 times that of Hakujins.
Haney also showed signs of increase in tuberculosis among juveniles. As a result, starting in April of 1938, Haney Nokai from time to time asked Dr. SHIMOTAKAHARA to come to Haney to perform tuberculin skin tests. In the first test, 19 out of 119, and in the second test, 7 out of 34 were newly found to have tuberculosis. By treating these early, we were able to avert a crisis. This was mainly due to the volunteer efforts of Dr. SHIMOTAKAHARA.

Deferment Of Military Service

According to the old (prewar) conscription law of Japan, young men up to and 37 years of age were required to apply for deferment of military service (if they lived abroad). Amongst the Haney Nokai membership, there were 35 who applied for this deferment in 1938.

History Of Haney Nokai

Haney is where the strawberry industry started. To commemorate the 2600th year of the founding of their fatherland, a proposal to write a history of Haney Nokai was passed at an executive meeting held in late 1939. This project was entrusted to Chiyokichi ARIGA and YAMAGA and the executive committee members were asked to cooperate with each other in the gathering of materials. According to later records of the executive committee, the project was to be postponed till the economic conditions of the farmers improved.

Passing Through Of Prince And Princess Chichibu

In March of 1937, Prince and Princess Chichibu stopped by in Canada while enroute to England to attend the Coronation of the King and Queen of England. They came to represent the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Haney Nokai participated in the plans to welcome the Prince and Princess to Vancouver. When the buds of the double blossom cherries were about to bloom in Stanley Park, KOGA (Nokai president), MITANI (Chairman of Councillors), ARIGA (Japanese school principal), KAJIURA (Secretary) and a group of 5 students from Haney Japanese language school went to Vancouver to participate in the welcoming parade.

Yotaro Nakayama Returns Home To Japan

In May of 1937, Yotaro Nakayama, one of the elders of Haney, returned home to Japan accompanied by his family. The family of Keiichi IKEDA, a Nokai member, also returned home to Japan with his entire family on the same ship.

Seinenkai(Young Mens Group) Library

Tatsunori SHIINA, principal of a pauper school in Tokyo, devoted himself over many years towards providing education for the very poor. As a reward for his work, he was given an opportunity to travel abroad. During this trip, SHIINA dropped by and stayed at ARIGA's (Japanese school principal) home. ARIGA asked him then if he would buy some books for the Seinenkai library and mail them to him. SHIINA gladly accepted. When SHIINA returned home, he promptly bought 138 books and had them delivered to ARIGA. The books that SHIINA selected and bought were all worthy of reading by the young men.

Coronation Of The King Of England

April 10,1937 was the coronation day of His Majesty, the King of England. Canadians from all walks of life were celebrating. To celebrate this event, the Haney Japanese community bought 15 firework balls and lit them up in the skies during the night. They also planted commemorative cherry trees in Lillooet Park. As part of the program at Exhibition Park, children sang children's song and performed dances. The community also provided a tea room during the celebration.

Consolation Money For The Imperial Army Soldiers

At that time (1939), consolation money for the Imperial Army soldiers fighting in the so-called "Chinese Incident" was collected from 104 Nokai members. $757.00 in total was sent to the Consul’s office for transmittal to the Soldier’s Relief Fund in Japan.

Cemetery Visit To Pay Homage To Those Who Passed Away Earlier

Thirty and some years have passed since the Japanese first settled in Maple Ridge in 1905. During this period, the number of Japanese graves increased to over 70. Among the graves, there were many who did not leave any relatives. Therefore in May of 1938 when the grass and trees were beginning to come alive, the Nokai members got together and erected new head posts and cleared the gravesites that had been neglected for a long time. Among the gravesites were dirt mounds covered with grass and brush. After checking through the cemetery records, we were able to ascertain the burial sites of some of the deceased.

Stage Plays By The Seinenkai

After the busy farming season ended in 1938, harvest thanksgiving festivals were held at various churches. This was the time when farmers took a hard earned rest. In late October , 1938, Haney Seinenkai put on a colorful stage play to commemorate its 15th anniversary. To put on a stage play was the foremost recreation of the Seinenkai. They put in long hours of practice and in setting up the stage and props. They looked very happy doing these. In the rural farms, there weren’t many opportunities for the Issei
group to go into town and watch Hakujin movies. However, when it came to stage plays, these Issei people thought nothing of (walking) 10 long country miles to see it. They always filled the hall to capacity. They began to feel that the songs, music and plays they had been seeing had lost some of that Meiji era touch they were used to back home. There seemed to be a tendency that the vigor and tone in the "Biwa" songs, the "Shigin" chanting, the sword dances, etc., were being lost and forgotten. Not only the younger ones, but the older ones all jumped aboard, enjoyed themselves and shook off all the glooms of the past year. This once a year spree by the farmers brought about many good things to the community.
The non-busy autumn season was also a time for moral character building. There were many opportunities to hear lectures by well-known speakers. A lecture by Yoshihisa NAKAMURA, a member of the Japanese parliament, was also held late in the year.

Grand Entertainment To Celebrate The 2600th Anniversary Of The Fatherland

On January 03, 1939, a grand stage play was held. On this day, a comedy team of Rissho Seinenkai members of the Nichiren Buddhist church in Vancouver came to
augment the program. The performance finally ended at 2:30 am the following morning. From the following program, one can see how entertaining that night was.
Program, 2600th Year Grand Stage Play
1. Opening Address - Shiro KOGA, stage director
2. Three Songs - Young girls from Ruskin
3. Solo-Kimiko TANAKA
4. Dance With Painted Parasol-Kikuye MOCHIZUKI & Toyoko OIKAWA
5. Repartee - Members of Haney Seinenkai
6 Nozaki-mairi Song/Dance - Sachiye MOCHIZUKI & Toyoko OIKAWA
7. Ahodarakyo Comedy - Nisho IRIZAWA
8. High Class Hobo - Seinenkai Members
9. Dance With Painted Parasol - Rumi RYOJI & Kimiko NOBUTO
10. Comedy - Rincho SUZUNOYA & UNO ( Vancouver )
11. Dance "Namikimichi" - Kazuko KAJIURA, Fusaye NAGAI, Yasuko MOCHIZUKI
12. Solo — Masako ISOJIMA
13. Magic Show - Junji WATANABE
14. Front Lines At Mukden (Dance) - Rumi RYOJI & Kimiko NOBUTO
15. Rakugo (Comedy Story) - Rissho Seinenkai Members
16. Tokyo-chonkina (Dance) - Fujinkai Members
17. Mujonoyume (Dance) - Fumie YAMAZAKI & Kazuko KAJIURA
18. Solo - Kinuko SAWA ( Vancouver )
19. Tsumagoi-dochu (Song/Dance) ~ KAWASHIMA, TAKATSU, KOYANAGI, KOGA (4 Girls)
20. Solo - SHISHIDO, TAKAHASHI (2 Girls)( Vancouver )
21. Wives Of The Continent - ITO, TAKASHIMA, NAKANO
(3 Girls)( Hammond )
22. Solo - Noboru TAKEDA ( Vancouver )
23. Play (Kitsunezuka) (2 Scenes) - Seinenkai Members
24. Travelling Across the Wide Country Side (Dance) - OIKE, NAGAO, KUSANO, Masako ISOJIMA, KUMAMOTO (5 girls)
25. Comedy Play (Pay Day) - Rissho Comedy Team ( Vancouver )
10 Minute Intermission
26. Magic Show - Junji WATANABE ( Vancouver )
27. Solo - SHISHIDO & TAKAHASHI ( Vancouver )
28. Tsumagoi-dochu (Song/Dance) - Masako ISOJIMA & Chizu NAGAO
29. Shigure-tabi (Song/Dance) - Teruko URA
30. Aikoku Koshinkyoku (Patriotic March) (Song) - Fujinkai Members
31. Magic Show - Junji WATANABE
32. Harunokadode (Happy Departure) (Song) - Haney / Hammond Girls Group
33. Finale - Information Booklet For Wives - Seinenkai Members Show ended at 2:30 am, the following day.


At the last meeting of the Nokai executives in December of 1938, it was resolved that awards will be given to those who have rendered meritorious service in the field of education. The awards were to be given at the forthcoming celebrations commemorating the 2600th year of the founding of Japan. The awardees selected were Yazaemon TAMURA, YAMAGA and Butland HAMPTON.
Butland HAMPTON was a pro-Japanese church minister who taught Japanese children at Sunday school for some 20 years. Also as part of the commemorative project, it was decided that compositions of the language school students would be compiled into a booklet and distributed to the public.

Kazuitsu TSUCHIYA Returns To Japan

Kazuitsu TSUCHIYA has over many years worked tirelessly for the community as chairman of Haney Seinenkai, and also as secretary and president of Nokai. In March, 1939, because of family reasons at home (Japan), he returned to Japan with his family. Returning home for health recovery on the same boat also was Fukiye SAKIYAMA, language school teacher.

Driver’s Test For Automobiles

In 1939, the first driver’s test for automobiles in B.C. was conducted. At around this time, about half of the Nokai members owned automobiles. Majority of the automobiles were trucks. As there were many members who could not understand English, a special testing was allowed at the Japanese hall with an interpreter present. In the oral examinations alone, all of the 48 taking this test, passed just by the words of the interpreter.

Visit To Canada By Their Majesties, The King And Queen

In May of 1939, when the gardens in B.C. were blooming beautifully, Their Majesties, the King and Queen visited Canada. They were welcomed with enthusiasm wherever They visited. HaneyNokai cooperated with the local welcoming committee in erecting a large arch over the highway in New Westminster to welcome Their Majesties.

Strike At The Canneries

From 1913, A Z GARAND began to market the strawberries grown by Japanese farmers in the Haney area. He formed a joint partnership company with Japanese farmers and built a strawberry marketing company capitalized at $100,000. The company built a refrigerated warehouse, crate-making factory, cannery and a general merchandise store.The company did most of its business with the Japanese.
A.Z. GARAND Co. could not survive the depression of 1925 and went bankrupt. This bankruptcy is covered separately in this book. Later, GARANDbought the farm owned by Seiji YANO. He also bought the adjacent land. On this land, he reared purebred Jersey cows and called his farm, Berryland Farm. While running this farm, he started a fruit and vegetable canning business and employed many Japanese and Hakujin women. As a way to earn some extra spending money during the non-busy farming season, the Japanese women valued this work and worked hard.
After the strawberry season of 1939, canning of pears started. After paring the skin, splitting the pear in half and removing the core, the pear is packed in the can. This was contract work paying 15¢ per dozen cans. The contract pay was similar to that paid by the canneries in general. Men’s wages at sawmills during this period was $3.00 to $4.00 per 8-hour day. The Japanese women were deft with their hands, did not chatter, and because they were competing, some earned more than $3.00/day. On the average, they earned about $3.00. After seeing that the women were making more than the men, GARAND must have thought he was overpaying. The following day, he reduced the contract pay by 5¢/dozen. The women workers eager to make up for the cut, worked even harder. Even with this cut, there were 1 or 2 women who made $3.00. Thinking that he hadn’t cut far enough, GARAND cut the rate again by another 3¢/dozen.
With this cut, some of the slower women made only about $1.00/day. The workers negotiated with the foreman (a hakujin woman) but GARAND's reply was a straight "no". "The harder you work, your pay is cut in half, what kind of nonsense is this?" the workers screamed in Japanese. Their screams were louder than the machines. Everyone then sat down. The machines eventually stopped running. With this the company began to placate the women with soothing words, but they fell on deaf ears. The 50 Japanese and 35 Hakujin women still sat down and didn’t move. Meanwhile, a woman worker phoned the labour office in Vancouver by long distance and reported the incident. Later that afternoon, an official from the labour office rushed to the plant. The situation was clear. The official asked that work continue while negotiations were underway. The women workers grudgingly returned to work.
As a result of negotiations between the labour office official and GARAND, it was agreed that the contract pay should be the same as other canneries and that the company would pay the initial contract wages. Thus ended the sit-down strike. Haney was an area where labour unions had not grown as much. Especially, the Japanese workers till then didn’t know the existence of "paid holidays". In any work they engaged in, they endured long hours of heavy labour, and it was the custom of the employer to squeeze as much as they can from the workers.
In labour strikes, the workers generally ask for higher wages or better working conditions. In this case, it was the opposite. The workers were compelled to fight because the owner unlawfully squeezed them. As a special type of strike by the Japanese then, it merits some historical value.
During this unavoidable strike, it was Setsuko RYOJI, president of Haney Fujinkai who also as a worker, united the workers, conducted negotiations with the company, and communicated with the labour office in Vancouver.
The company which lost the fight to cut wages due to the intervention by the labour office, fired Mrs. RYOJI in retaliation. Among the other women workers, there was not one person who protested the firing. Sadly, Mrs. RYOJI became a casualty from this strike.
Bachelor Of Agriculture KANO Invited
In October of 1940, Hisanori KANO of Nebraska, an Anglican Minister and a Batchelor of Agriculture, was invited to give guidance on farming. KANO is the second son of Viscount KANO of Japan. Reverend KANO graduated from the Agriculture Department of Tokyo Imperial University. He emigrated to the United States and the State of Nebraska where he ran a farm. He was a volunteer minded person and over the years, fought anti-Japanese discrimination in the United States. Before the Pacific War, he contributed greatly, both materially and spiritually, to the well being of Japanese residing abroad. He provided proper guidance in enlightening the farmers in Canada.

