Blanche Kishi, interviewed by Carolyn Nakagawa, 10 January 2018

Blanche Kishi, interviewed by Carolyn Nakagawa, 10 January 2018

Abstract
Blanche shares stories of growing up as a young child in Vancouver on McGill Street, relocating at age eight to the self-supporting site Christina Lake with her family, going to school in Grand Forks after the war, and becoming a teacher working in different parts of BC before marrying and raising a family. She talks about her memories of her father, Kishizo Kimura, and his work disposing of Japanese Canadian fishing boats as well as other roles he played in the community. Blanche feels that her experience as a young child at a self-supporting site was relatively carefree, but her parents worked very hard to overcome the obstacles set before them, something she is proud of Japanese Canadians for doing.
00:00:00.000
Carolyn Nakagawa (CN)
So, I'll just start by saying, uh, this is Carolyn Nakagawa, interviewing Blanche Kishi, for the Landscapes of Injustice project. It's January 10, 2018, and we're here at Blanche's home in Richmond. Um, so Blanche, can I just start by asking you to, to start at the beginning and sort of tell me your life story?
Blanche Kishi (BK)
My life story, eh?
CN
laughs Uh -
BK
Well, I grew up in Vancouver. Uh...up until the age of eight, I, went to an Anglican kindergarten, on Cordova Street. And...the first little while my father took me, and then he had to go to Japan, so I was going on my own. And my mother used to phone a lady at the office to come and meet me at the...Dunlevy and Powell Street corner.
CN
Hmm.
BK
And then she'd take me across Powell Street. So. laughs Then we went to our school, Hastings School in Vancouver, which is about eight blocks away, um, and we used to walk, four of us - three of us walking. Because my brother and my sister and I would go to school there. I didn't start Japanese school until I was about...seven years old. So, I, after school in grade two, I took the streetcar to Jackson and...Hastings Street and walked to the Japanese school in Vancouver. And then my sister arrived later, and she would pick me up, on the way home. Because she was in an older class. Um...I guess when the war started...I remember my father drop- walking us to school, because there were some kids, on the side of the street, who were throwing stones at us, so he used to walk us to school, and he'd take the streetcar from Hastings Street, onto Vancouv- down to his office on Dunlevy. Um...even then, there was a lot of this...racism going on. And the parents were watching the kids throwing stones, but they never told them to stop. long pause I guess...by grade three,
1942
that was when we, had to...well they closed the school, after grade three and told us, we were no longer allowed to go to school in Vancouver, or in the Lower Mainland
clarification from Blanche: as Japanese we were no longer allowed in public schools in BC
. And so...we had an extended holiday laugh. Until, uh...and everybody else was moving away, they were all evacuating at this time. And so I never...paid too much attention to it. We were in an area where we didn't have too many Japanese people living in that area. We were living in the Eastern part of Vancouver, towards...Hastings Park? And so. It was basically a Caucasian area. So it didn't bother me that my friends - I didn't have that many friends to go to school with. So it didn't bother me that people were leaving. Um...and then we evacuated on October the 31st, by train, to Christina Lake. And we had a berth, nobody slept, we all stayed awake all night, looking out the window slight laugh. My father thought that was a waste of money! laughs
CN
To pay for the berth?
BK
Paid for the berth.
CN
And you didn't sleep?
BK
laughs Yeah. Um...sound of microphone being adjusted I don't remember much about...the ride back to, ride to the hotel. Because that's where we were staying, at that time, at Alpine Inn? And...I don't know much more. We'd just met some...people, friends, but, they were not really friends because they were mostly boys laugh. And, I didn't relate to them much laughs. When you're nine years old you don't care about boys.
00:05:20.000
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BK
And they started the school around the beginning of January, and they had high school students who were teaching the elementary school children. We had a guidebook from the BC education, I'm not sure what it was. There were correspondence courses, so. We had those people to help us with the courses. Um...the person who was in charge was a Mr. Shibuya who was the...a person who had been to university in California for a while, I think that was his post-grad, and he was taking his medical courses down there. But he never completed his course. I don't know why he came back but he didn't complete his post-grad. But he had his UBC graduation and, he was able to go to the...university down in San Francisco I think. And we...basically studied English, and maths, and grammar. Not too much science or history. Because we weren't interested both laugh. And he, I don't think he was either laugh. But anyhow, we, we managed, and when we left, uh, when the war ended...we were allowed to go to school in Grand Forks. So we were bussed there. And...they had to give us a sort of a test to see where we were as far as classes were concerned, because we had no real standing as far as grades were concerned. And so they tested us and let us go straight into the grades we were supposed to go into. Which was good.
CN
So you didn't lose any...you weren't behind after, after the war?
BK
No. So...I don't remember much of the younger part of my life except that we had a lot of fun outside, we used to swim and run around in the snow, and play tag in the middle of the evening, with the, on top of the snow - you can walk on the on the crusted snow? Other than that, we...we didn't have a great deal to do other than...helping with the gardening, and stuff like that. We had to haul water up from the lake to...water the garden, there was no water to laugh water the garden other than that.
CN
Do you mind if I pause one moment?
BK
Mhm. Tape is paused.
CN
So, we're back. This is Carolyn Nakagawa with Blanche Kishi, we've dealed - dealt with some technical issues and hopefully we'll have a better setup, a bit of a better setup now, we've listened to the first part of the tape a little bit. Um, so Blanche, you were telling me, you told me a bit about your childhood and, going through the war years, and I think we were just around the end of the war, so can you tell me more about your life, after the war?
BK
Okay, we went to Grand Forks high school - well, it was actually Grand Forks elementary school, because it was only grade eight at that time . I did reasonably well, so I, so I was able to pass into grade nine and we continued on through high school. We had the school bus to take us, every morning, to the school. Left at about quarter after eight, and didn't get home until about...four fifteen. Um...the courses were good. The teachers were fine, and we had no...no problems, as far as that goes. When we, I graduated in grade twelve at Grand Forks, we were segregated, in grade nine to university entrance classes and just high school graduation classes. So, we had only about...well we had the largest graduating class at that time which was forty-eight students laugh. And I got top marks in that one. So I was happy with that.
00:10:10.000
00:10:10.000
BK
Then I went to, normal school from there...in Victoria, because we lived a hundred miles outside of Metro Vancouver so we had to go to Victoria to take our courses there. And we did our...practicums and courses in Victoria, and then I did a practicum in Grand Forks. It was difficult because the teacher left to Vancouver to have some surgery, and I was left on my own in the classroom with grade fives for, about a month without any supervision! It was...quite a learning experience, I don't know whether I did very well or not, but I passed normal school and then started teaching in Midway in September. And I had a grade one two three class in Midway Superior School. Uh...it goes up to grade ten. And, not knowing, how...really how to deal with grade ones, it was difficult. And, but I was there for three years, and the children seemed to have, have learned at least SOMETHING laugh from me. So, and then I decided I was going to move to the Lower Mainland, because...I didn't like the cold winters in Midway. It got to be twenty-eight below, and it was rather chilly. Twenty-eight below Fahrenheit. It was rather chilly. Um...I said no more, cold cold winters laugh. And so I came to Van...applied in Vancouver, as well as Richmond, I was accepted in Richmond, and I taught at Lord Byng School for twelve years. I had a lot of Japanese children because I was teaching in Steveston. And it was...really a fun time, actually, teaching. Because I had other people who were teaching grade three too and so we could compare notes, and that made a big difference. I taught there until...1964 I guess. It was after I, well, 1965, because that's when my daughter was born. And...I decided I was going to stay home and be a stay at home mum. So I stayed home. My husband was a boat builder. So we...he was busy all the time. And...about two years later I had my second child, and we...muddled along laugh. I had a lot of support from my in-laws. Because my mother was...well she died when my daughter was only nine months old, so...my father was alone, and we had to sort of, keep an eye on him. He was living alone in his house and my brother came and stayed with him at that time to go to university, so that was a big help. It was just a busy time, because the children were growing and then I had two other children later. They were...one was three years younger and then the next one's three years younger than that, so there was eight years between the oldest and the youngest. And by this time they were all getting involved in sports, as well as dancing and piano and all the rest of the stuff, so. I was kept busy. I stayed home and...didn't have a great deal to do with outside activities at that time because of the time spent with the kids. But I enjoyed doing the dance costumes for my daughter. And...I was asked to design the costume because the teacher thought, well, Japanese people are very good at, sewing, so both laugh. So we, I was asked to design the costume and then get the other mothers organized so they could make the costumes to match the first ones! laugh And it was a fun time then. I enjoyed that. She danced for twelve years. So it was kind of a busy time, she...at first it was only a couple of costumes and then gradually by the time she was finishing she had about eight costumes- four or five costumes to make. So it was kind of busy. And there are other mothers who are tasked to do the same thing too! laugh
00:15:37.000
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BK
Um...about that time, my husband was...the children were going to different activities, and they, the boys played hockey. Two of the younger boys played hockey, the older one played baseball for quite some time. And...sigh let's see. pause I guess, my husband was sick about, 1980...80. He had pains in his shoulder and we didn't know what it was. And with all the other diagnostic tests, we, um...they couldn't figure it out so finally they did surgery and found that he had, uh...invasive cancer, adenocarcinoma? And he, so he was no longer able to work. He was, uh...bedridden for most of that time, until he died about eighteen months later. It was kind of a, rough time laugh. But, we managed, and, the- we had a lot of support from the community. You know, there were- he was well liked, because of his work at the boathouse. And...because they were always willing to do whatever was necessary to do, for boat repairs, to get them done on, as soon as they could, because the boats had to go back out again. So...between taking kids to hockey and to dancing and piano and, laugh all the rest of it, and to school, it was kind of a busy time. Um...but after he died, I...looked after a little girl for a year, while her mother worked. And the boys really liked this little girl, she was only about nine months when she came to us, she couldn't walk, she couldn't talk, she couldn't do anything. But she laugh, she was so easy to deal with, she slept a lot. And so...she'd come in the morning, I'd give her breakfast, she...give her a bath, and she'd fall asleep. And then she'd sleep until lunchtime and the boys came home for lunch. And she would play with them for a while, and then, laugh she'd go back to sleep for an afternoon nap until her mother came to pick her up! laugh You couldn't have a better child to look after for a babysitter laugh. It was wonderful. And then...after that, she