Major Seisuke KOBAYASHI Of California Salvation Army

After Reverend KANO returned home to the United States, Major Seisuke KOBAYASHI, commander of the Japanese American Salvation Army, came and gave a lecture. It is said that soldiers of the Salvation Army breathe and work like a wagon horse. Their giving of themselves to the cause of humanity and God is truly honourable.
Patriotic Campaign By The Nokai
During the Second World War, Canada was on the side of the Allied Forces. With the country facing many crises, Haney Nokai expressed its loyalty to Canada by continuously campaigning for the buying of Victory Bonds and collecting donations for the Defense Fund.

Annual Meeting Of The Imperial Saiseikai (Social Welfare Fund)

In November of 1940, the annual meeting of the Saiseikai was held in Vancouver. Shiro KOGA and Shunsuke TAKATSU attended this meeting representing Haney Nokai.
At this meeting, it was resolved that a donation campaign to collect $2600.00 would be undertaken. The money would be used for celebrating the 2600th year of the founding of Japan. The meeting requested each organization for their cooperation and support.

First World War Armistice Day Ceremony

Every year on Armistice Day, November 11th, a representative from Haney Nokai has attended the Armistice Day ceremonies and laid a wreath at the Maple Ridge Memorial for Fallen Soldiers. At the 1940 memorial service, HIROWATARI and YAMAGA represented the Haney Nokai.

Hothouse Growers In Haney And Vicinity (1937 Survey)

Because of overproduction of strawberries, many farmers began to invest in the hothouse industry. In the Fraser Valley, the three sons of Manjiro NAGAI led the way in this field. In Haney, Hammond and Pitt Meadows, there were a total of 15 farmers and 55 hothouses. This developed into an industry with a huge total area of 169,900 sq ft. The main crops are hothouse tomatoes and cucumbers and this industry become very favorable and expanded. Although it started as being a side crop for strawberries, there were many who engaged solely in this industry. Statistics on the hothouse growers in 1937 were as follows:
Kazuichi KOSAKA (2 houses)
Tokutaro TSUYUKI (6 houses)
Seikichi MIYAZAKI (3 houses)
Shiro OKA (7 houses)
Masuzo EBISUZAKI (3 houses)
Noboru YAMAZAKI (2 houses)
Takiji KANZAKI (2 houses)
Otokichi OKAZAKI (3 houses)
3 NAGAI Brothers (12 houses)
Jusuke ISHIKAWA (3 houses)
Masuzo OKAHASHI(3 houses)
Pitt Meadows
Keizo YAMADA (1 house)
Heigoro FUJII (2 houses)
Coquitlam - Kazu SUEHIRO (2 houses)
The total invested in this industry amounts to some $200,000.00. Marketing of their produce was regulated by law. All of the growers have shown good results.

Forced Rhubarb

As strawberry farmers have no work during the winter months, they planted frozen rhubarb stalks inside a building and grew them during the winter season by applying heat and water. This type of rhubarb is called "Forced Rhubarb" and was marketed favorably in the local market during the winter when fresh fruit and vegetables were scarce. The cooperative unions also shipped them by the carload to markets in the east. As a side winter crop for strawberry farmers, forced rhubarb prospered year after year. As forced rhubarb was produced mostly by labour, the farmers found this side crop to be most favourable. The exemplary farmer who founded this type of rhubarb was Bunjiro SAKON of Mission City and many farmers in Fraser Valley earned money from this side crop.

Poultry Farming

Strawberry is a fruit that spoils easily. It is often susceptible to frost, rain, insects and other diseases. Therefore, it is risky to rely on strawberries alone. It naturally follows that one should start growing various type of side crops. The largest of these side crops was poultry farming. This would of course, involve investing in building a poultry barn, providing hatching and brooding facilities, etc. In this side crop, the droppings can be used as fertilizers. As such, it made a good combination with strawberry and vegetable growing.
In a 1940 survey, there were 29 engaged in poultry side business in Haney with a total of 18,800 birds. All were of the "White Leghorn" variety. The poultry farmers were ODAMURA, MOCHIZUKI Brothers, ISOJIMA Brothers, IKEDA, IMADA, KANZAKI, TAMURA Brothers, NAKAMURA, KITAGAWA, YOSHIDA, MATSUOKA, MIYAZAKI, TANIGUCHI, HISANAGA, YONEYAMA, SAKIYAMA, YOSHINO, OTANI, HIROWATARI, Tamitaka YOSHIDA, OKAZAKI, EBISUZAKI, NAMBA, ARIZA, ODAGUCHI and SHIMIZU.


Hops have been recognized as a favourable side crop, and studies on hops began from around 1936. A specialist from the Province's Agricultural Dept. was invited to set up a study group. Interested farmers from Hammond, Whonnock, Mission, etc. attended this session.
The whole Fraser Valley, from soil conditions, weather and other factors, was suited for the growing of hops. Therefore, an implementing committee from the 3 districts got together and built a drying kiln in Mission. All hops harvested in nearby districts were collected here for drying and marketing. The farmers bought saplings in the States to start growing. They only harvested the first crop before they were stopped by the war.


Japanese Language School

Children born in Canada are Canadians. It is natural for these children to attend public school, grow up and receive Canadian education. It is only natural for the immigrant parents who didn’t understand much English to have their children learn Japanese so that they could communicate with each other and maintain family ties.
This situation can be likened to a hen that incubated and hatched a duck egg. While an infant, the duck will rear under the hen’s wings. As soon as he or she is old enough, she will want to swim in the pond. As a duck, it is natural that she wants to do so. However, the hen, as a parent that raised her, will be surprised by this and will "cluck" to have her return to shore. It is human nature for a parent to want their children learn Japanese so that both can live together understanding each other. So that both can communicate with each other by letter in Japanese after they leave home, the parent never begrudged the spending of time and money for this education.
In Haney around 1913, Yazaemon TAMURA had 3 children of school age. They went to the village public school. From an earnest parental desire to have them learn Japanese, Yazaemon asked Mrs. Hisae YANO who recently arrived in Haney after graduating from a girl’s high school in Japan, to come to his home to teach Japanese to his children. She taught for 2 hours each day after school, 2 days a week. This marked the start of the Japanese school in Haney. As the number of children increased as time went by, teaching at home became impossible. From 1915, Mrs. Etsu YOSHINO, a recent arrival and a graduate of a Mission School in Japan, became an official teacher and taught at the Japanese Club hall. In 1920, Mrs. YOSHINO resigned. From then to October of 1923, Goichi NAKAYAMA (NAKAYAMA then was attending MacLean High School and later went on to become a minister of the Anglican Church) took over teaching duties. After NAKAYAMA resigned, Chikaye KUBODERA, a normal school graduate and an experienced teacher, took over and taught. She taught for 8 years till 1931. During this period, with the increase in number of students, Mrs. YOSHINO was hired as assistant teacher from 1927. When Chikaye KUBODERA resigned in 1931 due to family reasons, the school welcomed Fukiye SAKIYAMA, a normal school graduate.
During the term of KUBODERA Sensei (teacher), she formed the "Mother’s Group" and instructed the group to study how best they could bring up Nisei children properly and how they should behave when they reached adulthood. One night at a discussion meeting regarding marriage, KUBODERA Sensei asked Mrs. H "You have a fine son. What kind of a bride do you wish for him?" Mrs. H replied in her local dialect, "Senseigood bride of course, always good." One can imagine what rough times she had to go through. When the two teachers resigned in 1933, Chiyokichi ARIGA, a graduate of Rikkyo University, and his wife were hired. Mr. & Mrs. ARIGA devoted their energies towards educating and guiding the Nisei children for 8 years till the wartime evacuation.
Time spent on teaching Japanese during non-public school hours, changed over time. During public school holidays, i.e., Saturdays and Sundays, class hours were all day. Later classes were dropped on Sundays. There were times when classes were held after public school hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In general, classes were held twice weekly with no class exceeding 4 hours. It was considered that any class over this limit would be detrimental to the children’s health.
The aim towards education the Haney Language School took was to keep in step with Canadian public schools. It taught Japanese along the lines that will make the children grow up to be good citizens of Canada. The school did not concern itself with the popular Japanese phrase "Yamato-damashi" (Soul of Japan) or "Nippon-seishin" (Japanese spirit). For this purpose, Haney elected to use the so-called "California textbook", a Japanese textbook published in California, instead of the Japanese Education Ministry’s standard textbook. In particular after his arrival, Principal ARIGA convened several dialogue meetings, speech contests with other schools, recitals, mother’s relaxation nights, etc. At these meetings, ARIGA taught and had the parents practice the proper way of pronouncing and talking in Japanese. He also prepared teaching materials consisting of Canadian Moral Code and Instructions issued by the King. He also selected important Canadian laws and had them translated into Japanese. By so doing, ARIGA spiritually taught the students to be self-conscious on being a Canadian citizen.
Also ARIGA placed emphasis on letter writing as a way to ensure that the language being taught is put to practical use. To improve the speaking skills of the children, he organized interschool debating and speech contests. Such a contest took place in 1935 at Haney hall with the school from Mission. Sachiko SHIKAZE from Mission gave a speech in fluent Japanese as did Misao YONEYAMA of Haney. Their eloquent speeches perplexed the judges. By a slight edge in voice quality, Haney was declared the winner (Misao YONEYAMA later graduated from the Medical Dept, of University of Alberta in Edmonton.) She is currently practicing medicine in Toronto, and is a successful Nisei from Haney.)
The Education Committee of the Nokai recognized that ARIGA’s teaching philosophy and the moral and spiritual upbringing of our young ones should be adhered to and supported by the local residents. It is recorded in the minutes that the Education Committee requested the Nokai's Executive Committee to pass a resolution asking each member to fully understand the above (ARIGA’s teaching philosophy) and to implement them as best as they can as the Nokai’s firm guideline.
Although Haney Nokai's education policies were firmly established as shown above, there were many parents who said that they had no way of knowing how their children were being taught in Canadian public schools. There were a few who asked their children be educated basically at the Japanese school including morals and basic manners and hoped the teachers would do this.

Separate School

It was impossible to gather all of the children who were scattered around Haney’s wide region into one place. The number of children living about 3 miles east of the main school increased. The parents took turns in taking the children to school. There was even
a talk of buying a bus. Eventually in 1933, it was decided that a separate school would be built with a full time teacher. This school worked closely with the main school.
Haney language school had initially used Japanese textbooks. But it was thought these textbooks were not ideologically suited for the Nisei. From around 1926, Haney switched to California textbooks. Some of the intellectuals in Vancouver began to notice that the Japanese Ministry of Education textbooks were unsuitable for the Nikkei Niseis. They formed a committee to publish a Japanese textbook suitable for the Canadian Nisei. They spent many years and $3,000 towards this, but were not able to complete it. It goes without saying that Haney Nokai expected a lot from this new textbook and wholeheartedly supported the project. The Nikkeis in the State of California had also faced this ideological problem 14 to 15 years earlier. They had also faced anti-Japanese excuses. The California textbooks were compiled so that it did not run counter to American educational philosophy.

Forum of Fraser Valley Japanese School Boards

Within B.C., there were more than 40 Japanese language schools. There also was "Canada Japanese Language School Education Association", a central organization formed to study common problems. Haney school also maintained close contact with this organization. Environment between farm and city life is different. In rural areas where Nikkei and Hakujin residences are intermixed, the Nikkei children played with Hakujin children. Because of the necessity of maintaining close contacts and communications with the Hakujin communities, rural language schools in the 5 Fraser Valley villages needed a definite educational policy to follow. For these reasons, a forum of Fraser Valley Japanese Language School Boards became necessary. Problems regarding education of the five farming communities of Pitt Meadows, Hammond, Haney, Whonnock and Mission were discussed at these forums. Each community took turns in convening the meetings with the Haney school acting as the forum secretary.

Pros And Cons Of The California Textbook

In 1935, the main Japanese language schools in B.C. were as follows:
At the Forum of Fraser Valley Japanese Language Schools, Haney school recommended the use of California textbooks. Of the Japanese schools in the farming communities, only Haney used the California textbooks while the rest used textbooks issued by Japan’s Ministry of Education. The explanation given by the proposer (Haney) was, "The basic approach of the Canada Japanese Language School Board in educating
the Nisei is to teach them to be good citizens of Canada. This philosophy is firmly fixed. However, the textbook that is currently being used was written with students in Japan in mind. From ideological viewpoint, it runs counter to the above basic philosophy. To solve this ideological problem, California compiled this new textbook. Therefore, we (Japanese living in Canada) should be using the California textbook until such time as the new textbook is published. Ideological contents of the California ones are very similar to that of Canada." One representative said, "Some parents have said that in order to teach Nippon-seishin (Japanese spirit) to the children, California textbook is not good and that Japan’s textbook is better." One teacher spoke, "The publishers of the California textbook are not specialists of the Japanese language, and therefore, their textbooks are considered inferior from literary viewpoint. To this, Haney school repeatedly stressed, "Nippon-shiso (ideology of the Japanese) expressed in the Japanese textbooks is a hindrance in bringing up children to be good Canadian citizens." The rebutting side stated, "Nippon-shiso (Japanese ideology) from past to present has been consistent, and has not been thought erroneously either internally or externally. Therefore, it should be good also in Canada. Within the Japanese community, the words, "yamato-damashi or "Soul of Japan" were fashionable words which most didn’t really understand. Haney’s proposal to use the Californiatextbooks were not fully understood by most of the other communities, and appeared to have fallen on deaf ears.
Note: As soon as the "Foreign Language Control Law" was passed by the B.C. Legislature, the teachers that have been using the Japanese Education Ministry’s textbook, were thrown into state of confusion, and had to cut out from the textbooks articles relating to Japanese spirit, etc. Sadly, the pictures of Admiral Togo and others were mercilessly cut out and thrown into wastepaper baskets.