the baby's mother
said well, her husband will stay home and look after her, because she was expecting another baby and she said, I just don't feel that we could have two children here, so. I said that was fine, I started working at Rosewood Manor, and worked as a dietary aide. Which was...sort of, very busy. Because there were 120 residents. And...there were three dietary aides working on each shift. So we had to make sure that these people were fed and the dishes were washed and cleaned, and other cleaning jobs were done too. And so...we ran, the whole time laugh. But, it was fine, we managed it, and...I guess...I worked there until I retired at age sixty-four. By this time, most of the kids were finished with school. They...between my daughter graduating from university and the...even the youngest one was graduating from high school, about that time. So it was, it was not bad. You know, we're getting our feet back on the ground. Uh...but it was tough. Because, money was not, easy. Um...what else, nothing? After I retired, I decided I was going to do a lot of, extracurricular stuff that I wasn't able to do before. And I lived in a house that had, actually five bedrooms because we changed the family room into two bedrooms, so that each child had their own room. And it made it much easier to, keep track of who was, who wasn't doing their share! both laugh
00:20:20.000
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BK
Yeah. It was...and my daughter got married. Um...and gradually, the next one got married, and then...it was a while before the third one got married, but anyhow he got married. And...they all started their own families. My son, third son did not have any, does not have any children. He has ,,, he's a mountain biker. And he's kind of crazy, so he has more accidents than you care to deal with. But he wasn't living with me so I didn't have to deal with it. laugh Uh...what happened after that. Then the grandchildren came. And then my daughter was living in Abbotsford because she taught at the University-College of the Fraser Valley in the chemistry lab, and her husband taught in Maple Ridge, so they, the two of them decided to live in Abbotsford. And, so I never had to babysit those kids. laugh They just...they went to daycare all the time, so that was alright. Um...they are now, graduated, well, my granddaughter graduated from university last spring, and the younger son, her younger son, um, is in first year university at the Fraser Valley. We also found out that he was awarded the Governor General's Award in Grade 12, so that was quite an occasion too. Uh...my other son had one child who is going to university, and then he had laugh another baby by the second, by his second marriage. And he's only...seven now. So there's quite an age difference between the two kids, but Colton is now in...third year university, going through engineering. And he's working in the co-op program, so, he's doing well. Um...Tessa is the granddaughter, and she's applying for post-grad work at UBC, and we don't know whether she'll be accepted yet because she has her interview coming up in February. With Stuart, he's the younger brother of Tessa's, and he's in second year of university, and he'll be taking the co-op program in...June or May or somewhere in there after school. Courses are over this year. And, I've been busy with all kinds of activities because I try to keep my exercise classes up, laugh and... with making school lunches, and...doing knitting and stuff for different charitable organizations, and going to the Go-Gos which is an organization which is helping the Stephen Lewis Foundation to raise money for the, uh, grandmothers in Africa who are raising their grandchildren. It just makes my life pretty busy all the time. That's about it. laugh
CN
Great, thank you. pause Okay. So, um, I have a few questions about that, thank you for sharing all that with me. Um...so, I wonder if we can go back,
BK
Mhm.
CN
Now that we've kind of gone through, your whole life, can we go back to earlier,
BK
Mhm.
CN
-and I'll have, ask you some questions? Um, so, I wanted to, first of all, you mentioned your dad quite a bit, um, in the beginning, that he walked you to school and so on. And I wonder if you could tell me a bit more about him and your memories of him growing up.
00:24:53.000
00:24:53.000
BK
pause He wasn't home a great deal, because he was working all the time. Uh, he was...but when we evacuated, and he was working at the sawmill, because he was a bookkeeper there...he was more regular, you know. But...he didn't get that involved with us. It seemed, that the neighbour's children always said, your dad is so much fun. And we didn't find it that way laugh. He was more strict with us than he was with the neighbour's kids. Because he'd joke with them, but he wouldn't joke with us. And it was...I guess it was difficult for him, in many ways that he wanted to make sure we were, serious about our lives. Um...he. I think he was supportive in many ways, but my mother was always concerned that, you know, we were spending too much money, and father was the only, single breadwinner in the family, so, we had to be cognizant of that fact. You know that, money wasn't easy to come by. Um...she was always the one that made us toe the mark as far as, uh, money was concerned. She'd tell us, how much we spent and what we had spent it on, and all this sort of stuff. It was just...it was not his place that, he wouldn't tell us, that we were spending too much money. Because I remember going to Vancouver, coming to Vancouver to go to Victoria for the schooling, and my mother said it cost this much to go on the Greyhound bus to get to Vancouver, and then it cost this much to get on the ferry to go to Victoria, and, you know, all this sort of stuff, so. You were always aware that money was very important to her too, because she did realize that it wasn't out there on a tree somewhere. But he never complained to me about us spending money. I guess we were, we were careful that we didn't upset him laugh. Uh...I think he enjoyed the fact that we were all doing well in school. You know, it was not, he didn't go around bragging about it, but I think he was very proud of the fact that we did well in school. And I remember he brought my brother to Vancouver when he was going to go to university for the first time. He went to the campus and checked on where his accommodations were. Whereas with me, my sister came with me, and we went, she came to Victoria with me, when I was going there, and I stayed with two older ladies. Uh...that were American ladies and they were wonderful, for me. They said they were old, but, when I think about it, they weren't that old laugh. They were, one was sixty-two and the other was fifty-seven. And they considered themselves the old ladies. And I thought...laugh they're pretty young yet! laugh But, they were retired from nursing in the States. And they had come up to Canada because they like Canada. But they wanted to keep their American citizenship so they had to go back to the States every six months to sort of renew their, papers I guess. But they had a house in Victoria, it was a very nice house. My father never, I don't think he ever met them. Which is unfortunate, because they were lovely ladies, I really enjoyed being with them, because they taught me a lot of things that laugh uh. We never had a chance to do, you know, things like...when I had a birthday party, birthday, I wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and my mother said no you can't have it because your father does not like chocolate laugh. So we had a white cake with chocolate icing, or a chocolate cake with white icing laugh. So, my mother did...keep track of what my father wanted. And it was...I guess that was the way it was in, in olden times, I don't know laugh.
CN
CAROLYN
BK
laugh You showed me his photo album before we turned on the recording and, um, there were lots of pictures of different places in BC he had been to for his work. But I guess, was that something, did he travel a lot for work when you were there, or was that more before he had children?
BK
More before he was married.
CN
Mhm.
00:29:46.000
00:29:46.000
BK
Yeah, I think once he got married and he was settled in Vancouver in the office and he...he did office work. And then he took trips to Japan about every other year. Because of his salt herring exporting business. And...it must have been hard for my mother. Because she had five children and if he wasn't there, she didn't speak much English, it was hard for her. But....at least he earned a good wage from that. So we...to us, it didn't seem like we suffered, as far as finances went, but I think it was very very....very important to their family, you know. In their minds, that money was tight. pause Because she wasn't working. And, at one time his parents...his mother, his father was living in Vancouver, and he used to come and ask for money. This was during the Depression. And they said, it was really hard when he came over to ask for money. So, it was...you know, to her money was very important, because she wanted to make sure the children got an education, that, you know, everybody was looking properly attired. So, she stretched the money as far as she could go. And, he never complained. And one time she complained that he was drinking too much. But it wasn't, it wasn't that much. But it was something that he had...she said, if you didn't drink, we would have a new lamp for the living room. And so he stopped drinking for a month, and we got a new lamp! laugh
CN
Wow!
BK
But you know, these are things that, you know, money was very important to those people at that time because they went through the Depression. And, it must have been really hard because I was born at home because they couldn't afford the hospital, for me. My mother...gave birth at home with a midwife. And, I guess I was lucky I was healthy! But other than that...he was very caring, but he wouldn't - and he would get, he got skates for everyone- we had roller skates, and I think we each had, well the three older ones each had roller skates and we could go up to the Safeway which was about eight blocks away, with a wagon, and bring the groceries home that way. That was way back in the...1940s. Early, no, thirties. Late thirties. Because my sister and I used to go up. Um...we never had a bicycle. Because in those days there were very few children's bicycles. They were just adult ones and so, we weren't the size of an adult yet, so we didn't get one. And we had no ice skates, we had one pair of skates that somebody outgrew for the boys, and there was one pair of skates for the girls, that this lady outgrew. So we used to take turns getting on the ice to go ice skating. You know, there were things that they sacrificed for us to...but we didn't think about it then. pause And there were no boys around. I mean, there were more boys around than girls. There were no girls, there were girls who were younger than me. They were about two or three years younger, my sister was the one that's closest to me and she's a year and a half younger. And then there's another girl who's the same age as my younger brother and he was three years younger. She was three years younger. But that was about it, you know, we had no girls at Christina Lake, really.
CN
Um...I just wanted to ask a bit more about, uh, what you remember in Vancouver, before we get to Christina Lake. Um...you said you grew up on Hastings Street sort of, near the park?
BK
Mm, no, it was near the
Exhibition Park, now the PNE
...it was on McGill Street.
CN
Oh, McGill Street.
BK
McGill Street. And the streetcar line was right in front of our place.
CN
Oh.
00:35:15.000
00:35:15.000
BK
So, uh...it was easy for us to get to the streetcar, my mother could see from the window that I was standing at the streetcar corner waiting for the streetcar to come. And then when I came home, well she could see when I was coming home that...because the streetcars were pretty regular, she could see that I'd get off the streetcar then I'd have to cross McGill Street to get to the other side. Whereas my sister got a streetcar driver that would stop the streetcar in front of the house and walk her across the street! When she started going to kindergarten because she was, she was tiny, so laugh. He felt sorry for her to have to have come home on the streetcar by herself, so he used to walk her across the street. But...I don't remember a great deal about Vancouver other than...my sister and I, my younger sister and I were very close and we used to play together a lot. Because there's nobody else in the neighbourhood our age. My older sister had friends who lived up the street...and they went to school together, but there's no one my age so I played with my sister a lot. And we were busy. Because between Japanese school and Sunday school, and there's a group called the Junior WA on Saturdays, there wasn't much time to do a great deal of socializing with other kids.
CN
More activities than, just socializing.
BK
Mhm. I never had, I never really had a close girlfriend. All the time I was in Vancouver.
CN
Hmm. So you mention um, going to the kindergarten in Powell Street and so on, and. Um, I'm wondering was it usual to, for you to sort of commute? Because you were in a different neighbourhood than the Powell Street, or was-
BK
We had to learn English.
CN
laughs
BK
So that's why we went to the kindergarten to learn English. So that we wouldn't feel so, out of place I guess. And...it didn't seem to bother me that I...that I wasn't as fluent in English as I could be, you know. In grade one I guess. Everybody...I don't know, I never worried about that, my sister did. But I didn't. She worried a great deal, when I was, when she was going to go to school because she said, one day, father came to her and said to her you are now going to go to school, and your name is Florence. And she was called Hiroko up until then! both laugh So, she said, oh. And it was, you know, she...and she's only grade one. So you know, to be, have a different name, and suddenly be sent to a school where you don't really know how to communicate properly, was pretty frustrating for her. But by the time I was ready for kindergarten, which was three years later, or for school, I was okay with school as far as that went. I mean, I don't remember anybody saying that my English was broken, or you know it was, was not correct.
CN
And what-
BK
I had trouble with T-H sounds. But other than that, I had. I don't remember doing too badly in school.
CN
What school did you go to?
BK
Hastings School.
CN
Hastings School. And were there a lot of other Japanese Canadian children there?
BK
There were some, but not too many - in my class, I don't think there was anybody until about grade three and then there were a couple. And they were boys. laugh Arthur...uh, Arthur Iwasaki was one of them. And...I don't know who else, but there was another Japanese girl in there too, because. But they lived on the other side, on the south side of Hastings. So, you don't really play with people who are that far away , at that age. You know, you're, I mean, ten blocks away, that's a long way to go. To meet a friend.
CN
Mhm.
BK
And then with Japanese school, everybody leaves our regular schooling and then heads for whatever school they're going to. So you really don't have any friends.
CN
Did you play with any of your other classmates?
BK
Not really.
CN
Hmm.
BK
Because there was no time.
CN
Hmm.
BK
Because, if you're leaving at...2:30 or quarter to three, and taking the streetcar to go to Vancouver, I mean downtown to go to a Japanese school, you have no time to play with anybody. So you, you go to Japanese school and they, you have no friends there too because they don't know you from, laugh you know because you're only there for a couple of hours and you're in class. So it...you really...your family is your whole friend. I mean I had neighbours.
00:40:09.000
00:40:09.000
BK
There was a little girl, that we used to play with, and she was only a baby, so we, we sort of looked after her, sort of type of thing, but other than that, we had nobody to really play with. The boys used to play in the empty lot. There was a whole bunch of us playing hide and seek and, you know. Those kind of games. But it had nothing to do with, real friends.
CN
Hmm. Can you tell me a bit about the neighbours whose baby you looked after?
BK
She was an adopted child. She was, um, Caucasian, and the parents were, I would say, maybe in their mid-thirties because, to me, they looked old, but CAROLYN laughs I think they were about the mid-thirties. And...I know they had two dogs, one of them was a German shepherd and the other one was a spaniel of some sort. And...I was afraid of the German shepherd because he used to bark quite loudly. And if you went to the back of the yard, you know the back fence of the yard, well he'd be right there barking at you from inside his yard. So...we always used to go to the front door to go and play with her. Because, it was a very scary situation slight laugh. But we had Japanese people living next door to us, and they were Maikawas that had the Maikawa store? And, she was quite a bit younger than us so we didn't play much with her, and she was always being taken out by her mother to go to different places. They went, I don't know if they had a car or what, but anyhow. We didn't see much of her. We knew she was there. But she didn't play outside.
CN
But you did play with the other neighbours?
BK
Mhm.
CN
So do you think it was a sort of friendly atmosphere with Japanese Canadians and Canadians of other backgrounds?
BK
Yeah. Mhm. Yeah, we had a lot of...there was no racial discrimination in THAT area. Because, we were all sort of growing up together, it's. If anybody had any feelings about the Japanese at that time, it was the parents. It was not the kids. Which is normal, isn't it?
CN
Yeah, I think so.
BK
Yeah, we...we got along well with all the neighbours. I mean there was a boy in my class who lived about three doors away from me, and he used to walk, he was an only child, so he was a little bit spoiled but, you know, he was fine. His mother was always worried about him. Because she had him in her later years and I would say she was probably in her mid-thirties when she had him. So this was why she was an older mother. But, you know...my mother said...she doesn't get dressed in the morning, she always has her housecoat on until about ten o'clock in the morning. And I see her running out with the garbage to get her mail from the mailman or the milkman or whatever, and paying him, and she said, you know that's disgraceful both laugh. Because my mother was very...very conscious of the fact that she had to be properly attired before she went outside the door.
CN
Hmm. Did your mother have a lot of interaction with the neighbours?
BK
Not a lot, no. But she was friendly with them. And there were people behind us that were...he was nice. I mean we, he used to give us lettuce and stuff, he had a little back garden and he used to bring us lettuce, and you know, we had people like, there was a milkman and a bread man that used to deliver bread up and down the street. And there was a person who was looking for junk, and he'd run up and down the street with...I don't think he had a horse, but the milkman had a horse, and the breadman often had a horse.
00:45:02.000
00:45:02.000
BK
And then they started having cars, but up until then we had a milkman delivering milk with a horse pulling the cart. It was interesting times. I remember that. And there was a dairy fairly close by. And they had a cow in there too, because I remember we went up and we watched them milk the cow, and then you could buy the milk there if you wanted to but my mother never did because my brothers were very allergic to certain kinds of milk, so she had to have goat's milk for the boys.
CN
Hmm. laughs So I'll move a little further in time now. You mentioned that when you were walking to school, was sort of when things got a little more tense for Japanese Canadians, that people would throw stones.
BK
Mhm.
CN
I was wondering was that before or after Pearl Harbor?
BK
audible breath I think it was even a little before,
CN
Hmm.
BK
Pearl Harbor. You know, there was tension coming up. You know, in the last couple of years...between the Japanese and the...I think they were beginning to feel that, there were too many Orientals coming in, because there were Chinese people and Japanese people, and that area was very heavily loaded with Italians too. So this is why, I think these people maybe were a little bit...conscious of the fact that they were going to get pushed out?
CN
The Italians?
BK
No, the, uh, Caucasian, the English...English Scottish, whatever they were.
CN
So feeling threatened by the Italians and the, Japanese and Chinese Canadians.
BK
Yeah. Yeah. There are too many...too many out of....out of the country people moving in.
CN
Hmm. Do you remember what you thought about all of this at the time, or do you remember, your parents talking to you about why this was happening?
BK
No, nobody said anything except that, just ignore them. Just keep walking. And my father walked with us to make sure that we got to school safely, that's all. And then coming home, I used to take a different route to come home, if I was coming home without going to Japanese school. I'd take maybe a couple blocks over to the other side and then, go a roundabout way.
CN
Hm.
BK
But I went to Japanese school starting in grade two, so you know, that was okay. It was just...by that time I didn't have to go by their house, on the way home, I just went straight down to Vancouver with the streetcar.
CN
So it was one particular house where there was a,
BK
Just - just one - well there were two houses, one on each side of the street.
CN
Oh.
BK
And so there were kids. And I don't know if they were, just um, egging each other on, to see if they could get one of us, or not, but. With my father walking with us, they just never , didn't come out.
CN
Mhm, mhm. Do you remember, when you got the orders to - when you had to leave Vancouver, um...do you remember what, how that was explained to you, what you thought was happening, and, do you remember packing things up at all, or, deciding what to take with you?
BK
Because we were moving to a self-supporting community, we could take whatever we wanted to, as long as we had the, wherewithal to pay for the freight on it, so we didn't - my mother didn't worry too much about that. And that's why she bought all the fabric beforehand, to make sure that we had, enough...material to make clothes for the next couple of years. And then...I remember she bought ten yards of flannelette to make nightgowns, for us. Uh, the girls got pink and the boys got blue. Stripes. both laugh Ugly things. CAROLYN laughs But, they kept us covered. And the boys had Japanese style. The...kimono type,
CN
Nemaki?