Haney Kindergarten

In 1924, California State passed the anti-Japanese Land Law. Since then, anti-Japanese movement gradually moved northward and eventually reached B.C.. It developed into segregated education for children. This happened at the Hudson School in Vancouver. A Nikkei boy supposedly gave a love letter to a Hakujin girl. In Richmond and Marpole areas, there were many fishermen’s children who couldn’t understand English. This resulted in extra work that teachers couldn’t handle. Whenever it exerted bad influence onto the Hakujin students, it developed into a great problem within the PTA. As a consequence, the PTA stormed into the teacher’s office and demanded that classes be segregated. From viewpoint of children’s education, this was a serious problem. Even the Japanese Consul was worried. Through the great efforts of Dr. OSTERHAUTof the Methodist Church and Rev. KENNEDY of the Anglican Church, the matter was settled without class segregation. The problem was settled when the Japanese side promised to have their children learn English prior to entering school. This resulted in kindergartens in various farming and fishing communities. Haney made preparations for the kindergarten in late 1926, and held an opening ceremony on January 10, 1927, the following year when the new Nokai hall was completed. According to the survey conducted then, there were 35 children who were 3 years and older. For the time being, kindergarten classes started with 25 children, 5 years and over.
The kindergarten started in January, 1927. Teachers and students were as follows:
Teacher - Mrs. POSTEL
Haney Nokai Kindergarten received assistance from the Missionary Division of the United Church in the form of teachers and educational materials and supplies. Kindergartens in other communities also received similar assistances. The Nokai ran and provided the classrooms and all learning materials for the kindergarten. Teachers of the kindergarten over the years were as follows:
Mrs. POSTEL, Miss NAMBA, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mrs. FULLER, Miss GREGORY, Miss KING, Miss DeWOLFE of United Church and Miss TATE. These teachers ran and taught at the kindergarten till the wartime evacuation of 1942. Agreement was made with the Board of Education of Maple Ridge that the Japanese children will be sent to kindergarten for 1 year and 6 months prior to their entering the public school system.
It was a custom of the kindergarten to celebrate the birthdays of the children as well as their graduation. Birthdays were celebrated by singing children songs, and playing games, etc. Programs were in English and distributed to both visitors and parents. A birthday cake is then cut and a small present is given to the birthday child.
In the graduation ceremony, the children wore a red square hat and a white gown and then given their graduation certificates. Then the children sang songs and played games. At these gatherings, many people including the board of education trustees, village reeve, school principals, judges, ministers, PTA president and others were invited and were shown how the children are taught in kindergarten. Respect for God, loyalty to the Crown, obedience, love for others, cooperating with each other, and discipline are some of the basic virtues that were embodied in the games they played. The visitors while stressing the importance of kindergarten education, praised the efforts of the Nokai. The school principals, knowing that these children will be attending their schools, were very pleased.

PTA Of Public Schools

In the early days of immigration, the children did not have any opportunity of learning English. Even when they reached school age and entered school, they could not say they wanted to go to the washroom. Some cried and wetted the floors. Some could not understand what the teacher was saying which in turn made it very difficult for the teacher. When the second born in the family went to school, he or she did not have much problem at school as the older one would usually teach the young ones at home. From time to time, problems arose regarding the clothes the children should wear, lunches they should bring, manners and behaviour, etc. This was due to the parents not understanding the way of life and teaching in Canada. As a natural consequence, children developed some sort of "inferior complex". This in turn presented a serious problem in our trying to teach them to be good Canadian citizens. When YAMAGA discussed these problems
with his friend, Mrs. WATSON, it was decided that a PTA would be established at the Robinson School starting in September of 1924. At this school, about half of the students were Japanese and the other half, Hakujin.
There was a tendency that more Japanese children would be attending this school in the future. As the Japanese mothers hardly understood English, the minutes of the monthly meetings were translated and given to them. As more and more of these meetings were held, the Japanese women learned a lot by hearing and seeing. They gradually began to understand how the school was being run. Many made friends with the Hakujin. women. Many began participating in PTA events by donating items and volunteering their time. After a few years, the "inferiority complex" the Japanese children had, almost disappeared after they saw their mothers working side by side with their counterpart Hakujin. mothers. At the same time, the mothers themselves learned a lot from this "adult education". After seeing these remarkable results, YAMAGA spent as much time as he could on PTA work, not only at Robinson school but also at other schools in Haney and Hammond where many Japanese children attended. He would never hesitate to go around and pick up the mothers in his Ford to attend and interpret at these meetings. Through these meetings, he became friends with the principals, school board trustees, and other supporters. Whenever there were any undesirable incidents (there were quite a few) involving Japanese children, he would privately inform the PTA and settled the incident without having it go public. There was an incident where a parent didn’t know about compulsory education. He was caught by the school authorities when he had his children weeding the strawberry patches instead of sending them to school. There was also an incident where a Hakujin boy lost his lunch, another where a boy took a bottle of wine that his father had made, brought it to school, shared it with his Hakujin classmates in the school basement and became drunk. There were other similar incidents, and each time as I recall them, it made me angry. When the daughters grew up to marriageable age, they took over the PTA duties. This ended with the war.

Corner Mission Sunday School

In 1917, William HALL, who had a merchandise store in Haney and who was a devoted Baptist, and his younger sister, Mary, approached YAMAGA about opening an International Sunday school. YAMAGA always believed that the best way of solving the assimilation problem was to bring the two communities closer together through religious means. YAMAGA and William HALL visited both Hakujin and Japanese homes. They rounded up 15 to 16 Hakujin and Japanese children, and started the school in April of 1917. The Japanese Club was rented every Sunday from 2 pm on, and a non-denominational Sunday School started in April of 1917. William HALL moved elsewhere the following year, and the HAMPTON brothers and sisters took over. The HAMPTONs not only took over after William HALL, but they also organized Sunday mass for adults. From the start, YAMAGA worked together with the HAMPTONs for over 10 years as Secretary and Treasurer and for his own self-learning experience. YAMAGA also interpreted the bible sermons to the new young male arrivals from Japan.
The average attendance at this Sunday school during the 1920s was 80 Hakujin and Japanese students. The attendance at the adult mass was 20 (Hakujin & Japanese). For the
Sunday evening masses, HAMPTON had a minister from Vancouver conduct the services.
Easter, Harvest Thanksgiving and Christmas were some of the annual events undertaken by this special International Sunday school. It was common for both Hakujinand Japanese children and their parents to gather at these events. Most of the activities centred around the children. At harvest thanksgiving time in 1928, the school hosted a general Thanksgiving dinner. The Japanese parents provided the salad and chicken, and the Hakujin parents, tea, coffee and cakes. Yohei KOHI showed off his cooking abilities by providing potatoes, chicken and salad for 200 people. The Japanese Fujinkai also pitched in and together with the cooperation of Hakujin and Japanese parents, the event turned out to be a success. After dinner, the children enjoyed playing games, singing songs and doing plays in which the parents also participated.
Because of this inter-community banquet, many friends and fond memories were made. Such banquets played a big role in understanding each other. The HAMPTONs served this Sunday School for 26 years till the wartime evacuation. The seeds of the Gospel that were planted in the hearts of these children through this school have grown and blossomed out spiritually wherever they scattered after the war.


Anti-Japanese Movement

When we look at the mother countries of the world that sent emigrants abroad, England has sent abroad several times more than its current population. Although she has sent these emigrants to its colonies, her emigrants have now settled down well. Germany and Italy have sent emigrants all over the world and their numbers are about half of their current population. They have assimilated themselves in their adopted country and settled down. On the other hand, Japan with a population of 90 million, has had the doors of emigration to the new countries closed to it. The situation is that only about 2 million of its citizens have emigrated abroad to various countries of the world. It was when a horde of immigrants who changed course from Hawaii and rushed into Canada that the anti-Japan sentiment surfaced. It began with the Powell Street riots of 1907 when the Native Sons of Canada and the Canadians for Whites Society took the lead in stirring up anti-Asian campaigns.
In 1902, the B.C.Legislature stripped the right of citizenship of immigrants from Asiatic countries. With this, Japanese whether born in Japan or Canada lost their right to vote.
Although Japanese could vote in other Provinces, the B.C. Government even lumped the 197 Japanese soldiers (of which 54 died in action) who volunteered and served in the First World War and denied them the right to vote. There were righteous politicians like Angus MacINNIS who continued to fight for justice. Because of this, in 1931 the B.C. Legislature granted the Nikkei veterans the right to vote. Even this came about with a difference of one vote.
As a result of losing the right to vote in 1902, Japanese were prohibited outright to engage in political and economic activities within the Province. They not only could not run for a seat in the provincial legislature, municipal councils and boards of education, but also could not vote. Without citizenship, they could not become lawyers or pharmacists. They could not be employed on crown owned forests, be employed as teachers, nor could they be employed as municipal officials. In other words, they were barred from working as a government employee. The future for the Nisei was bleak and hopeless.
To put together the reasons for such cruel inhumane discrimination, the following articles that were written in the newspapers and magazines are given.
1. Japanese immigrants won’t assimilate. They cluster along the coast and form "Little Tokyos".
2. They cannot rid themselves of the "dekasegi" or "work abroad to make money" mentality. After they make money, they return home. Or they think only of remitting the money to Japan and spending their retirement years there.
3. They make no effort to contribute to the community they moved to. They have no interest whatsoever in Canada’s future.
4. Their standard of living is low, they work for low wages, and they are a threat to the Hakujin labourers.
5. They build their own language schools, observe their Emperor’s birthday, and indoctrinate the Nisei who should be good Canadian citizens with false patriotism.
6. The parents have their Nisei children possess dual citizenship. Although the parents are immigrants, they don’t discard their loyalty to their fatherland..
The foregoing were some of the sharp observations and criticisms of the press in B.C. about 20 to 30 years ago. They pointed out our weaknesses and drove home some vital points.
With regards to voting rights for Asiatics, there is an interesting paragraph in "History of B.C. Politics" written by Judge HAUER.
"In 1863, after a gold mine was discovered in the Cariboo region of northern B.C., many Chinese labourers moved in and worked under the Hakujin people. As the number of gold miners increased, Cariboo became an electoral district and elected a member to the B.C. Legislature. As for qualification of the member, that member had to be a Cariboo resident for at least 3 months. There was no distinction as to race whether that member was a Chinese or a native Indian. That member also had to possess assets totaling 20 Pounds or about $100.00 Canadian. (Author’s note: At about this time, a Japanese named NAKANISHI, took a few Japanese men to work at the gold mines but this did not present any problems). It is said that there were as many as 2,000 Chinese coolies working in the Lilloet area alone.
"Because of the above, there is no doubt that the entire district of Cariboo exerted great political influence. The Chinese workers hardly knew or spoke English, and did what their Chinese bosses told them. By playing the right cards with the Chinese bosses, a candidate for the B.C. Legislature was able to amass all of the Chinese votes. The votes of the Hakujin people were fragmented which meant that he who allied himself with the Chinese was sure to be elected. This type of "united voting" continued on for about 10 years. There were many heated arguments surrounding this type of democratic process. To eliminate this longtime abusive practice, the B.C. Legislature passed a law in 1876 that took away the voting rights of the Chinese and native Indians."
Twenty years later in 1896, Tomekichi HOMMA who was refused the right to vote by a Vancouver City By-law, brought court action against the City and ultimately lost. With this, the Japanese were shut out from politics and as mentioned earlier, the Japanese had their citizenship taken away from them by a law passed by the B.C. Legislature in 1902.