BK
Nemaki, yeah.
CN
Yeah.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Yeah.
BK
She said it was cheaper to make those than it was to make pyjamas because, the bottoms took a lot more fabric. both laugh So I remember she had, she brought this ten yards of fabric and I thought, this is kind of ugly but, what do you say?
CN
Mhm.
BK
You never questioned what they did.
CN
Right. So...finding words it wasn't really an issue of having to leave things behind, you were able to bring things with you.
BK
That's right, we were able to bring the things like the dolls
BLANCHE is referring to two decorative Japanese dolls in glass display cases in her apartment which her father brought from Japan
, you know with us. Because my sister had a bigger one. Uh, bigger doll. And my younger sister was unfortunate, the person who was buying the dolls thought that there were three boys and two girls, so he just bought two dolls and he gave her a lamp! laughs So, I don't know what happened to the lamp, but anyhow, that was hers. laugh So she never had a doll. Until later on. Both laugh.
00:50:00.000
00:50:00.000
CN
laughing Gee. Um...you mentioned um, going up to Christina Lake on the train. I was wondering if you remember much else about that train ride, like what you saw when you were going through BC and what you were thinking at the time?
BK
Well, we - I was on the rock side. So I, when I looked out the window, there was nothing but rock or rock face.
CN
Oh. laughs
BK
So I never saw much. But, in the day- in the morning, we went to the dining room. And the waiters had...napkins over their arms? It's a real old-fashioned way of serving meals. There were waiters and they watched every, every single need that you had, you know, they'd be right there with it. And we were ordering from a menu, which I'd never done before laugh. I mean, these were...I was grade three, so you know, I could read the menu, and it was...a new experience. And then, as soon as, by the time we came back from breakfast, well then the beds were put away, and the berths were back, the chairs were back. And so we could sit on the chairs, and then we could go across and look. But I wasn't too much concerned with the scenery as much as I was with the, you know. Um, going up and down the aisles and seeing what else there was to see on the train.
CN
laughs Yeah, well I bet that was interesting too.
BK
Yeah, because it was - our father said, you know, it was something that we had never experienced before. So he wanted us to experience it, which was true, we were lucky that we were able to...have berths that came, you know, so we could have a bed of our own, and. Well there- we slept two to a berth, but you know, it was still, something different. I don't know if any of my, I think my brother slept on the top berth. Just the, you could bring that down and make it so there were two beds. I mean, three people could sleep in there. My mother was sleeping with my younger brother. And then...I think my older brother was sleeping up on top. I don't know. Can't remember.
CN
Hmm. And how long was that train ride?
BK
Uh, we got on about eight o'clock and it was about two o'clock the next afternoon.
CN
Okay. So just a sort of overnight -
BK
Overnight, yeah.
CN
Mhm. Mhm. Um...and, so...did your father talk to you much about the work he was doing, during the war, or also before the war?
BK
Not - not a great deal, no. He, I knew he was disposing of fishing boats. But I didn't know what that meant. You know, to me, disposing, what does that disposing mean, it's a word that you don't read, you know, in your books. So, I didn't know what that meant, really.
CN
But did you get a sense of how he felt about doing that kind of work?
BK
slight pause No.
CN
No.
BK
It was a, it was a duty. As far as he was concerned. That he had to do it. But it was not...we didn't talk too much about it.
CN
Hmm.
BK
Because...there were too many people who were fishermen living at Christina Lake. And...it would...it wasn't the kind of thing you talked about.
CN
So they would have been aware, though, that he was doing that work?
BK
Yeah. They knew he was doing it, this was why it was, not a comfortable time.
CN
Right. Is that something that, even looking back, after the fact, do you think that your family was treated differently because of that?
BK
breath In some ways, yes, but in some ways, he was the one that could...write letters to the government and write letters to the Custodian, and all those kinds of things, so, they asked him to do things for them. You know, he was able to sort of be a liaison for them in that way. I remember this one lady who was a widow, and she had these two little children, one was about four and the other was two. Maybe he was only eighteen months. But anyhow, he was little. And she had no means of support, because her husband was killed...as a fisherman, he fell off the boat or, he drowned. And so...he was able to get her some, welfare, at that time, which was very difficult, because people just didn't ask for welfare. And he...and they, nobody wanted, my father didn't think that she should, tell everybody, because this makes it so that, you know, it's a disgrace. To get welfare, in those days.
00:55:17.000
00:55:17.000
BK
So...it was very quiet, but he was able to go to the Custodian and get some welfare for her, which helped because she was destitute, really. Her parents were helping her. They were fishermen- he was a fisherman, her father was a fisherman. And the mother - grandmother was really a...a cook in a camp? Fishing camp. And so she, she was one of the cooks at the Alpine Inn. It was a community sort of affair, where we had a dining room. And there was a dining room for the men, a dining room for the children, and then there was another room, another area where they had mothers with little children. You know and so, anybody with a baby who was maybe up to about three years old had to be sort of fed, or you know, supervised more closely, and then we were the wild ones laugh you know like us, you know, who were between maybe seven and, uh...twelve? laugh And, everybody used to run to the table when the bell, uh, gong was sounded, and we'd sit down, and we'd - and my sister said she had to grab things for us, because sometimes there'd be nothing left to feed, if you just sort of sat back and tried to be polite, so she said, I had to grab things for you or you would never have anything! And so my father saw what was going on and he decided, he doesn't like that, so he moved us to a cabin instead. So we would be brought up properly Both laugh. But, you know, that. So that...he was gone from...I think he left about, maybe three days after we moved to Christina Lake. And he was down at the coast until Christmas and he brought- and for my Christmas present that year, he brought me a dictionary.
CN
Was that good present?
BK
Yeah! I asked for one.
CN
Oh!
BK
Because...and, it's funny, older sister said, you ASKED for a present? And I said, well, I need one, don't I? And she said, well you could use mine and I said, but you're using it, I want my own! And so - it was forty cents, it said on the cover. He bought me a High Roads dictionary.
CN
laughs And that was your Christmas present.
BK
My Christmas present, yeah.
CN
Wow.
BK
I was, I was lucky.
CN
laughs
BK
If you don't ask, you don't get, I told my sister. both laugh But anyhow. Well, she got a lot of nice things, I mean, because she was the oldest. She got things like a Snow White doll. I never got a...trails off She had a Shirley Temple doll as well. I never had any of those kind of dolls with any of the hair...so I laugh combed her doll's hair and she got after me! both laugh
CN
Do you remember as a, as a kid feeling like living in Christina Lake was very different from living in Vancouver? Or, were you able to take those changes in stride?
BK
I think I took them in stride.
CN
Oh?
BK
Yeah.
CN
Yeah.
BK
We were freer. Because we didn't have to, have schedules. Other than, you know, we had to be at school at a certain time, but everybody went at a certain time. But we didn't have buses or streetcars to worry about...I don't know, we, it was freer. In many ways. And, we were only allowed to go to certain areas in our neighbourhood, you know, there was one house that we'd call the ghost house and we never knew who lived in it, because nobody was there. And, once in a while a man would come out and he was wearing a black coat and a black hat, and. We were kind of scared of him, but, I imagine he was fine, it, just, just the way he was dressed.
CN
laughs
BK
But, you know, so we stayed away from that house. We walked on the other side of the street. Because...he might come out. both laugh pause But you know, it's...I don't, I don't remember much about, you know, I know that my mother was buying these fabrics and things, and getting ready. But...I don't remember, being, stressed about it. pause
CN
Mhm. And Christina Lake at that time, was it all Japanese Canadians in the settlement?
BK
Yeah. All Japanese Canadians. Maybe some of them were Japanese citizens too.
CN
Right. Yeah.
BK
Because there were people who went back to Japan from there. After the war, when they were allowed to go. You know, there were several families that went back to Japan.
01:00:11.000
01:00:11.000
CN
Were there any people that went back to Japan that you particularly remember saying goodbye to?
BK
They were all older people. So,
CN
Okay. So no children that you went school with or anything.
BK
No. No, they were all...laugh They were, older couples.
CN
Mhm.
BK
And, they said they had their home in Japan so they wanted to go back. And that was, okay. But we had one couple that went, and they gave us a whole box of their dishes and things. And I still have, my brother I think still has one of their bowls. And some of the dishes and things. Some of them got broken, but you know. Ochawan and stuff. But she had a lot of stuff.
CN
Mhm.
BK
And they had...one child who was supposed to be adopted, but, not...legally. You know how it was in Japan. And so the...when they were going to go back to Japan, they...her family wanted her to stay here in Canada. So they came and they took her back to their home in, somewhere in Slocan I think. pause Which is hard.
CN
Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. pause So you said that after the war, you went to school in Grand Forks, I guess you would have been about how old then?
BK
Well, grade...grade eight, so I must have been about thirteen?
CN
Okay, so you went to high school basically, in Grand Forks. Yeah. Uh, do you remember that being a big adjustment?
BK
pause Yes, because...we were...I never had to worry about making speeches in the class, you know, because, you had to have, they had oral language, you know, and so you. You had to write something and then you had to make a speech on it, or. Or you'd see a movie that they'd, show a movie of some sort, and they'd want you to take one aspect of it and report on it, and get up in front of the class and laugh give your impression. And, that was different, I never had to do anything like that. But our math was much better than theirs both laugh, because we, you know...we emphasized math.
CN
In, in Christina Lake.
BK
In Christina Lake. Yeah, at the, at the school. So we, we were fine with that. But the sciences I don't know, I just muddled through. And we had no music. We had Japanese songs, but laugh.
CN
That was -
BK
Because, we had records.
CN
Oh, I see.
BK
Yeah. Because we used to, we had a record player. You know, the old-fashioned gramophone, you know, you had to turn the handle? Crank it? Have you seen those?
CN
Uh, I'm, I'm not sure, I've heard of them. I can't think if I've seen one before.
BK
Oh. Yeah, we had one. Well we - because we couldn't have, we didn't have electricity, we didn't take our regular record player. So we took the old gramophone.
CN
Mhm.
BK
We had that, and we had a lot, we took our records with us. And, so every...Saturday night, we'd play these records and, the kids would come over and we'd have crackers and jam for a snack.
CN
laughs Was that a - other kids in the community would come over?
BK
Yeah, they - the boys would come over.
CN
Have a party?
BK
Yeah. Well, not really a party, it's just...boys would come over and they'd be...didn't listen much to records, but they'd be playing cards or something. And then we had some girls come over and they were younger than us, so they'd sit and listen, and. And you know, it was kind of a social time.
CN
Hm. That was both during and after the war?
BK
No this was, during the war.
CN
Hmm. Mhm.
BK
Because we used to get the Sun, Vancouver Sun AND the Province...and, there was one copy for the whole community. So I used to go up...to the community, you know to the main desk, and they'd have the paper there so I'd look at the comics, and read some news, but, never war news, it never dawned on me that I should be reading war news. It didn't...I didn't, think about the war. When I was up there. Except when the RCMP came along laugh.
CN
Oh, when was that?
BK
Well, they did come along, periodically just to check to make sure everything was okay. And...then we'd have no Japanese school that day laugh.
CN
Oh.
BK
laughs Because we're not supposed - we weren't supposed to be having Japanese school anyhow!
01:05:04.000
01:05:04.000
CN
Oh, of course!
BK
laughing Yeah, so.
CN
Yeah.
BK
So! both laugh So we'd have Japanese school. And so...when they came we had no Japanese school. And they - and the community we'd...give them a bottle or something and, they'd go away happy and they never said anything. Snowplow, it meant the snowplow would come up and plow the roads for us so we could get out of there if we had to, and, so another bottle would go out to them, and. laugh You know, it was...the way it was. And, I never thought anything about it, you know. That, these people were being bribed laugh about...
CN
laughs
BK
But that was...it was a good way to make sure that we were kept safe, too.
CN
Mhm. Yeah, because it's a remote place, you need things like snowplows.
BK
Yeah, the RCMP didn't show up very often but once in a while somebody would want to leave the community, maybe for a medical appointment or something, and they'd have to have a permit to leave. And so...I don't know how, if they had to go to the office in Grand Forks. So they had to have the roads plowed anyhow. So that we could get out. But they built a - when they first opened the sawmill. Christina Lake had, a sawmill there, at the foot of the, other end of the lake, and, it wasn't working because there wasn't enough logs or something. And so...I think my father and this other man called...Fukuyama. They went to see the owners of the mill, and asked if they would open the mill. And he said we would supply the labour, if he would open the mill, and they'll get the young men, there were about four or five of them who were about nineteen, twenty, twenty-three? Somewhere in there. And they would supply the logs. And they would go out to...tree, timber, I don't know, they...timber...I don't know what you call them, timber - they had their own lots anyhow. And they would go up and get the logs for you. And - well - so they had to learn how to, handle a horse. Because the horses would be the ones to bring the logs down. And they, uh...they had a barn for the horses. We had pigs that we had, up there. At Alpine Inn. Um...and we'd take slops to them. Um...and then with the men, in order to get them to the mill every day, they had to build a boat. Because, how do you get them, to the mill? CAROLYN laughs You know. If you want to take ten men to the mill, well you haven't got that many cars, you only had one car and a couple of trucks. So you couldn't have them riding on the back of the truck, so they, they built this boat called Miss Sandner. It was - the name of the mill was Sandner Brothers Lumber Company. So, Miss Sandner was built, and they had a one-stroke engine or something, and it was putt-putt-putt all the way. And, it was about, I don't know how many miles it was to the lake - to the mill. But anyhow. We could watch the boat coming home. And when it got to a certain point, we'd say, we'd tell Mum, oh the boat's come to the point there. And so she'd make sure the rice was on, and it'd be all ready when my father got home.
CN
laughs Do you know about how many men were working at this mill?
BK
I don't know, I think there were about...I have no idea, really. How many men were working, from Alpine Inn.
CN
Did you get a sense of if it was - was it like one boatload's worth?
BK
Yeah. About,
CN
-about one boatload.
BK
Ten, ten or twelve people would go on the boat. And then there'd be one person who would be the captain, they were the person who's manning it. And because they were fishermen, they all knew how to run the boat anyhow. They're apt.
CN
That's the easy part.
BK
Yeah.
CN
laughs
BK
But somebody had to build it. I remember having the day when the boat was ready to go down into the water? EVERYBODY helped. We all pulled. CAROLYN laughs And we had logs all the way along, and they just pulled it all the way along, on the logs.
CN
Wow.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Was that a, was that a sort of, day of celebration?
01:10:04.000
01:10:04.000
BK
Yeah. It was a community thing.
CN
Wow.
BK
We all watch...I don't think we were allowed to pull. The boys were allowed to pull, but we girls were not supposed to be pulling things like that.
CN
So your father helped set up that arrangement with the sawmill owners.
BK
Mhm. Yep. Mhm.
CN
And was that, um, was that pretty early on, when - soon after you moved to Christina Lake, or was that a bit later?
BK
Uh...I think it was probably after the spring, after that cold cold winter.
CN
Right.
BK
We decided that - they decided, somebody, that they had to do SOMETHING to earn money. Because at one time there were quite a number of people there and a lot of them moved out because it was too expensive to live there? Because it's self-supporting, nobody, there's no government aid at all? So they moved out to Greenwood. And it was cheaper, too. Because the government would help them.
CN
Hm. pause And your father would have still been going back and forth to the coast during that time as well.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Yeah, how long did his work extend with the Commission?
BK
I can't remember! When it was he finally said, I'm done.
CN
Hmm. There was a moment though, when he said I'm done.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Oh.
BK
“I won't have to go again.”
CN
Hmm. Was that still while, before the end of the war though? He finished.
BK
Oh, yeah. He was...yeah, it was...probably 19...maybe early 1944? I'm not sure.
CN
Hmm. Hm.
BK
I haven't a clue. Because, I wasn't paying too much attention. both laugh
CN
Can you tell me a bit about what school was like in Christina Lake? Like what a typical day looked like?
BK
laugh Well, there...they built their own, they made their own desks and things, and there were desks for two people to sit. And they were just...like a...have you ever been to a Japanese school?
CN
Like a Japanese language school,
BK
Yeah, a Japanese,
CN
-or a school in Japan?
BK
-Japanese language school. Where they have -
CN
Um, I think, um,
BK
-desks in pairs,
CN
Oh yeah.
BK
-like two, and then, there's just a desk on top and then you just sort of have a space for your books and things? Nothing fancy, it's just. But they were sturdy, and, I don't know where they got the lumber. They must have got it from the sawmill somehow. But, they built their own, they built the desks, and they...so we had desks in the classroom, and there's a stove in one corner, because there's no heat. And so they had to have a wood stove in there. And...
CN
You said your teacher was uh...Mr. Shibuya, or,
BK
Mr. Shibuya. Yeah, he was taught grade five and up, I think.
CN
Hm. And what was it like having him as a teacher compared to the teachers that you knew in Vancouver?
BK
Well, he was alright, he was...just like any teacher.
CN
Oh yeah?
BK
I didn't...he didn't...because in those days, the classes were so big you never got to know the teachers.
CN
Hmm.
BK
You know, you had classes of close to forty, in each class?
CN
Both in Vancouver and in Christina Lake, you had big classes?
BK
No. The classes in Christina Lake were not big. They were small, you know maybe they were about fifteen people in each class, so they can keep an eye on you. But in Vancouver, there were classes of forty, so you really didn't get a sense of getting to know the person. You know, getting to know the teacher, you were just afraid of her. Because it was just women, at that time CAROLYN laughs. And you thought, oh, I don't want her to find anything wrong with me, I'd just as soon be quiet and get everything done, so that she doesn't have to talk to me. both laugh
CN
And then when you went to school in Grand Forks...
BK
It was another thing where you had a lot of kids in the class, we had...about forty-two or forty-four in a class, in grade eight? And so...you sat in the back and you did your work, and you handed your papers in, and if your papers came back with a good mark, well that was fine, if it didn't, well, you knew you had to study a bit more the next time, but, you know? I never...it never bothered me that, you know, we were in this big class with all these other people. I sometimes wished I got to know some of the girls in the classroom because...but they had their own clique by this time.
CN
Hmm, because you were coming in new.
BK
Yeah. Coming in new.
CN
So...when you say that after the war you went to school in Grand Forks, was that because the war had ended, or was it just because that was when it was time for you to go to high school?
BK
It was because the war had ended and we were allowed to go back to public school.