Campaigning Against Anti-Japanese Enmity

After the Anti-Japanese Land Law passed the California Legislature in 1924, the anti-Japanese enmity also increased in B.C. Segregated education of Nikkei children and other troublesome incidents became topics of everyday conversation. The Nikkei children living in scattered farming villages along the Fraser River were not allowed to participate in any prominent roles during annual events held by the public schools. For example, in the May Day pole dances, Nikkei girls were not included in the list for the selection of the May Day Queen or the Maids of Honour. At this, we felt outright indignation as it could implant a sense of inferiority complex in the minds of the children. At that time,
YAMAGA, as a representative of PTA (his daughter was a student at the school), attended the meeting of the May Day planning committee. Hitherto, it was the custom to choose the May Day Queen and Maids of Honour from the village’s 7 public schools. For the 1927 May Day, it was decided that the youngest and the smallest girl attending high school would be selected as the Maid of Honour. The committee asked the principal of MacLean High School for his recommendation. At the next committee meeting, the reply from the principal was read out.
"As the youngest girl and the most pretty, I recommend Yaeko FUJISHIGE" read the reply. There were many disparaging sounds from the crowd. 20 of the representatives from the 7 village schools were women. The only male representatives were YAMAGA and a newspaper editor named DUGGAN. Rebuttals such as "She must be a citizen of England", "Children whose parents don’t have voting rights are not eligible", "Unilateral selection by the high school principal should not be allowed, the students themselves should elect" were heard. When Mrs. WILLIAMS, a representative from the same school as YAMAGA, stood up and spoke on behalf of the Nikkei community, she was attacked from all sides. The lady who chaired this meeting was Mrs. POOLE, chairwoman of the Board of Education and a well-educated English woman. After much debate, the meeting reached a point where a resolution was tabled stating that the selection would be done by the votes of the high school students.
With pressure building up from the meeting, the chair signalled YAMAGA with her eyes to speak. YAMAGA, who had sat silently and listened to the debates throughout the meeting, stood up and addressed the meeting. As he rose, all eyes were directed to him.
"Mrs. Chairwoman, the child in question, Yaeko, is by birth, a citizen of England. This is a fact that nobody can deny as it is written in the Constitution of Canada. The philosophy of Canadian education clearly prohibits racial discrimination. Also the constitution of the PTA stipulates that there shall be no discrimination especially because of the color of your skin or religion. I believe that your actions run counter not only to the PTA constitution but also to the philosophy of Canadian education. Such actions will become a model for racial discrimination, will have a negative effect on all of the innocent children and will be difficult to remedy in the future. I ask each of you to reconsider the resolution you are about to vote on. Thank you."
As soon as YAMAGA sat down, an excited Mrs. POOLE got up, pounded the table and said, "There is no more room for debate. We should be ashamed of ourselves. I ask that the mover and the second of this motion to rescind it. If you will not do it, I will resign not only as chairwoman but also from the school board."
With this dramatic scene, the highly emotional motion that had ranged on for over 2 hours was suddenly removed from the table. With this, Miss Yaeko FUJISHIGE (then 14 years old) was allowed to attend the May Day crowning ceremonies as a Maid of Honour. This event was carried in the Maple Ridge Gazette. With this, discriminative educational policies at various Fraser Valley schools were cancelled.

Until The Anti-Japanese Land Law Was Buried

In 1924, State of California Legislature passed the anti-Japanese Land Law. This law which prohibited the owning or leasing of land by the Japanese resulted in checking the advancement into farming by the Japanese. The underlying cause of this discriminatory
law was said to be that through unfair competition and turmoil in the farm produce market, the Japanese were dominating and monopolizing the market. This in turn threatened the very livelihood of the Hakujin farmers.
In B.C., Canada, there were many Japanese farmers who became rich by growing strawberries during the First World War. If they farmed on their owned land, they had special privileges to call over yobiyoses. There were many former fishermen who turned to farming because of the decrease in the number of fishing licenses issued. As a result, the number of Japanese farmers increased dramatically. Most of these new farmers did not understand how the strawberry marketing system operated. They just sold their produce on consignment. In those days, there were hardly any Issei farmers who could read the newspapers written in English. Without any thought of adjusting the supply and demand sides of the market, they just indiscriminately shipped their strawberries into the market. With this, they disrupted not only the nearby markets but also those markets east of the Rockies. This market turmoil gradually worsened from 1925 and reached its worst point in 1928. There were stories that a grower who had shipped 40 crates of strawberries to a broker east of the Rockies on consignment only received a settlement cheque for $1.50. There were also numerous stories of growers who shipped 20 crates and received nothing in return because the cost of shipping exceeded the sale cost.
According to the 1928 statistics of the B.C. Department of Agriculture, there were 933 Hakujin farmers with 579 acres of strawberries and 695 acres of raspberries. On the other hand, there were 450 Japanese farmers with 1,297 acres of strawberries and only 302 acres of raspberries. Of the acreage under cultivation, Hakujin farmers had 1,273 acres, whereas the Japanese had 1,599 acres. It goes without saying that the yield per acre of strawberries will depend on how well the acre is looked after. In fact, over 80% of the strawberries in Fraser Valley were grown by the Japanese farmers.
Strawberry farming in B.C.was started around the end of the 19th century by an Englishman in the Gordon Head area of Vancouver Island. It was at a time when this type of farming was not widely known by the farmers on the mainland. Initially, the farmers here sold their crops in the Victoria and Vancouver markets at high prices. When they made more money, they increased their acreage and prospered. It was around 1925 that the prosperity of the Vancouver Island Hakujin farmers reached its peak. They shipped their produce in refrigerated cars to markets in Alberta and east. In one season, they shipped 50 to 60 carloads (1 carload = 700 crates) and were selling them under favorable conditions. After the World War, the mainland Japanese farmers on both sides of the Fraser encroached into this "East of the Rockies" market that was dominated by the Hakujin farmers and gradually increased their market share by shipping their produce via CN and CP railways. They eventually flooded and destroyed this market with their uncontrolled consignment shipping. Ordinarily, during the first 10 days of the strawberry season, the supply is limited and hence can be sold at higher prices. Now, however, 2 or 3 days after the season opens, the market prices drop. On top of this, there were many instances where the berries, shipped on consignment, began rotting during shipment and had to be thrown away. After deducting shipping and discarding costs, there were very little left for the farmers. In some cases, farmers had to make up the difference from their own pockets. When this situation occurred, the whole car lot had to be dumped onto the market. Due to climate differences, mainland strawberries grow a week earlier than on Vancouver Island. Therefore, the markets hitherto enjoyed by the Island farmers ended
up being devastated by the mainlanders. It further developed into a distressing situation where both the Japanese and Hakujin sides were committing suicide.
When this situation continued for a few years, the Hakujin farmers lost their patience and as a measure to protect their own livelihood, decided to take steps to stop the encroachment of the Japanese farmers. On top of inflammatory campaigns by the Anti-Asian Society, the B.C. Fruit Growers Association established a committee in 1925 to study a draft legislation that would prohibit the owning or leasing of land by Asians in B.C. and continued on with their anti-Japanese rhetorics. In view of these events, the Agriculture Department of the B.C. Government began to stress the importance of setting up as soon as possible, a large province-wide strawberry marketing union in order to stabilize the market. To this end, the government provided financial assistance. In 1925, it formed the Alliance of Strawberry Growers Union. Although the government made the farmers sign a five year marketing contract and began controlling the market, due to inexperience on the part of the authorities and also mistrust on the part of the farmers, the whole idea went down the drain in 3 years. The market then returned to its former chaotic state and the campaign to legislate the anti-Japanese law resurfaced.
This was not an ordinary racial discrimination case. This campaign arose from an earnest desire on the part of the Hakujin farmers whose livelihood was threatened economically. There were hardly any Japanese farmers who could read magazines on farming that were written in English. They went around unconcerned as to what were written in the magazines. They did not understand the market system, nor did they understand the risks that went with consignment shipping.
The leaders of the Japanese farming communities began to realize that the responsibility for the collapse of the "East of the Rockies" market were the Japanese farmers who indiscriminately shipped their produce to the brokers in this market. The leaders first set up a liaison network with each of the farming communities on both sides of the Fraser. They then kept close contacts with Canada Japanese Association and the provincial agricultural authorities. The latter then dispatched GRANT, a market superintendent, to various farming communities to explain in detail the state of turmoil the "East of the Rockies" markets were in and also the vital necessity of a joint Japanese-Hakujin marketing agency. The campaign to join together this marketing agency was no easy task.
This campaign was about the future of the Japanese farmers, whether they would lose the right to own land or whether they would continue on and bring about their own destruction.
"What I grow and how I go about selling them is my own business" were some of the hot remarks uttered by the farmers. The Federation of Japanese Farmers on every occasion with the help of Japan Canada Association, the Consul’s Office, and reporters (from Japanese papers in Vancouver) exerted themselves to reeducate the farmers. As a first step in maintaining liaison between the Japanese and Hakujin farmers, some 300 Nikkei farmers joined the Interior B.C. Fruit Growers Association (a political organization) and sent representatives to attend their annual meetings. Jiro KUMAGAI was selected to represent the south side of the Fraser and Yasutaro YAMAGA, the north side. This annual meeting was held in Kelowna.
Unexpectedly at this meeting, we were given an opportunity to promote our campaign. As soon as the study report by the committee on "Resolution to Prohibit the Owning and Leasing of Land by Asians" was read, Yasutaro YAMAGA got up and asked the presiding chairman for permission to speak.
"Mr. Chairman, up till now, the Japanese farmers have been ignorant about the fresh fruit market. Because of this, both sides have suffered damages. As a result of having Superintendent GRANT visit different communities to give lectures over a one-week period, we were able to have both farmers understand the situation. As well as joining your association, the Japanese farmers have started a campaign to jointly market strawberries and by next year’s season, we are confident that we will be operating a joint marketing agency covering the whole province of B.C. Also we are in favour with the intent of the "Natural Fruit Market Control Law" that is under study by this Association. Also in the future, all strawberry farmers in B.C. will be given equal opportunity to sell under the same controlled market."
The above statement created a stir at the meeting. This was because the Japanese who were the object of anti-Japanese enmity suddenly pledged to cooperate and voted for the formation of the Market Control Law, a law that was "half for" and "half against" amongst the Hakujin farmers.
Dr. BARSS of the Agriculture Department, U.B.C., honorary secretary of this meeting, immediately put forth a motion to dissolve forthwith the "Committee to Promote Anti-Japanese Enmity". This was passed unanimously. With this, we were able to break through one of the hurdles of the "Anti-Japanese Land Law". From here, the realization of Japanese-Hakujin joint marketing began.
The leaders of the different farming communities conducted study sessions or held lectures on market conditions during the non-busy season to open up the minds of the farmers and to stress upon them from all angles the importance of the joint campaign. As a result, through the good offices of the Agriculture Department and the Japan Canada Association, we were able to meet together with the Hakujin strawberry growers union on Vancouver Island. We discussed strawberry jam prices before the start of next season, exchanged information regarding harvest forecast, studied jointly how to control damage from insects, the use of fertilizers, soil conditions and what types of side crops that could be grown to supplement strawberries, etc. This dialogue included the joint marketing of strawberries by the Japanese and Hakujin growers. All shipment by both sides were to be undertaken only by Canadian Fruit Distributors, a cooperative union broker, to control the market so that the distribution of strawberries in the "East of the Rockies" markets would be smooth. This in turn would provide not only equal opportunities but also optimum prices to both Japanese and Hakujin farmers province-wide. It took about 7 to 8 years of hard work and sacrifices on the part of the community leaders before this cooperative marketing was completely formed and operating.
This invaluable sacrifice not only led to the defeat of the "Anti-Japanese Land Law" but also contributed greatly to the economic well being of the whole strawberry industry and enabled the lofty ideals of the cooperative movement to be realized. This certainly must be an event worthy of mentioning in the history of B.C. Japanese farming industry.
The Strawberry Growers Union on Vancouver Island, together with the unions in Saanich and Gordon Head who at one time resorted to racial discrimination tactics, and who at another time tried to take away land ownership rights from the Japanese, invited
the representatives of the mainland Nikkei unions to their area for a pleasure excursion and luncheon.
On October 02, 1937, they invited in total 11 representatives from the Union in Surrey, Pacific Union in Mission, Associated Union and Maple Ridge Union in Haney. The group was taken on a tour of the Saanich Peninsula, the Observatory and the Experimental Farm. Later the group was entertained at a sumptuous luncheon. These Japanese/Hakujin farmers who were engaged in the same business and had common interests, crossed over racial lines and pledged to cooperate with each other and march together whenever their mutual interests were threatened economically or politically. The reception ended harmoniously.

Economic Development Of Haney's Strawberry Industry

The growth of the Japanese farming community in Haney is written briefly and chronologically in another chapter. With regards to its economic growth, i.e., marketing of produce, there were circumstances where the Nokai was unable to enforce uniformity on its members due to financial reasons of each member. During the 30 odd years of its existence, there were many turns and twists. As a supplement to this history, an outline of events recording the ups and downs of the Japanese strawberry industry will be presented here.
In 1907, in the early days of strawberry growing, each farmer sold their produce through consignment in the near east market. They were able to sell them at good prices and received their payment cheques from their brokers. As time passed, the number of farmers grew as well as the amount of produce. In Haney, the farmers entrusted their produce to EDGETT and GILLAND exclusively. During the 4 years of the First World War, due to wartime demand, farmers were able to sell their produce one after another at high prices. However after the war there was a downward trend and depression set in. On top of this, strawberry yield kept on increasing. In order to continue on selling to the "East of the Rockies" market. it had to resort to "ice-packed" cars.
In the spring of 1921,the Japanese farmers in Hammond, Haney and Whonnock areas and EDGETT and GILLAND formed a firm (50% Japanese, 50% EDGETT and GILLAND) called the "Pacific Berry Growers Company", hereinafter referred to as "PBG". This firm built a refrigerated warehouse, shipped the berries in refrigerated cars to the East of the Rockies market and sold them at favorable prices. At that time, the eastern market was dominated by the NASH Foundation of the United States. Sensing foul play by this Foundation during payment, Superintendent GRANT appointed an inspector to audit their sales books and found some wrongdoings. Because of this, farmers received unexpected additional payments.
The amount of strawberries grown increased year by year, and in order to deal with this situation, PBG built a jam and canning department and a plant to make strawberry crates. With this, the paid up capital shares reached $70,000. As time went on, a point was reached when the interests of the merchants and those of the farmers ran counter to each other. For example, when it rained, the farmers shipped unrestricted amounts for jam usage. The merchants on the other hand wanted a fixed quantity and tried to restrict the quantity for jam use. This conflict of interests between the merchants and farmers led to the merchants losing the berry growers. In the depression year of 1925, PBG and 3 or 4
other small firms ran into financial crisis. In order to compete with large jam companies, these small firms merged to form the "Western Packers Co." in Vancouver and conducted business. In the 3 years it was in business, it ran up a deficit of $100,000 and eventually went bankrupt. With this, the Haney shares that cost $70,000 became worthless.
Earlier in 1927, anticipating that PBG may go bankrupt, 70 Haney and Hammond farmers got together and decided to abandon this company. They formed a cooperative marketing union that was wholly owned and operated by the farmer themselves. As this amounted to raising a revolt flag, those farmers in support of PBG got together under the banner of North Fraser Union. This Union had a contract with Western Packers to supply jam strawberries, and when Western Packers went bankrupt after the North Fraser Union members had already shipped them approx. $12,000 worth of strawberries, they were shut out. In this bankruptcy case, assets of the company such as finished products and other items of value were seized and distributed amongst the creditors such as the large capitalized canneries and sugar refineries. The creditors take whatever raw materials they can get their hands on and shut the doors of the company without paying a cent to the farmers. Even when I think about this, it makes my blood boil. North Fraser Union sold on consignment small amounts of crated berries to the "East of the Rockies" market. On the other hand, Maple Ridge Union built a shipping warehouse and installed refrigerating equipment inside under the supervision of a government engineer. They shipped their produce by the carload to the "East of the Rockies" market. There was a difference of 25¢ per crate between carload and small batch shipments. As a consequence, the 2 unions joined forces in the spring of 1931 and managed to end the season unscathed. On the surface, the community appeared harmonious with the merger of the 2 unions. Some former members of the North Fraser Union whose old wounds still had not healed, called for the resignation of Manager YAMAGA at the general meeting the following year. No reason was given. "If you are going to cause trouble by asking for the resignation without any good reasons of a manager who have achieved good results for the union, I will not provide any financing." declared the bank manager. When this trouble was settled with this declaration, another one erupted. Another member requested, "The Union only handles carload shipments. We want to be able to sell freely in the Vancouver market and also be free to sell jam strawberries." This resulted in big arguments on both sides as it would have fundamentally destroyed the Union.
One of the founding members of the Maple Ridge Union rose and put forth an urgent motion, "Those who wish to support this union shall put up a $200 bond. Those who do not shall be deemed to be one who intends to bootleg." With the passing of this motion, the 2 unions, which had united and worked together for 3 years, separated again.
The North Fraser Union entrusted the shipment of crated berries to the "East of the Rockies" market to Central Fruits Co., a firm run by an independent merchant in Mission. In 1933, Central Fruit Co. not only placed a ban on the picking of jam strawberries in midseason, but also in the following year despite the good weather, shipped 15 carloads (1 carload = 700 crates) without refrigerating them. Most of this shipment developed mildew. Compared with the shipment made with refrigerated cars by the Maple Ridge Union, Central's farmers received an average of 10¢ less per crate. After learning this, complaints surfaced within the North Fraser membership. It was not until late in 1934 that this union remained existing in name only. More that 2/3rds of the contracts with Central were cancelled. 25 Japanese farmers in the Pitt Meadows area withdrew in unison
from Central and joined the Pacific Union of Mission. Pacific built a collection center in Hammond, stretched its tentacles towards Haney area and from time to time called on the members of Maple Ridge to join. As a result, the 2 unions declared war on each other.
Struggles between unions and between unions and independent merchants to lure the blind farmers never stopped. The struggle between the 2 factions in Haney continued. Even the children played games calling each other, "That side" or "This side".
This situation came about by the agitations of 2 or 3 ambitious farmers who only had their own interests in mind and who did not really understand the principles of cooperative union. According to the records of that period, the Japanese Consul tried to mediate the dispute, but an officer of the North Fraser Union stated, "Business results of both unions are equally good and the climate within the community is calm. Merger of the two unions doesn't guarantee that there would be any more turmoil. We beg of you, please leave without doing anything." With this, the Consul withdrew from mediating.
YOSHINO of the North Fraser Union campaigned vigorously for the union, however, he was unable to reach any agreement with the other officers. On the other hand, 2/3rds of the farmers who shipped through Central declared in 1934 that they would like to return to Maple Ridge. At a joint meeting of the 2 unions held in December of that year (1934) (Only 4 or 5 Central members attended), one of the Central members stood up and dropped the following bombshell motion, "If and when the 2 unions should reunite, (1) the manager of the Maple Ridge should be banned from engaging in community and school work, (2) use Niseis as much as possible, (3) the manager should drive each morning and supervise the marketing of strawberries in Chinatown." In other words, they wanted the Maple Ridge Union to accept the foregoing proposals. Maple Ridge Union members were flabbergasted at this outrageous demand.
There was one Shunsuke TAKATSU who belonged to the Central Union. He stood up and expressed his feelings as follows: "I have been outside of Maple Ridge Union and have heard many bad things about Maple Ridge. I don't know whether they are true or not, but it is only natural that we in Haney for the sake of our children and grandchildren should grow through one union in the future. As for myself, I would like to join the Maple Ridge Union and learn more about its operation. If I have any questions, I would like them answered. After that, I will make my decision without consulting anybody."
Farmers in those days didn't understand the union movement. The tendency was that those who canvassed usually called on their fellow Kenjins or those he has helped out in the past.
However, with time, they were awakened and shown the way. This is the driving force of democratic union movement. When the majority of union members woke up and realized what their position in life was, then the operation of the union ran more smoothly.
The solidarity of the community was in shambles around 1923. Farmers on both sides of the Fraser increased their strawberry output year after year and shipped them in small lots. This created chaos in the "East of the Rockies" markets. This was the reason why the proposed "Anti-Japanese Land Law" was presented to the provincial legislature for enactment. (Refer to paragraph titled "Until the Anti-Japanese Land Law was Buried").The market conditions were such that the farmers tried to solve this problem by "unified marketing". This led to the formation of the B.C. Berry Growers Union, but this Union collapsed within 3 years. During these trying years, Haney sold their berries
systematically through PBG. Because of this, losses suffered due to the market turmoil were relatively small. The Nikkei farmers in Mission suffered great losses when their Union went bankrupt. This large combined marketing union collapsed and their warehouse by the railroad siding in Haney burnt down completely. Maple Ridge bought this site and built a warehouse and also a refrigerated one on it
In 1931,the strawberry jam market was in depression. When it was learned that the canneries could buy only half of the season's crop, representatives from the Nippaku (Japanese/Hakujin) cooperative unions along the Fraser River and those on Vancouver Island together with representatives of the shippers pleaded for assistance from the Cabinet in Victoria. They were able to receive $50,000 as an industrial loan. With this money, the various unions were able to preserve their crop with sugar and sell them favorably the following year.
In the previous year (1930), ahead of other communities, the Maple Ridge union bought a fruit washing machine in Washington State and had it installed in their facility. This purchase was just in time for preserving strawberries with sugar. Other unions also followed their lead, built the same machines using Maple Ridge's as model and treated their berries without any going to waste. The season in 1928 was very rainy and consequently, the unions were not able to make sufficient carloads. Moulds began to appear in jam strawberries. Consequently, the canneries took advantage of the situation. They raised all kinds of excuses, slashed the preset per pound prices and treated the farmers in a pitiful and shameful manner. The farmers had nowhere to go but to go along with what the canneries were willing to pay and left their berries with them. It is said that one large cannery that year had about 40 tons (80,000 lbs.) of strawberries that it could not process.
In order to protect the farmers from this type of broad daylight robbery, Maple Ridge Union racked their brains on how to treat surplus strawberries and seriously searched the markets for ways and means. In other words, since they could not sell to others, the farmers were at the mercy of the canneries. Whether during a bountiful season or a rainier season, the farmers were at the mercy of the canneries. Haney produced a softer type of strawberry called the "Dunlop". This berry couldn’t be sold to the canneries as "jam". The berries were relatively small and difficult to sell by crates. It grew a week earlier than other types and hence could be sold at higher prices. Therefore, nobody wanted to stop growing them. The Maple Ridge Union, tired of fighting a losing battle with the unions, tried to find a way to export jam strawberries to the market in England.
As a measure to counter the canneries, the executive committee of the Maple Ridge Union, came to a conclusion that there was no other way but to gamble on the future of Dunlop strawberries. In 1938, they prepared a sample shipment and shipped it to a jam manufacturer in England. The reply received was favourable but one of the conditions they stipulated was, "Payment to be made upon inspection of shipment received". The other unions shied away from this saying that it was too risky. The Maple Ridge Union executives, however, thought they must make this "Export to England" plan a success and to use it as a permanent weapon in fighting the canneries in the future. In 1934, they decided to ship about $10,000 worth of jam strawberries preserved with sulphurous acid (SO²).
Even on this venture, malicious rumors were made and spread. One rumour which seemed plausible was that once the SO² preserved strawberries passed the equator, the
berries inside the barrels would melt, and that the union would be left holding the bag for shipping and barrel costs. These rumours pushed the union members into despair. The executives and the managers of the union agonized at the unrest of its members. This agony continued on for about a month and a half. Suddenly, good news from the bank in England arrived at the bank in Haney. "Except for a few barrels, full payment of the contract price will be paid", was the reply. Maple Ridge Union won on this $10,000 gamble.
This venture by MRU marked a beginning. From the following year, both Japanese and Hakujin farmers exported over 2,000 tons every year. Those who instigated and spread false rumours were some of the first ones to apply to join the export plan. Had MRU's venture failed, it would have been made a laughing stock. Also, it would have had to absorb the loss. If it succeeded, it would bring about huge benefits for the entire B.C. strawberry industry.
Whether they are labour or industrial unions, the cooperative union movement is one that requires personal sacrifice for the benefit of those who oppose and spread malicious rumours. The time had now come for the farmers to fix the prices for approx. 2000 tons of jam strawberries that were sold within this country. The canneries could no longer do business their own way. They could no longer avoid paying for 40 lbs or even 40 tons of strawberries that they could not process.
The local canneries raised cries of despair at this and cried to the government to protect this domestic industry but it fell on deaf ears. The canneries were forced to pay the prices set by the B.C. Strawberry Growers Union. This was one of the most pleasant moments in the history of the union movement.
In looking back at the 15 years of union movement, there were times when we felt uneasy about the crises facing the union. It was no easy task for the union executives They had to talk into rejoining the union members who were hesitating due to the malicious rumours of the opposition. Noteworthy were the achievements of Shiro KOGA, who served several terms as president of MRU. He fought to the end to preserve the union. His name together with MRU should be remembered forever.
The strawberry industry thus became stable economically and the Nippaku (Japanese/Hakujin) joint marketing system was running smoothly. In the spring of 1942 after the farm was tilled and fertilized, and berry crates had been purchased, the 560 odd Japanese farmers scattered throughout the Fraser Valley, were forcibly removed due to wartime legislation just before harvest time.

Federation of Fraser Valley Farmers

In 1933, Federation of Fraser Valley Farmers was established as an organization to unify all Japanese farmers in Fraser Valley. With this federation, the farmers sought to unify the Japanese Nokais of different communities and to create and form a much larger cooperative marketing union. This was the central point in the systematic campaign undertaken by the Japanese side. The main objectives of the federation were to:
(1) maintain market prices for their farm products,
(2) expand market for their products,
(3) maintain mutual liaison with each other, and
(4) mount a campaign to educate adults.
Each member organization was to select and send 1 representative per 20 of their membership. The positions of the president, secretary and treasurer were to be rotated. Three permanent members were to be selected from among the communities north of the river and two from the south. The federation was run by these eight men. The president during the first year was Kumekichi FUJINO (Mission), Secretary - Yasutaro YAMAGA (Haney) and Treasurer -Shiro KOGA (Haney). Permanent members were from river-north, KAWASE (Richmond), KAWAMOTO (Hammond), SHOJI (Whonnock) and from river-south, HIRASAWA and YAMAMOTO (Mt. Lehman).

Association of B.C. Coast Growers

Since 1927, the Japanese strawberry farmers in Fraser Valley joined with the B.C. Fruit Growers Association, a political organization of the Hakujin fruit growers in interior B.C. This was done to show that they were sincere in their Nippaku (Japanese/Hakujin) cooperative campaign. The farmers sent representatives to their annual meetings. As the organizational campaign of the Japanese progressed more and more, political activities of the Nippaku strawberry farmers along the coast became more frequent. In 1933, they withdrew from the fruit growers association in interior B.C. and formed an organization of their own called the "B.C. Coast Growers Association" with membership made up mainly of strawberry growers. This was a political organization that encompassed all Nippaku strawberry farmers along the coast.
The main task of the organization was to inform the government annually when to levy dumping tax on imports from the United States during the strawberry season. Other tasks were to maintain close contacts with the market supervisors and also to study the enaction or amendments to legislations, both dominion and provincial, regarding strawberries.
The first association president was OLDFIELD, president of Keating Union on Vancouver Island. It was the custom to have the vice-president elected from the Japanese side and Yasutaro YAMAGA was elected.