01:15:00.000
01:15:00.000
CN
Oh. You were allowed to travel outside of the community, or -
BK
No. We weren't allowed to go to a public school until that time. Now, Grand Forks always had...kids from, you know, Japanese kids going to school there, from fairly early on. But in Greenwood they had a school just for Japanese kids at one time. And then...we weren't allowed, we were allowed to go on the school bus. Because up until then, we were supposed to take correspondence courses. And I...so. Once we got, we finished grade seven, I was just...well, everybody. We were all allowed, suddenly allowed to go to regular school!
CN
Hm! And how did you feel when that change came about, were you excited? Or, was it...
BK
No, I wasn't excited, it was just that, well here we are, we're, back in school again! We, we had BEEN to school, it -
CN
Right.
BK
-you know, right?
CN
Wasn't a big deal.
BK
It wasn't a big deal! And now we went to a regular, to a bigger school.
CN
And what was the makeup of the classroom, were there a lot of Japanese Canadians, or...
BK
In that, in Grand Forks?
CN
In Grand Forks, yeah.
BK
Not in my class, no. Just myself and my husband and, I don't know who else. There weren't, there were...some classes had more Japanese kids, but, basically Grand Forks is not a Japanese community as far as that goes, there were some Japanese, but not that many. It was basically a Doukhobor community.
CN
Hmm.
BK
Doukhobors are Russians.
CN
Mhm.
BK
And...most of them were very nice, there were some, people who were Sons of Freedom who were...stranger. You, you've heard of Sons of Freedom, haven't you?
CN
They're the...the protestors who didn't want to...
BK
Let their children go to school.
CN
Okay.
BK
They, they were in a separate community over on the other side of the river. And...they didn't let their children go to school because they'd get corrupted. So. Um...finally the government stepped in and, then took the kids away from the families and put them into a place in New Denver. And segregated the children, from their parents. Just like the, um, Indigenous kids. And...it was tough for them. You know, to...the parents would go every Sunday, because they couldn't see them any other time. On Sunday they would be allowed to go. And they would take...their own, baking or something, to...and there were just these little holes in the wire mesh, that you could pass the food to. pause It was really cruel.
CN
Do you remember...how you learned about, was this something you were aware of, going to school in Grand Forks at the time?
BK
No this happened after...during the time, there was a time when the Sons of Freedom were very active, and they were burning...bridges and burning, uh, rail...bombing railway tracks and stuff? Because they thought that this...place was...not good for...I don't know what it was, but they...they wanted to stay on their own, they didn't want to be involved with the community at large. BLANCHE talks a bit more about the Doukhobor protestors, but starts to hesitate
CN
Do you want to pause it, or -
BK
I think so, pause it.
CN
Okay. Tape paused.
CN
Right. So...
BK
The Russian people were really nice.
CN
Mhm.
BK
I mean, they were farmers. Basically. And they...worked hard. They tried to keep their customs and things alive. Um...
CN
Not all of them were Sons of Freedom.
BK
No, no, no. Very few.
CN
Yeah.
BK
When you think about it. But, they had the most GORGEOUS voices. When they had their choir. They sang for the...Queen. And, uh...during one of our centennial things. And, the whole group, there's a whole group of them that went from Grand Forks to sing. And...BEAUTIFUL voices. But...they had this one feeling of...they didn't want to be, part of the community.
CN
Mhm. Do you remember...is that something that you ever talked about in your family, about these people who had these views, and what, what was sort of the attitude toward them among your family or other Japanese Canadians?
BK
No, we never talked about that. We, we knew they were there. And, we were always worried about, the fire bombings because they, they burnt...our community hall one summer, evening.
01:20:00.000
01:20:00.000
BK
And it was very hot, very close to our home, and, you know once the war was over, and we had moved to the...closer to the sawmill.
CN
Oh.
BK
Then...it was only, a half a block away. So, my father was up on the roof - hosing down the roof to make sure that the embers didn't come.
CN
That was...the community hall at Christina Lake?
BK
Mhm.
CN
Was it, still a Japanese Canadian community mostly?
BK
No, it was a, a....it was a, regular...Cascade people, you know.
CN
Okay.
BK
It was uh, their community hall.
CN
It had been burned.
BK
Yeah, they burnt it down.
CN
overlapping -by the, Sons of Freedom.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Wow. pause
BK
We never found out who did it.
CN
Okay, so maybe not the Sons of Freedom.
BK
Well, it probably was because they didn't want the young people being corrupted by having dances and things.
CN
Oh.
BK
So...they didn't want them playing games or cards or things like that. You know, so. This is why, they used to...burn things like the community halls where your people congregate. I don't know what the - why they bombed bridges, but, there was quite a large group of them that used to be bombing things, like, up by Nelson and, down
Krestova
, you know. But Grand Forks had a...big group, over on the other side of the river. That was, Sons of Freedom.
CN
Hm.
BK
And those children didn't go to school. Eventually, I had one boy that came, and he was...eight years old when he started, grade one. Everybody else was six laugh. So he was quite a bit taller than everybody, he was a nice boy. Very polite. And he was smart, there was nothing wrong with him. But, for some reason, his parents decided he had to go to school. And I think maybe when the government said. If you don't send your child to school you won't get...a certain amount of money, I...can't remember, there was family allowance or something. And they wouldn't get that. But once they, are enrolled in school, and come to school regularly, then you will get the family allowance. And, it wasn't a lot, it was maybe about, ten to fifteen dollars a month, but it was, a fair amount of money for them. If you had two children, well, you know, it's thirty dollars a month, which...adds up.
CN
Mhm. Especially at that time.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Yeah, yeah.
BK
So.
CN
So...so you became a teacher...
BK
Mhm.
CN
Uh, and you went to normal school, you said in Victoria?
BK
Victoria.
CN
Yeah. Um...what was like, travelling to Victoria, and living there while you were studying to become a teacher?
BK
It was fun. I enjoyed that. I mean, I liked living with these two ladies. They taught me a lot. They were very...church, they were church-goers, so they went to church three times a-, on Sunday, which...was hard at first but I got used to it. And we often had the priest come over for Sunday dinner. She used to put the roast in, uh...in between services, and then by the time the service was over, the roast was ready, and we've have people over for Sunday dinner. And she'd get her good china out, and...and I'd learn how to set the table properly, and...you know I learned a lot from them.
CN
Were you conscious of being Japanese Canadian and back on the coast, or, was it not an issue?
BK
No, not an issue. I've never really felt that I was...separate from everybody else. I've always felt that I'm, Canadian both laugh slightly. Is that wrong?
CN
No! I don't think so.
BK
Because...I just don't know, I, it never dawned on me that I was different.
CN
Hm.
BK
And even now...I'm, except I don't have that many Japanese friends. I have one, that uh...I went to normal school with. And she came from Salmon Arm.
CN
Oh.
BK
Well, she actually came from Tappen. Which is, up, up by Magna Bay, Salmon Arm, and that. And there's another girl who came from Greenwood that I converse with once in a while. But that's about all. I have NO other Japanese friends, really. Just never really...laughing I've integrated with other people first.
CN
Mhm. Yeah. So then after you finished your training you went and taught in Grand Forks and in, Midway.
BK
I taught in Midway- well, Grand Forks was just, practicum.
CN
Okay, right.
01:24:55.000
01:24:55.000
BK
Japanese people in Midway because, they had the Boundary sawmills? And...a lot of the people worked at the sawmill there. So, it was a nice community. But it was cold. CAROLYN laughs COLD, cold, cold! laughs And, they had no central heating in some of those houses, I remember the first year I was there, I lived in this house with an old lady. And she, had, well she wasn't really that old I guess. laughing But anyhow. She was...Ukrainian or some Slavic, person. And she...had a sawdust burner. And so the boy brought the sawdust up every day for me. Um...the bathroom was out in the shed by the cows. And, that's where you had to go, if you had to go in the middle of the night, you had to go outside, out to the cow shed laugh. The cow at least was inside the barn by this time. In the afternoon and I went, I used to have to ask her to move her cow because he was blocking my way! both laugh Because she was in the, in the same pen! With the...outhouse! laughs So! She had to come out and...move the cow. And...she was very nice, but, you know, this was her way of doing things.
CN
laugh That she had to have the cow in the,
BK
Yeah. She had to have a cow. CAROLYN laughs She needed a cow because she used to deliver milk to other people. And so...I never got used to the cow both laugh. But, you know, that was...that was her house, she had no running water in the house, she had a pump. You know, you could pump the water? Like this? And so, you had no drain, so you had to take all your slop water down, and put it in the garden somewhere. Um...but you know. That was the way SHE lived. And then the next year I stayed with a younger family. And they were better off so they lived in a house with running water and... laughs running hot water as well.
CN
Oh. laughs
BK
Well you know these were, these were things, there, the place was...pretty primitive at times. Most of the people had, uh...running water. Not everybody had running HOT water. Because the hot water, they just...made the hot water on top of the stove, like we had in, Alpine Cascade too. That's what my mum, mother had all the time. If we wanted to wash dishes, we...made the hot - put the stove on, and...made the hot water. Until we got an electric kettle. And then we could have hot water with the running cold water and, that made our dishes done.
CN
Uh, I wanted to ask about uh, when you got married, because before, when we were chatting before, you mentioned your, a bit about your go-betweens, and...so your husband was also, in Christina Lake.
BK
Yeah, he was there. He was...they lived a little bit away from us at first, and then, when we moved to Cascade, when the men moved towards the sawmill, that's when they lived next door to us. pause
CN
Mhm.
BK
But he built his, he had a boathouse at the back of his property, and this is where he built the boat.
CN
Your husband's family?
BK
Mhm.
CN
They were boatbuilders.
BK
Boatbuilders. And they...put the boat, when it was almost finished, on this flatbed railway, thing, and they took it to the, brought it to the coast, and they put all the masts and everything on it, from there. And the drum. But...they had a steambox, and they did all kinds of stuff with it, but you know. I don't know how many boats they built. I think they only built about three.
CN
This is in Christina Lake, though.
BK
This is in Christina Lake, Cascade. No, after the war.
CN
Oh, after the war, they built boats.
BK
After the war. Yeah.
CN
Is that something that...you were able to talk to them about, about why they chose to...to build boats? Even when they had, left the coast?
BK
Well, that's the only thing they knew!
CN
Hmm.
BK
You know, that was their... employment, so. They were basically carpenters but they were...better than most house carpenters, because everything had to be...properly aligned, otherwise the boat wouldn't float properly. It would shift to one side or the other.
CN
And your husband became part of that.
BK
He was part of that, yeah.
01:30:00.000
01:30:00.000
CN
Mhm, mhm.
BK
Afterwards, after his father, was not able to do any more work, then he and his brother took over and, carried on.
CN
Mhm. And you mentioned the, the...go-between at your wedding was uh, Mr. Sakamoto?
BK
Mhm.
CN
Is that right, can you tell a bit about him?
BK
I don't know much about him, other than he was very prominent in Steveston. And, he was...highly thought of, but I have no idea what he was. He was I think a fisherman at one time, but. He did a lot of...touring. He used to do...after the war. Well this was when we were living in Richmond...this is after we got married, and he was...taking groups of Japanese tourists from Japan, to places in Banff, and Toronto and Niagara Falls and places like that, and he'd take them, and be their tour guide. But, I don't know what he did, you know...what his qualifications were...other than you know, he was well thought of and everybody knew what he did, and what he was capable of doing. I don't know much about him. I know his...daughter lives in Steveston right...well she lived in Richmond, right...uh, wasn't next door. Because, his daughter lived in one house and then, her in-laws lived next door, and then the Sakamotos lived here gesturing with her fingers to illustrate. And...her in-laws are part of my in-laws' family laugh.
CN
Wow, so it's -
BK
They're all sort of -
CN
-tight-knit.
BK
-connected. Yeah, it's connected.
CN
Yeah. So it's...those families would always be, connected, in your life. And what made you decide to move to Vancouver? Or, to Richmond.
BK
It was the cold. both laugh I mean I lived in Vancouver for quite a while, uh, I lived with some Jewish people for a while, I lived with a Christian scientist for a while laughs And, you know, the...I mean, you know you boarded with these people. And then eventually I got my own apartment. And I lived in a house with a family that had, four children at the time. I think he was an accountant or something, I don't know. I didn't, I never really talked to them that much, but I know she had a lot of kids, but it, you know. Eventually, she had seven, I think, altogether laugh.
CN
Wow.
BK
But, you know, that...and then I moved in with my parents. Because they moved to the coast about 1960.
CN
Oh, okay.
BK
Because my mother decided she didn't like to stay up there anymore. She wanted to move down to the coast, so. They came down, and they bought a house...in Vancouver, in the Dunbar area. And they stayed there until, my mother passed away and then my dad passed away.
CN
Mhm. pause Uh, just looking at um...other things I was curious about...you said, uh, you started to teach school in Steveston. I'm interested, I mean...I'm always interested in Steveston because that's where my family is from too.
BK
Mhm.
CN
Um...the makeup of that community.
BK
What's your, maiden name?
CN
Uh?
BK
What's your maiden name?
CN
Oh! My, my maiden name is Nakagawa laugh.
BK
Nakagawa, oh, that's right CAROLYN laughs that's right, you're not married.
CN
My uh, my grandmother's family were Yoshidas.
BK
Yoshidas.
CN
Yeah.
BK
Oh.
CN
Yeah. Which there are quite a few of, so.
BK
Yeah, there are a few of those.
CN
Yeah.
BK
There are some that are, related, some that are not.
CN
Yes. Yes, so. It doesn't necessarily tell you anything laugh. Um...but I'm interested in the sort of connection to the fishing industry, that you have through your husband's family, and, how that, how that was something that you became a part of.
BK
Well, I never really became a part of it, because I was teaching but, you know, you sort of...you're so busy, you haven't got time to sort of socialize. I mean I don't...my husband used to say, well that's Mrs. Soandso from...you know I'd, I'd know the name but it doesn't, didn't mean anything, and, you know, so, I still know the names of a lot of people. But I don't really know them that well. You know, names like Mrs. Yamanaka and Mrs. Murao and all those people? I mean, they're...I know them through Japanese school.
CN
Mmm.
BK
But other than that, I don't really know them that much. I don't socialize with them, I don't...I don't play, any games like bingo or gaji or anything like that, so. I'm sort of out of the loop laugh.
01:35:02.000
01:35:02.000
CN
Mhm. Is it something that um...you think about in terms of, your father's history, in terms of, his relationship to the fishing industry?
BK
N-no, because they...we didn't really...he was with the salt herring exporters, and that's a little bit...there aren't that many, there weren't that many, herring fishermen in Steveston, most of them are salmon fishermen, or cod fishermen, so. You know...
CN
So it was actually quite separate. What he was doing,
BK
It was quite separate,
CN
-the work he was doing before the war was not...sort of the Steveston... BLANCHE Not...well, he knew some of the Steveston people. Like you know, the Saimotos and the Yoshidas and people like that, but...uh...he...I don't think he, knows, he did too much with anything else, with the - like he knew who the Kishis were, he knew who the...um...because my sister's married to a Kishi but it's a different family again both laugh.
CN
Yeah, and you were all up in Christina Lake together.
BK
Mhm. pause But there was a Yoshida in Christina Lake, too. And he was, uh, but he had no children. He had, some adopted, or, people he looked after, children he looked after. But, they had nothing to do with the Yoshidas that are still in Steveston. CAROLYN laughs I don't think so, anyhow. He went back to Japan after the war.
CN
Yeah. You told me a story about, when we were chatting before about um...people who would make nets in Christina Lake, fishing nets?
BK
Yeah, um...I don't know why they were making nets because they weren't really...they were fishermen's, nets, but I don't know who they made them for. Because, they weren't preparing to go back to the coast at any time, they weren't doing anything like that, it's just that, they were mending nets and fixing nets, and doing things, but, I don't know why, who they sold the nets to, or what they did with them!
CN
Was this a big community activity or just a small group of people who did this?
BK
They were a small group of people, small group of men, who used to do the mending, nets. And, not everybody knew how to do them, but, most of the fishermen could mend their own nets, to some degree. And I don't know why these people were doing the nets...I know somebody, made some nets and they caught birds in them. And they went fishing in the lake, and they got some, fish that way too.
CN
Hmm.
BK
And we used to...have kokanee, and bass, things like that, for fish. Our brothers used to go fishing for kokanee. They used to gaff too laugh. Which is, against the law.
CN
laughs Um...I'm just looking to see if there's anything else I meant to...ask you. Um...yeah. So, looking back on the history, um, I know that you said that you were, um...well, Landscapes has recently published a book about your father.
BK
Mhm.
CN
And um, I think you've had a chance to look at it a bit.
BK
Mhm.
CN
Um, and I'm wondering about how you've come to learn about what happened in that period of time after the fact, and how it's maybe changed your perspective on things. Or, made you realize things that you weren't thinking about before.
BK
pause I knew, that he was, not well-liked by the community in Steveston. Simply because of what he had done. You know, what he...he thought something had to be done. But...I don't think he...talked too much about it, and so I tried not to, broach the subject too much because, it just brought up bad memories. Of...you know, how...some of these people felt. And I thought...that's why the...memoirs that he wrote...when my brother and I got a hold of them, we said, let's not, put them out just now, it's just too raw. And it would touch too, too many nerves, of the people in Steveston. Let's wait until some of these people die off and, you know, by this time, then they will, maybe understand why some of these things had to be done. But, so that's why we said, we had to put twenty-five years or something. To withhold the memoirs for twenty-five years, or...I think it was twenty-five. Before they would even be...allowed to be, sent to UBC.
01:40:25.000
01:40:25.000
CN
Hmm.
BK
So, we were aware, that there was a lot of hard feeling in Steveston. Yet. So. This was 1976, when he, '75, '76, when he was writing these and I thought...let's just keep it out of their way, out of their sight for a while.
CN
Mhm. Is that something that you knew from experience with interacting with people in Steveston? Or...
BK
pause I just had the sense that there was something that, they were not happy about. Every once in a while somebody would talk about the boats that they had before. And, they would say you know, if we had those boats, we would be in much better shape than we are. Because they were so much - they were cheaper. You know, when you were thinking of these new boats that were being built, they were, close to, 50, 70 000 dollars, and to get that kind of money, you'd have to go to the cannery and get a loan, so you could buy, get someone to build a boat for you? And...they would say, if we had the old boat, we could still...we could be fishing and we would be doing all right. And yet those old boats were not strong enough, to go out into the ocean actually. In the...inner harbour it was alright, but, to go to the west coast, you had to have a much stronger boat. A much better built boat. And so this is why they...it wouldn't have worked, for some of them. But I don't know how they managed to get some of those boats up the Skeena River, because they'd have to be out in the open water. But they managed, somehow. I guess if the weather got...they always went in groups. So that they were looking after each other? So that...it was easier to...to man the boats, as you sort of went together, and if someone having a problem, well then, you'd wait until that problem was fixed before they would continue on. And I think you know, they looked after each other. But, there's always this feeling that, if we had those boats that we had before.