B.C. Natural Produce Market Control Law

In 1934. the B.C. Natural Produce Market Control Law was passed by the B.C. government based on the votes of the farmers in general. The ultimate aim of this law was to prevent small numbers of farmers and merchants from disturbing the market for their own interests and to protect the interests of the farmers at large. In other words, to protect the interests of 75% of the farmers, the law compelled the opposing 25% to cooperate in the control and marketing of farm produce, to smooth their distribution into the market in the interest of the entire industry.
Consequently, there was strong opposition from the minority group. This legislation had been drafted in 1928 when the market was in turmoil due to unfair competition.Among the orchard fruit and vegetable growers in interior B.C., there were those who weren't union members, independent farmers who were intent on dominating the market, and brokers who tried and sell only their produce to lower market prices. The law was aimed at controlling these people. As the number of strawberry farmers along the Fraser and their output increased year after year, competitive selling on the fresh fruit market occurred. In order to control this market and maintain stable market prices, the union
advocated legislation. Finally in 1934, after voting by the Nippaku strawberry growers at large, the law was passed. In this voting, the Chinese were excluded as they were uncooperative.
The majority of the Nikkei farmers joined this fruit association and the joint strawberry marketing organization made progress and produced good results. The law that was passed stipulated that one of the 3 executives should be chosen from the Nikkei farmers group. Notwithstanding the fact the Japanese at that time did not possess legal voting rights, it was because the Japanese and Hakujin farmers cooperated fully with each other that we were given the right to vote on important farming matters and to enforce the law as an agent of the government. This was a privilege that was denied the Chinese.
At that time, approximately 80% of the total strawberry output in Fraser Valley was produced by the Japanese. 80% of the retail stores through which these berries were sold were operated by the Chinese. Fresh fruits commanded high prices when they were scarce. However, when an oversupply situation occurred, and since fresh fruits easily spoil, prices fell rapidly, and some were dumped on the market. The dumped price then became the following day's standard market price. On top of this, the merchants, fearing another drop in prices, hesitated to place further orders. For example, a retail store that usually sold twenty boxes would now only take ten.
If prices were uniform at all stores, the merchants would feel easy and would buy twenty boxes. The market would then run smoothly and the produce would be sold without any problem. However, because the majority of those involved in the fresh fruit business obeyed the law, the goals of the law were achieved. If the majority chose to skirt the law, then the law would have been meaningless. The Control Law was able to control the supply side of the farmers, but was unable to control 80% of the merchants on the marketing side. As a result, money that was spent to implement this strawberry control law was wasted. However, tomatoes and cucumbers grown in hothouses that could be easily preserved were well treated by the markets and the farmers reaped great profits from it.
This Natural Fruit Market Control Law was proposed by market inspector, A J GRANT and written by C G NORRIS of Kelowna, a lawyer who later became famous in Canada’s legal society.


Murder Of Kijuro SOEDA

During the June strawberry season, a truck driver who went around almost daily to collect berries from SOEDA noticed that he hadn't seen him since early July, About a year earlier, SOEDA had lost his wife when her health deteriorated after giving birth. SOEDA never remarried and continued farming by himself. As he lived by himself on a small farm between two Hakujin neighbours just east of Trunk Road in the northern part of Haney, he went unnoticed. By chance, Mr. S. who lived next doors across the brush to the south, went to call on him on some business. As the door was not locked, he went inside and found nothing disturbed. There was a leather suitcase that was cut into threads with a sharp knife. It did not look like a work of a robber. Sensing something unusual, he looked around the house with two or three acquaintances. In his mail box was a piece of paper with the words "I go Mission" written on it in broken English. The post office therefore had his Japanese newspaper rerouted to Mission and stopped all mail to his place. A small creek flowed in front of his house with a small bridge built across it. Both sides of the creek were covered with 5 feet tall ferns and bush. There was a bald spot in the bush. When they looked more closely, there was a dirt mound. When some dirt was removed from this mound with a shovel,a part of a trouser appeared. As murder was suspected, the police was notified. A detective from New Westminster rushed to the scene and uncovered the body. It was SOEDA's body. The body appeared to have been buried for about two to three weeks.
Adjacent to the east lived a single German farmer and his son who raised pigs. The pigs frequently wandered onto SOEDA's strawberry farm and damaged them. SOEDA approached this German farmer several times and asked that he build an enclosure to contain his pigs. Since the German farmer wouldn't listen, the quarrels continued.
According to the testimony given by the wife of a Norwegian who lived next door to the north, she heard some loud noises one night coming from the pig farmer's house and then a loud scream. Suspicion was directed at this pig farmer. SOEDA who didn't know much English, could only yell "God Damn" when angry. In a rage, he must have grappled with the pig farmer. When the German farmer split SOEDA’s head with a wood hatchet, he screamed out loudly. Probably, it was this scream that this woman neighbour heard. The farmer then dragged SOEDA's body to SOEDA's farm and buried it in the bush. He then put the afore-mentioned piece of paper in the mailbox to make it appear that SOEDA had moved to Mission. The motive for the crime, the ongoing quarrels the two had, and since SOEDA had no possessions worthy of stealing nor enemies, all facts led everyone to believe without doubt that the suspect was the pig farmer.
This pig farmer was a veteran of the First World War. He maintained that he was innocent throughout the investigation by the police. In the meantime, before the police could gather enough evidence, the Pearl Harbour incident broke out. It appears that this awful murder incident went into oblivion because of the war.
SOEDA was from Kanagawa-ken, and was a warm and quiet man. His wife and son had died during childbirth. This incident occurred while he was leading a lonely bachelor
life. Upon learning of this incident, fellow Kenjins, Rikizo YONEYAMA and Tokutaro TSUYUKI were asked to look after and dispose of his assets. This was the only murder incident that occurred in Haney since its founding.

Foreign Language School Control Law

In 1940, Dr. WEIR, then Minister of Education, submitted to the B.C. Legislature, a bill titled "Foreign Language School Control Law". Because of circumstances existing then, the bill passed through Legislature without much debate. According to this law, those who wished to run a foreign language school had to submit an application to the Inspector of Ministry of Education and obtain his approval. The Inspector had authority to appoint or dismiss teachers and to determine what subjects can be taught not only in public schools but also in foreign language schools. When it was exposed that German and Italian language schools were teaching their students ultranationalism of their mother countries, this law was enacted to control such teachings. It was also natural for the authorities to suspect that Japanese language schools were doing the same.

Canada Census

In April of 1940, a nationwide census was conducted. This census registered all those males and females over 16 years of age. ARIGA, YAMAGA, YOSHIDA, Miss TAKAHASHI, Miss OMURA and others assisted as interpreters.

Special Survey Of The Japanese

In late 1940, when everyone was busy preparing for Christmas, a survey of the Japanese was conducted. For this survey, the government in Ottawa dispatched four inspectors. The inspectors gathered detailed information regarding the family, the assets and land they owned, etc., and returned to Ottawa. Although reasons for this survey were not clear, based on the survey report, a resurvey of only the Japanese was conducted. The reason given for this resurvey was that it was for the protection of those Japanese who have immigrated to Canada legally. After this resurvey, it was decided that registration cards would be issued. Rumours spread that the government was out to nab illegal immigrants. Rumours also spread that many Japanese were quietly sailing back to Japan. Everybody felt somewhat uneasy and all sorts of rumours began to spread.

Ban On The Use Of Explosives

In November, 1940, an Order-In-Council was issued. It prohibited the buying, selling, owning and using explosives by those other than citizens of England. Members of Haney Nokai were still clearing their lands. Nobody ever dreamed that war would occur. Therefore, the Nokairequested the town authorities for special permission. To this request, the town appointed a special officer so that explosives could be used by the Japanese farmers in their clearing efforts.

Registration Of Enemy Aliens

On December 07, 1941, relations between Japan and Canada were finally cut. On the 19th of December, 1941, a notice was received from the RCMP that they would be conducting special registrations at the Haney Nokai hall on the 5th, 6th and 7th of January, 1942.
The country was finally on wartime footing. An Order-In-Council of March 18th, 1942, ordered all Japanese citizens over 18 years of age to report to RCMP headquarters in Vancouver. Based on this order, all Japanese citizens reported to RCMP and were given identification cards. One week later, notice was received ordering everybody to assemble at the Nokai hall in Haney where Col. KEMP explained the moving of all Japanese farmers to sugar beet farms in Alberta.
Those moving to Alberta and Manitoba to grow sugar beets (evacuation from the coastal 100 mile zone) were allowed to take their whole families with them. Therefore, many families opted for this plan and moved to the above two provinces. On April 02, 1942, it was decided that a first contingent of 24 families would be going to Manitoba (approx. 1,500 miles east). The 24 families totaling 118 people left on April 11th 1942, by a special train. Those who were in the first contingent were Masutaro SETO, Jisaburo SHIMIZU, Kankichi KOYANAGI, Enji ARIZA, Shunsuke TAKATSU, Seidayu INOUYE, Shiro KOGA, Michio TOMITA, Ichiro SHIMIZU, Kaya FUJITA, Yoichiro ODAGUCHI, Shikazo SATO, Kazuo OKANO, Takejiro MITANI, Tamotsu MITANI, Hiroshi MITANI, Mitsuru SATO, Kurahachi YOSHINO, Mokichi SAKIYAMA, Kozaburo MATSUO, Genkichi GOTO, and 3 other families who were not Nokai members.
A week later, a second contingent left for Alberta. They were TANAKA, MISHIMA, SASAKI, UTSUNOMIYA, TAMURA (father/son), OTANI, MATSUNE (father/son), MATSUMOTO, Sozaburo OKA, and Takuma OKA, a total of 12 families.
Another contingent of Haney Nokai members left for Manitoba on April 11th, 1942, and the next two contingents both left for Alberta. The people left behind spent their days in anxiety. According to Nokai records, on March 18th, , 1942,prior to the evacuation, there was a meeting at the Nokai hall to discuss current topics. With regards to evacuation of the Japanese from the west coast based on the recently announced Order-In-Council, there were many concerns and discussions about the strawberry farms that were about to be harvested, the disposition of their assets, dates of evacuation, etc. As these matters could only be settled by orders from the government, the members left for home, confused and worried as ever.
As for the Nokai, these matters were discussed by the executives that remained behind. It was decided that the language school and the kindergarten would be closed, and the assets of the Nokai would be entrusted to the care of the Custodian.
Those remaining Nokai officers who looked after and settled the above matters were president Uso HIROWATARI, treasurer, Tokutaro TSUYUKI and secretaryYoshitaro HORIUCHI. Of the foregoing, secretary HORIUCHI remained to the last and recorded in detail all activities of the Nokai that transpired until his own evacuation on May 15,1942.

Jiro INOUYE, Founder Of The Strawberry Industry

Jiro INOUYE was from Saga-ken, Saga-shi, Akamatsu-cho, #5. Jiro INOUYE started the strawberry industry which reached an annual production of $1,000,000. In 1906, he bought a 20-acre property in Haney and settled down. He personally taught those who followed how to use plows and shovels. 35 years later, there was a total of 561 families and a population of 3,068. They engaged in farming on both sides of the Fraser River. The land area these farmers owned totalled 8,806 acres.
In looking back at this development, one cannot but be moved by the achievements of this late man. There is a saying that a man becomes great only after he is laid to rest. INOUYE truly fits this saying. The reason he stood up and personally led the way in encouraging farming was that there were discriminations directed against the Japanese in the general labour market. He was worried about this and wanted to open up a road to farming for the Japanese since no discrimination existed in this area. He had no prior experience whatsoever in farming but undauntedly, he picked up a shovel to begin farming.
INOUYE's philosophy in guiding his compatriots was to have them adapt to the manners and customs of their adopted country and to improve relations between the Japanese and Hakujin communities. This philosophy is clearly written in the constitution of Haney Nokai.
In 1914, as soon as the First World War broke out, the Fujinkai (Ladies Group) led by Mrs. INOUYE, formed a support group for the Red Cross and prepared goods for them. They worked side by side with their Hakujin counterparts with remarkable results. Also under INOUYE's leadership, the Japanese community repeatedly participated in events sponsored by the town.
As previously mentioned in the paragraph about Haney's Monroe Doctrine, Haney Japanese community did not blindly follow the suggestions of other communities but went about their own way. INOUYE personally was not a religious man but he did not spare himself in doing volunteer and support work for church campaigns. As his bedside parting words, he asked that his funeral be conducted in Christian for the sake of the community children. He preached to every newcomer the importance of learning English. He organized English night classes for these people and had their employer pay tuition fees. Up until the time he passed away in 1931, he maintained and preached this guiding philosophy.
INOUYE was born in 1870 as the second son of Yoshiaki Saburo INOUYE, a retainer of the NABESHIMA clan of Saga-ken. He graduated from the Law Department of Waseda University. After the Sino-Japanese War, he worked at Daihoku Electric Co. in Taiwan, at the Rice Exchange as a director, a mining company, and later as a reporter for a newspaper in Kyushu. In late 1897, he landed in San Francisco. From there, he went to Belgium intending to learn glass manufacturing. He was not able to accomplish this and he returned to North America and Seattle, He worked as an advisor to Seyiro FURUYA, a local businessman. Thereafter, he went to Canada where he became the pioneer of Japanese strawberry farming.
INOUYE was also fluent in writing Japanese poems. During the spring time in this peaceful village he would listen to the larks flying above and talk to his neighbour over
the fence, "Over the fence, we chat about strawberries." This is one poem I remember INOUYE reciting. When he was hospitalized at Vancouver City Hospital for gastric ulcers, he read the following poem knowing well that he would not recover and accepting that his end was very near. "Heat waves trying to keep on going during an autumn rain." The time was October 06, 1931 when the vine maples changed to autumn colours that INOUYE passed away at a young age of 61. It was INOUYE who first used the kanji (平寧)(pronounced "haynay" and meaning "peaceful and quiet") to denote "Haney". INOUYE’s wish to make Haney an ideal place for ethnic development resulted in his parting words that are covered in a separate paragraph. "Autumn colours decorate the fields and mountains year after year, but what follows are only silent autumn winds."

Forced Wartime Disposition Of Japanese Owned Lands and Assets

(Author - Yasutaro YAMAGA)
Before the Second World War erupted, there was an organization called the Security Commission that was established in B.C.. Appointed to this Commission were Mayor HUME of New Westminster, Commissioner MEAD of RCMP, Superintendent SHIRRAS of B.C. Police, and Austin TAYLOR, a civilian representative. The Commission was set up to handle emergency matters. The greatest problem that the Commission faced was the disposition of the Japanese. They were under the assumption that the Japanese would be loyal to their fatherland and hence would surely collaborate with the Japanese military forces once they invaded the west coast. It looked as if the Commission had established the following policy. In the event of war between Canada and Japan, all Japanese, whether they were naturalized citizens or Nisei, would be removed from the coast to locations 100 miles inland and put under guard. All lands and assets they owned would be sold and disposed of, and they would all be deported back to Japan after the War so that none would return to B.C.. With these measures, they would be able to solve in one stroke their unsettled "Oriental Problem". The church missionaries who had returned home from abroad and who were acting as interpreters for the Custodian (Custodian of Alien Property) straightforwardly voiced that the Custodian's sole role was to safeguard alien property and that the Japanese be allowed to return after the war. In spite of the above, it is for certain from subsequent events that the Securities Commission carried out their established policy in steps and stages.
In March of 1943, an Order-In-Council from Ottawa arrived at the Office of the Custodian ordering the disposal of Japanese owned assets. It ordered the selling of fishing boats, land and other assets belonging to the Japanese. It goes without saying that this Order was based on request by the B.C. Securities Commission. In taking disposal steps, as Canada was a democratic country, the Custodian appointed an advisory committee so that the 561 lots totalling 8,806 acres owned by the Japanese would be disposed of fairly. For this purpose, the Custodian approached McKENZIE, a senior real estate broker in New Westminster, MENZIES of Haney and myself as a Japanese advisor to serve on the committee. I was at a road camp eleven miles north of Hope then. I carefully studied from all angles what work and responsibilities I would be undertaking as a committee advisory member. These were properties that were to be disposed of under an emergency wartime Order-In-Council. I could not stand up and say no. I knew very well that any fair assessment would not be accepted. Moreover, I did not have the right or authority to
speak out on such matters. However, as far as I was concerned, those matters did not present any problems to me.
As far as I was concerned, as one who had poured all of his energy into the cooperative movement for the farming community, I felt that it was a duty that was thrust onto me to witness the final liquidation of Nikkei farms that were about to be undertaken under the wartime directive and to act later as a living witness at some future court of justice. With this in mind, I solemnly and grimly decided to accept the position on the Custodian’s advisory committee. As soon as this news circulated among my compatriots, I received many letters from friends and many organizations asking me to resign from the committee. These friends did not know of my true intent. Many sent threatening letters. However, these did not make me change my mind.
The first meeting of the advisory committee was held at a courthouse in New Westminster. Justice WHITESIDE presided over the meeting. He looked to be a fair minded person. At his suggestion, the committee was asked to select 30 farms that were representative of what the Japanese owned. He instructed each of the three committee members to assess and put a dollar figure on each farm. He reasoned that the average of the three estimates would represent the fair current price. He distributed to each of the three members a list of the 30 farms that were selected by the Custodian. Starting at Pitt Meadows, a week was spent going around Hammond, Haney, Whonnock, Mission, Clayburn, Mt. Lehman, Langley, Surrey with the last stop at Port Mann. The Veteran’s Association also went around the same farms and we bumped into each other at Strawberry Hill.
We each got down, made a neat copy, and presented it to the judge. Of the 3 results, the lowest was the one by McKENZIE, next was the one by MENZIES and the highest was by me. The average of the three was thought to represent the fair price. Using this average price, the land owned by the Japanese amounted to $1,500,000. Against this, the Veteran’s Association submitted the sum of $800,000 and vowed strongly that they would not pay a nickel more.
The fateful day of May 24, 1943 came. On this day, all of the officers of the Custodian attended the meeting. Three from the veteran’s association also attended. This negotiation meeting was held at the courthouse in New Westminster. From the start, the Veteran’s Association representative took a tough stance and continuously gave high tensioned arguments. I vehemently argued with McKENZIE that $800,000 was equivalent to the price of raw uncleared land and that they were taking advantage of the current crises. The Veteran’s spokesman retorted, "The Japanese after the end of World War I, sold strawberry farms to them (returned veterans) at exorbitant high prices. We’re not going to fall for that trick again." Their attitude was similar to that of the winning side intimidating the loser. They clearly showed it and would not budge an inch.
Custodian Director McPHERSON, who sat silently throughout the arguments for two hours, suddenly spoke out. "Mr. YAMAGA, we have been ordered by the Order-In-Coucil to dispose the lands as soon as possible. The Veteran’s side proposes to take the whole lot at one lump sum price. It would be impossible to dispose 561 farms separately. It is clear that $800,000 is way too low. The Japanese would probably seek redress for damages after the War. Would you be good enough to accept this transaction today as presented?"
I replied, "In a democratic country like Canada, although we are in a wartime situation, if you are asking me to accept something that is unjust, there is no need for this advisory committee. I cannot accept something that is clearly unjust." The negotiation meeting of that day then ended. I felt that I had attained my goal. Whether the land price was too high or too low was not a problem for me. I saw the hole in the grave into which the farms will be going. That night, I wrote a letter of resignation to Justice WHITESIDE and mailed it. The following day, I returned to the road camp in Hope. After my resignation, the Custodian without the Japanese committee advisor present, accepted the price set by the Veteran’s Association and completed the disposal of the farms.
In 1945, i.e., after the end of the war in Toronto and Vancouver, advocates for democracy belonging to the Christian Church formed a strong organization called the "Japanese Cooperative Committee". They decried the injustice and the manner in which the Japanese assets were disposed of. They persistently went after the central government and compelled the government to appoint Judge BIRD as a special investigator to inquire into the disposal of Japanese assets. They opened up an opportunity for each Japanese to seek damages. It goes without saying also that the minutes of the meeting between the Custodian and the Veteran’s Association played an important role. Due to this special investigation tribunal, the government paid out additionally an amount almost equivalent to that paid earlier by the Custodian and the Veterans.


Chronological List of Executives of Haney Nokai

Year President Vice President Secretary Treasurer Chairman of Councillors
1919 Jiro Inouye Teizo Hidaka Yotaro Nakayama Yotaro Nakayama
1920 Jiro Inouye Yotaro Nakayama Shunsuke Takatsu Shunsuke Takatsu
1921 Seiji Yano Yotaro Nakayama Yazaemon Tamura Yazaemon Tamura
1922 Seiji Yano Yohei Kohi Yazaemon Tamura Yazaemon Tamura
1923 Seiji Yano Yohei Kohi Yazaemon Tamura Yazaemon Tamura
1924 Seiji Yano Kurahachi Yoshino Yazaemon Tamura Yazaemon Tamura
1925 Yotaro Nakayama Shunsuke Takatsu Takiji Kanzaki Takiji Kanzaki Seiji Yano
1926 Shiro Oka Toyonori Namba Takiji Kanzaki Takiji Kanzaki Kurahachi Yoshino
1927 Shiro Koga Kurahachi Yoshino Enji Ariza Enji Ariza Shiro Oka
1928 Shiro Koga Uso Hirowatari Ainosuke Ito Ainosuke Ito Takejiro Mitani
1929 Shiro Koga Toyonori Namba Seitoku Tada Seitoku Tada Kazuta Nobuto
1930 Toyonori Namba Uso Hirowatari Enji Ariza Enji Ariza Kazuta Nobuto
1931 Toyonori Namba Uso Hirowatari Enji Ariza Enji Ariza Kazuta Nobuto
1932 Uso Hirowatari Soshichi Tanaka Enji Ariza Enji Ariza Shiro Koga
1933 Shiro Oka Shizuo Yano Sojiro Takeda Sojiro Takeda Kurahachi Yoshino
1934 Toyonori Namba Rikizo Yoneyama Sojiro Takeda Sojiro Takeda Yujiro Isojima
1935 Kazuitsu Tsuchiya Rikizo Yoneyama Sojiro Takeda Sojiro Takeda Yujiro Isojima
1936 Shiro Koga Takiji Kanzaki Haru Nishimoto Haru Nishimoto Kakutaro Tateishi
1937 Shiro Koga Makiji Kajiura Haru Nishimoto Haru Nishimoto Takejiro Mitani
1938 Makiji Kajiura Takiji Kanzaki Haru Nishimoto Haru Nishimoto Takejiro Mitani
1939 Makiji Kajiura Rikizo Yoneyama Denchiro Kitagawa Denchiro Kitagawa Yujiro Isojima
1940 Shiro Oka Uso Hirowatari Tokutaro Tsuyuki Tokutaro Tsuyuki Shunsuke Takatsu
1941 Uso Hirowatari Rikizo Yoneyama Tokutaro Tsuyuki Tokutaro Tsuyuki Shunsuke Takatsu

Haney Nokai Membership List (1938)

(Total 103 Members)

Pioneer Settlers Of Japanese Farming Communities in B.C.

Pitt Meadows - Mankichi IYEMOTO (Yamaguchi-ken)(1904)
Hammond - MATSUMOTO, TAKEDA, EBISUZAKI (Yamaguchi-ken)(1905) Haney - AZUMA, MATSUSHITA (Kumamoto-ken)(1904)
Whonnock - ISHIMOTO, NISHIKAWA, MORISHIGE (Kagoshima-ken)(1909) Mission - Kumekichi FUJINO (Shiga-ken)(1904)
Surrey- NAGANOBU, UJIIYE (1910)
Okanagan - AGENO, KITA, TADA Comox - ITO (1900), KISHIMOTO (1908)
Steveston - KAWASE (1912), Real Estate Co. (1920)
Cordova Bay - KAKUNO (1915)
Clayburn - Riichi SASAKI (1918)
Mount Lehman - Kiyu OGATA (1907)
Langley - ETO (1915)

Epilogue (Update Of Former Officers of Haney Nokai )