CN
A strong memory in the community.
BK
Yeah. pause And there was always that feeling, so I just thought, oh. Just keep a low profile laugh.
CN
And, how did that make you feel to have that awareness, that they have that memory?
BK
pause, audible sigh To me it was, what's past is past. You can't bring it back. Is the way I felt about it. Let's...let it go.
CN
Mhm.
BK
It's like a lot of things. You have to let things go.
CN
Mhm. pause Do you remember, um, in the 1980s when the Redress movement got started, what your feelings about that were?
BK
pause I was a bit upset about that, because it just brought back a lot of memories that we didn't need to have.
CN
Hm.
BK
To me...by this time, I was...quite comfortable with what I was doing, and I didn't feel that...it wasn't going to make it any better. By bringing all this memory back. But I suppose if you were going to a government-run...internment camp, it'd be quite different. Because we were given more freedom to do what we needed to do. I think.
CN
Did it make you think differently about that period in history? Or that period in your life? To have it be so - be brought up in the public? In that way?
BK
pause I used to think, why bring up this? Bring this all back up again. But maybe because I was younger, at that time when it was all happening, it didn't affect me as much. But I suppose if I were... a teenager, almost finished high school, and had to leave high school because, uh, of the internment and all the rest, it would bother me a great deal more.
01:45:02.000
01:45:02.000
BK
I really think, you know, that, for a lot of people it was very hurtful. But...in the grand scheme of things, I think you have to let things go because, when you think about it...the Japanese have been accepted more into the communities, where they go, than some of the other...uh, racial groups.
CN
Mhm.
BK
Is that...a wrong, attitude?
CN
I don't think so! I think a lot of people think that way too. About what happened after. And it's part of what happened.
BK
Yeah.
CN
Yeah.
BK
I mean, stammering up until then, we weren't allowed to be in a lot of professions. And now we are. We're accepted in any profession as long as you work hard at it, then you are accepted. Whereas before you were, it was just a total...closed door. And I think, you know, that...some good has come out of it. Because...the Japanese have acquiesced to whatever the government said. And didn't fight it the whole way. That was, that made a big difference. pause
CN
So, the other thing I like to ask is...is um. Because the project, Landscapes of Injustice...like I told you before, we're, about to go into a phase where we focus on...educating the public about this history, what happened, and...so, I want to ask you, um...from this period in time, knowing that it's a painful period in time, it's a period of time that, Japanese Canadians came out of, and were able to become successful from, but when we do look back at this history, if there's people, um...who are listening to this interview in the future, or...um, other, activities where we're teaching people about Japanese Canadian history, what do you think they should take away from the story of what happened to Japanese Canadians? Like what, what do you think we can learn from this history? pause I think the fact that...we accepted the harsh realities of that time, and decided Okay, let's make the best of it, I think that has helped a great deal, in letting people know that, we weren't going to be...trampled on, and...told to disappear, you know. They can't...there's no point in, in sort of, saying they're...they're Japs. pause They're not...they're dirty Japs. Because, when sometimes people say, those, places down in...Japantown, as Powell Street was known, the houses were pretty...grim. And, even in Steveston, I remember when, sometimes the children came to school, they would talk about, uh...if you took a child back to their house, because, he lived on the other side of the dyke... their houses were pretty, meagre. They were sitting on orange crates, because, in those days they had, orange boxes were made of wood. And if you took the top off, well then you could, the two bottom ones, you could sit on one, and you'd have a place to store things on the bottom. And so...and the beds were made of wood, they were not made of...they were not, no springs on the beds, you know. So they were just like lying on the floor, except they were up above the floor. They were pretty...pretty, meagre furnishings that they had, because they just couldn't afford any more. And...but it didn't make any difference, they just, packed up and said okay. We, gave up a lot. But we're not going to, be defeated by this. We're going to, make it better for the kids. And that's what they did, they...they did the best that they could to make sure the children...were going to be treated better. And, everybody worked hard at it, I think. You know, they...they tried to give all the kids better education if they could. I don't know if, how many, families are still in that, dire straits or not.
01:50:00.000
01:50:00.000
CN
Pause. So the hard work of Japanese Canadians...both before the war,
BK
Yeah.
CN
And,
BK
And during the war.
CN
And during. Carrying forward to the future.
BK
I mean. Because...sure they had those...huts that were basically, just tar paper shacks. But, they tried to make them better by the next winter, that they would, insulate them and make them so they were more, sturdy. They made sure they got more running water, that...eventually they got rid of the outhouses. They had the Japanese ofuro. Have, have you seen those?
CN
Um, I've, haven't seen any in Canada laugh.
BK
Oh, haven't you? Oh, we, we had them.
CN
Yeah, in Christina Lake?
BK
Yeah. Christina Lake. That's what we had, a community bath. And, I know my mother used to go about once...I guess once a month. And had to be the last person to be in the bathhouse and then they'd clean up the bath, and empty it, and then fill it again, so that the next day when the, uh, I think it was once a week, they would empty the tub completely. But in the meantime they would use that hot water for washing their clothes.
CN
Hmm.
BK
You know, it was big...it was a big one, it was almost...five feet by about three feet? Full feet? It was big. And, it was a community bath. Everybody went in. And, laugh it didn't make any difference whether you were...well, the men went in first, naturally. And then the women with small children went in, and the women went in last, each day. That was the way it was. But the men always got first priority in the bath. pause Yeah. We had ofuros. And we had that in our, in our house when we were in...Cascade, too. We had one.
CN
An ofuro?
BK
Just, just, yeah, ofuro, just for our family only.
CN
Oh.
BK
And it was smaller, you know, but my father-in-law made one, for us, and he made one for himself, and...I think for everybody else in the row of the houses, we all had ofuro.
CN
Oh, wow!
BK
You know, but we, I think this is why...we survived, because, we got busy and we said okay, we...this is what, we were given, let's...make the best of it. And I think that's why, we have been accepted into the Canadian, fabric of the country.
CN
Hm. pause That's great, thank you. Um, so I think that's all the questions I wanted to ask, um, but I just wanted to give you a chance before we wrap up, to...add anything, any stories that you thought of that maybe, you didn't get to, that I didn't, anything that I forgot to ask you about...that you wanted to share, as part of this.
BK
pause Gee, I don't know.
CN
Yeah? both laugh Um, yeah, I just wanted to give you a chance to add anything else, um...but otherwise I'll just...pause You can take a minute to think about it?
BK
Yeah. You know, my parents learned a lot. You know, by being where they were. They learned to farm their own - you know, have their own garden, and they learned how to can...fish, as well as vegetables and fruit, and all the rest of it. They - my mother had to learn a great deal, of that sort of thing. I mean you know it was...a big learning experience for her. Because if she had stayed in Vancouver and...bashed around by people calling her a dirty old Jap or something...because my sister said that, one day when she was out on the streetcar and, all five of us trailed in after her, she said, this woman looked down her nose and said, “dirty old Japs”.
CN
Hm.
BK
You know, and...it really hurt her. I said, I'd never heard that, and she said I know you didn't hear it, but I heard it, and I don't, I don't think that was very kind of her and I said no, it WASN'T very kind of her. But...that was the attitude that they were having. But now you wouldn't hear people, saying those kind of things, as much. Maybe there are some...you know, there are the odd person that does it. The way they treat the Muslims right now. The way they treat some of the other...ethnic groups. You know, I think...and the Indigenous people, I think a lot of them would be treated better if they, sort of...were able to be...accepting of what was, what's part of the Canadian fabric too. But what can you do? pause
CN
Mhm.
BK
I feel sorry for them. Because, they had a rough time when they were all sent to school. The - you know, the, segregated schools and things, but...you have to get over it. Am I wrong in that? I don't know. But...I think my parents, taught us that, it was...the ONLY way, you can survive in this world. Is to, accept what's handed to you and...see if you can overcome it.
CN
Hmm. pause Right, well, we can, leave it there, or is there anything else you wanted to add?
BK
No, I don't think so, I think I've talked enough laugh.
CN
Yeah, well, we have been going for a while now, so thank you so much. Uh, for sharing your story with me and with the...with the project for today.
BK
Well, that was nice.
CN
Thank you.
BK
I hope - I hope it's...it's not too critical of what's going on, but -
CN
No. laugh I'll just stop the - tape.
01:56:11.000

Metadata

Title

Blanche Kishi, interviewed by Carolyn Nakagawa, 10 January 2018

Abstract

Blanche shares stories of growing up as a young child in Vancouver on McGill Street, relocating at age eight to the self-supporting site Christina Lake with her family, going to school in Grand Forks after the war, and becoming a teacher working in different parts of BC before marrying and raising a family. She talks about her memories of her father, Kishizo Kimura, and his work disposing of Japanese Canadian fishing boats as well as other roles he played in the community. Blanche feels that her experience as a young child at a self-supporting site was relatively carefree, but her parents worked very hard to overcome the obstacles set before them, something she is proud of Japanese Canadians for doing.

Credits

Interviewer: Carolyn Nakagawa
Interviewee: Blanche Kishi
Transcriber: Carolyn Nakagawa
XML Encoder: Stewart Arneil
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Setting: Richmond, BC
Keywords: Kishizo Kimura ; Christina Lake ; herring; fishing; Steveston ; Grand Forks ; 1930s-present

Terminology

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.