When one reads about what occurred in the past, he or she would like to know about their old friends. Of the 104 members of the Haney Nokai in 1941according to information the author has gathered by 1962, there were 33 who have died, 10 who have returned to Japan and 60 who are living in Canada. Of the above and from information gathered so far, the author would like to select and write only about the latest on the former Nokai officers. (In ABC order)
Uso HIROWATARI served as President, Vice President and Secretary and also in other capacities. He was an all around orator and was noted for his rip roaring voice on the stage. He and TSUYUKI looked after the Nokai assets and accounts after everyone was evacuated. Aged 80, he is hearty and lives on a farm in Kamloops. He is active as secretary of local Buddhist church. It is wonderful to hear that his rip roaring voice is still intact.
Yoshitaro HORIUCHI was the last Secretary of the Nokai. He meticulously recorded the events that occurred in the Japanese community during the turbulent evacuation days. He also recorded the movements of each member. After the war, he moved to Toronto. Both he and his wife are in good health
Teizo HIDAKA moved with his family to Toronto after the war. Using the penname of "Shuho" (秀峰), he devoted himself to writing haiku (poem) and had been
enjoying his retirement years. He died in 1960 leaving behind his wife, a son and three daughters. His widow, Kume, is now 80 years old and living together with her daughter, Kazuko.
Yujiro ISOJIMA served with distinction as Chairman of Councillors. He was left alone after his wife died and his daughter married. Two years ago, he returned to Japan and his birthplace in Okayama. As he was able to receive his Old Age Security pension in Japan, he is now having difficulty in trying to spend it. He is spending his money on electric appliances and living it up in the country like a millionaire. He is in the prime of his life at age 75. It appears that he has not remarried yet.
Ruiko INOUYE is the daughter of Jiro INOUYE. Six months after marrying, she lost her husband in the war. She is working in Kobe and has been raising her only daughter, Yoshiko (age 16) with her mother, Kane, by making use of the English language she learned while in Canada. Two months earlier, her mother, Kane, died. We have had no news from her since. In late 1933, two years after Jiro INOUYE passed away, Kane returned with Ruiko to Japan and Kobe.
Yohei KOHI served the public as Nokai Vice President and in other capacities. He was good in English and worked hard to smoothen Japanese/Hakujin relations. He died in 1949 in Port Hope, Ontario. His wife, Toyo, now 80, is living a retired life with her daughter and family in Port Hope.
Denichiro KITAGAWA worked hard for the Nokai as Treasurer and Secretary. He resettled in southern Alberta and together with his son, grew potatoes and became rich. Earlier, he lost his wife, but now he is enjoying retirement surrounded by his many grandchildren. We sympathize with is his lonely retirement.
Shiro KOGA was the second yobiyose Jiro INOUYE called over to Canada about 50 years ago. He was a true blooded Saga man. He used his strong backbone and will power to lead the Nokai and Japanese LabourUnion as President or Chairman. He was truly a valued man. His wife was a teacher of odori (Japanese dancing) and tirelessly volunteered her services in directing children's odori at every local stage events. Both KOGA and his wife directed various recreational events that were held during the slack farming periods. Regrettably, his wife passed away three years earlier. Although he is living a lonely life, he is in good health and takes turns in babysitting his grandchildren in Winnipeg where his son and two daughters live.
As a gentle and courteous Secretary and/or President, Makiji KAJIURA was very popular in the community. He evacuated to Bay Farm in Slocan during the war. After the war, he moved to St. Catherines near Niagara Falls, a fruit growing center. He bought a farm here and continues to farm like he did back in Haney. All of his children have become successful. He is now enjoying retired life and eagerly waits for his many grandchildren to visit him. Notwithstanding, he claims he is always busy. He says it is hard to give up farming when he sees his crops beginning to sprout.
Takiji KANZAKI hated doing something that was dishonest. As a noted Treasurer, he gained the trust of Nokai members. He is now 78 years old. When he was young, he always used his bicycle to get around. Last year, he was struck from behind by a car. Luckily, he recovered from this accident. We hear that he has given up his bicycle. He was about 6 feet tall and a robust man. Even now, he is hale and hearty and enjoys growing nappa (Japanese cabbage) together with his wife in Haney.
Takejiro MITANI and his family joined the first contingent that moved to sugar beet farms in Manitoba. He passed away in Winnipeg after seeing his eldest son, Tamotsu, own a large TV and radio store in Winnipeg and also his second son become successful. His wife is in good health and is busily looking after her grandchildren.
Toyonori NAMBA worked hard as President of Nokai and as an officer of the language school. He was also one of the founders and supporters of Kidokan Judo and encouraged the sport in Haney. His wife worked hard as president of Fujinkai. Both are in good health and are living a happy retirement life with their second daughter's family and children in Hamilton.
Kazuta NOBUTO served as Nokai's Chairman of Councillors. After the war, he settled down in Toronto. His philosophy was to enjoy a pleasant life. He even toured Japan. He still has a few more years to go before he receives his old age pension. His wife is currently rejuvenating herself by taking up ikebana and odori.
Shiro OKA showed his brilliance as Nokai's President and also as an officer of the language school board. He engaged extensively in producing strawberry crates and also in the hot house business. As soon as he evacuated to an old mining town of New Denver, he stopped working. His wife is working at a local seniors home. OKA himself is enjoying a retirement life. He has cooperated tirelessly in the publishing of this book.
Kazuta RYOJI served as Nokai's Secretary for 3 or 4 years and was an enthusiastic supporter of judo and taught it to the young men. After moving to Toronto, he has travelled to Japan and is now leading a leisurely retirement life and enjoying his grandchildren's odori.
Kazuitsu TSUCHIYA is a brilliant man with a middle school education. When he was a young man, he directed the Seinenkai (young men's group). He also served as Nokai's Secretary and also as its President. Due to family reasons back home, he and his family returned to Japan and his birthplace in 1939. At his birthplace, he worked as an acting village chief and during the war, he showed his talent as village ration distributor. He ran his family's general merchandise store in the village and led a life of ease. He died in 1960 leaving behind his wife, Yukiye, and three sons and three daughters.
As the last Nokai Secretary before evacuation, Tokutaro TSUYUKI assisted the President nd and looked after its assets and accounts. He was successful in Haney as a hothouse operator. He is a veteran fisherman and he once landed a sturgeon weighing more than 100 lbs. in Lillouet. He is spending his retirement years farming in Surrey. You can bet that he will find some time one way or another to bring out his fishing rod.
When he was young, Shunsuke TAKATSU started working at Furuya's in Vancouver polishing rice and progressively moving up to become a store manager. From the early development days in Haney, he assisted INOUYE and worked hard for the Nokai. During the war, he moved to Winnipeg where he saw his two sons and two daughters become adults. As for himself, he found he could live comfortably and was planning his retirement. This was not to be and he passed away in Winnipeg at 76 years of age. His wife, Tatsu, keeps herself busy going from house to house to babysit her many grandchildren.
In 1907, Yazaemon TAMURA changed course from HawaiHawaii and immigrated to Canada with his family. He was one of the first pioneers to move and settle in Haney. During his life here, he never indulged in extravagancies. He spent his entire life working hard with his wife. He volunteered his time to the public as Nokai Treasurer and also as an officer of the language school board. His wife predeceased him about three years ago. He is nearing 80 and has retired and is now living with his eldest son and family in Rosemary, Alberta.
Soshichi TANAKA was also one of the early pioneers settling in Haney. He served on the Nokai board as Vice President. He looked after and assisted his fellow kenjins. After moving to Alberta, he and his wife passed away within a short time of each other. His eldest son, Masamoto, has taken over his father's work.
Kurahachi YOSHINO was one of the elders and was wellknown in the Haney community. He served on the Nokai board as Vice President and also as an officer of the language school board. During the war, he returned to Japan on the exchange ship, the Gripsholm. He died a few years later in Yokohama. His wife also served the community as a language school teacher and also as President of Fujinkai. She is currently living in Yokohama with her daughter, Sakaye, and leading a lonely retirement life.
As a well-known President of Haney Nokai, Seiji YANO was well liked by the community. In 1925, he moved back to Japan to look after his mother. In his home town, he worked as a postmaster, fire chief and other village work. He died in 1960 at the age of 71.
Shizuo YANO also moved back to Japan. He died an early death in his home town in Oita. His Haney-born son, Sam, continues to work on the ancestral family farm while looking after his mother, Aya.
Rikizo YONEYAMA served the community as Nokai Vice President and Secretary. Together with his wife, he grew strawberries and raised poultry. He poured all of his resources in providing education for his son and three daughters. His efforts have borne fruit with his eldest daughter, Misao, and second daughter, Yachiyo, graduating from the University of Alberta as a physician and dentist respectively. His third daughter, Mitsuye, became an optometrist, and his only son, Yutaka, a building inspector of the City of Toronto. The YONEYAMA couple who gave to the Canadian community such talented people are now leading a very happy life. Both are also in good health. Undoubtedly, they are the most happy couple from Haney. They have also been generous in donating their resources to the community.
(Note: Yasutaro YAMAGA did not include himself in this update section probably due to modesty. This brief biography of YAMAGA was included here as he was undoubtedly a pioneer and a pillar of the community in Haney. Without his leadership and drive, this book would probably never have been published. The following biography has been excerpted from "MAPLE RIDGE REUNION"dated Saturday, September 3, 1988.)
Yasutaro YAMAGA was born in Hiroshima-ken, Japan. He arrived in British Columbia, by way of Seattle, in 1907 and settled in Haney (Maple Ridge) in 1908.
YAMAGA was a born leader, and he worked tirelessly to encourage Japanese immigrants to leam Canadian customs and life-style in general. He sought respect and acceptance by the dominant Caucasion society, lssei mothers were encouraged to become
involved with the Parent Teachers Association, which he believed would lead to better education for the Nisei pupils.
YAMAGA was a firm believer in the premise that a good education was essential for any promise of a future for their children.
He certainly practiced what he preached by serving as Vice-President of the Provincial Parent Teachers Association.
When the first Nisei girl was chosen to participate in the Maple Ridge May Day festivities, he was not only very proud, but he personally recruited Issei parents to attend the event.
He helped organize the Maple Ridge Co-operative in 1927, to market farm products more profitably. There were 70 growers as founding members, a few were non-Japanese, and YAMAGA became the Manager. This was a major boost for the hard working Japanese farmers.
When the B.C. Securities was set up to administer the removal of Japanese Canadians from the B.C. Coastal Area, YAMAGA was appointed to the Committee to advise on the disposition of the farms. A difference of opinion in the handling of these farms compelled him to resign.
He moved to 100 Mile House in the Cariboo district of B.C. where he became involved with a sawmill operation for seven years.
When YAMAGA retired in 1958, he and his wife moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where their daughter and her family lived, and bought a house.
Once settled, YAMAGA became aware of many Isseis who had no relatives or families to care for them in their old age. His concern motivated him to sell his house and with the moral and financial support of the Japanese Canadian community and the Province of Ontario, he, with the help of some dedicated volunteers, built the Nipponia Home for elderly Japanese Canadians.
Reliable sources state that the reason the Provincial Government decided to support the project was because the chief bureaucrat was so impressed with YAMAGA's dedication and purity of purpose.
When the first expansion was opened in April, 1963, YAMAGA received a scroll of appreciation from the Japanese Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency, Nobuhiko Ushiba.
Premier David PETERSON states: "Founded by Yasutaro YAMAGA, the Nipponia Home has provided a place of shelter and comfort for elderly citizens of Japanese origin since 1958. We can take pride in the outstanding record of achievement and service which this home has come to symbolize."
Ambassador OKAWA states: "It was YAMAGA who, with deep conviction and selfless dedication, followed a dream to its fulfillment - to build this Home and provide comfort and pleasure to the many Japanese-Canadians who had experienced and survived the sufferings of a war beyond their control."
Perhaps the words of his peers who published the book "Maple Ridge - A History of a Settlement" said it best: "Mr. YAMAGA, a progressive and amicable man of integrity."
Yasutaro YAMAGA passed away in the Beamsville Hospital at the age of 85 on August 24th, 1971.


1. Henei Nokai-shi (History of Haney Farmers Association) (Japanese) (1963).
Author: Yasutaro YAMAGA & History Editing Committee of Haney Nokai
2. Who Was Who: Pioneer Japanese Families in Delta and Surrey (English).
Author: Michael HOSHIKO (ISBN 0-9666155-0-6)
3. Japanese Community In Mission, A Brief History, 1904-1942 (English/Japanese) Author: William T HASHIZUME (ISBN 0-9733049-04)
4. The Pre-war Japanese Canadians Of Maple Ridge: Land Ownership And The Ken Tie. Author: John Mark READ, MA Thesis, 1971. (English)
5. Kanada Nihonjin (Development Of Japanese Agricultural Industry In Canada (Japanese) (1930)
Author: Juzo SUZUKI
6. Maple Ridge, A History of Settlement. (1972) (English)
Authors: Maple Ridge Branch, Canadian Federation of University Women
7. Maple Ridge Reunion, September 1988. (English)
Authors: Maple Ridge Reunion Organizing Committee


William Tasaburo HASHIZUME was born in Mission, B.C. in June, 1922. He attended elementary school and was in his third year of high school when his father, Tashiro, died. Before his death, Tashiro instructed his wife, Etsu, to take Tasaburo and his two younger sisters to Japan and provide them with education in Japan.
Upon arriving in Japan, Tasaburo attended Kwansei Gakuin Middle School,a school equivalent to the high school in Mission. Although Tasaburo attended the Japanese language school in Mission, the language skills he acquired in Mission were wholly inadequate as the middle school text were written in kanji characters that were far more difficult than the elementary kanji characters he learned in Mission.
Tasaburo first had to learn these difficult characters. This he did by flipping through the Kanji dictionary. Once he learned the correct reading, he had to consult a Japanese-English dictionary to learn the appropriate translation of the word. It took Tasaburo approximately one year of this repetitive work before he was able to read and understand the local Japanese newspapers.
After graduating from Kwansei Gakuin Middle School in March of 1942, Tasaburo entered Kobe Technical College in April of 1942. He graduated in September of 1944 at the height of the Pacific War with a diploma in civil engineering. After graduating from college, he was obliged to serve in one of the armed services of Japan and in his case, the Navy. Although Tasaburo was born in Canada, the then Canadian government did not grant citizenship to persons of Japanese ancestry.
After the end of the war, Tasaburo returned to civilian life and worked as an engineer for a construction company that was awarded a contract for construction of airfields and buildings by the American Occupational Forces. While communicating with the American Army, the colonel in charge, wishing to liaise on a first name basis, began calling Tasaburo, "William". Since then, Tasaburo has used this adopted name, William.
Later, Bill began Working for the U.S. Armed Forces proper in Tokyo and Yokohama. During this time, he petitioned the Canadian Legation in Tokyo to grant him Canadian citizenship notwithstanding his serving in the Japanese Navy during the war. Bill was subsequently granted Canadian citizenship and in November of 1954, returned home to Canada.
From his return to Canada till his retirement in June, 1987, Bill worked as an engineer in the design, construction and maintenance of bridges for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
For approximately five years after retiring from the public service. Bill continued to work by providing professional engineering services to both the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and private consulting firms. In 1922, Bill began to turn his talents to a totally different field. This field required him to use his knowledge of the Japanese language in the form of interpreting and translating.



History of Haney Nokai (Farmer's Association)へネー農会史


Translator: W T HASHIZUME
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Source: Yamaga, Yasutaro. William T Hashizume [Trans]. History of Haney Nokai (Farmer's Association), North York, Ont: 4 Print Division of Musson Copy Centres Inc., 2006.


Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.