Ken Morisawa, interviewed by Alexander Pekic, 18 November 2015

Ken Morisawa, interviewed by Alexander Pekic, 18 November 2015

Abstract
Ken Morisawa speaks his early life, being born in Kelowna BC then moving to a farm in Victoria when he was 8 years old. He then discusses his family's experience of being uprooted to Hastings Park, the train ride into the interior and being interned in New Denver. At the end of the war, due to his father's job as the baker at the New Denver Sanatorium, they did not have to move immediately. The next four years, his family followed work next as a chef in a mining camp and later in 1949 moved to White Rock and bought a farm. Ken goes on to discuss his move to Toronto after finishing highschool in search of work in the accounting field and eventual settling in Georgetown ON with his wife. Ken also discusses visiting Japan, his passion for tennis, his extended family as well as visiting BC. Ken ends the interview expressing his appreciation of he efforts being put into preserving and passing on the history.
00:00:00.000
Alexander Pekic (AP)
Ok so we are recording. We are speaking with Mr. Ken Morisawa today on November 18th, 2015, as part of the Landscapes of Injustice research project. We are speaking with him in his home in Georgetown, Ontario. Thank you very much for speaking with us.
Ken Morisawa (KM)
You're welcome.
AP
So please, tell me about your life.
KM
I was born in Kelowna BC and that was in 1934. Shortly after I was born, we moved to Victoria BC., and that was shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. I believe I was about eight at the time when the war broke out, Second World War broke out. My father owned a small farm in Victoria. It was a very small truck farm selling vegetables, small fruits and vegetables in Victoria. Shortly after we moved there, as I said I was about 8 years old, and we were interned. In fact before the internment, we were taken to this holding area called Hastings Park, which is a bit like the CNE. We were there for a short period of time and then we were sent to the interior on trains. I still remember us all getting onto the train and then being -- we had this long ride to the interior of BC. We were in an area called Slocan Valley and it was on the Slocan Lake. But the village that we were in was New Denver. They are all small villages along the lake. We were there for two years, around two years. Then the war ended and the Japanese Canadians were allowed, not to go back to the BC coast right away, but they had the choice of going back to Japan or going out east, to Eastern Canada. So my father was the cook, I think he was the baker, at the sanatorium in New Denver. The sanatorium was a TB hospital and since he was the cook or baker there, we did not have to move immediately. But shortly after that, my dad got a job up in a mining camp. So he got a job as a cook in the mining camp. So we were there for another year or so, and my mother also helped my father up in the mining camp. So the children, which was 6 of us -- in fact my youngest brother was born in New Denver, so there was really 7 of us. We lived in New Denver, well my parents worked up in the mining camp. So we had to grow up pretty fast needless to say because we had to more or less fend for ourselves as far as going to school, cooking our meals and generally getting by without our parents.
00:05:21.000
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KM
But we were okay, we made it. And this was about a year, we were in Silverton, and Silverton was a few miles from the village of New Denver. Silverton was the closest village to the mining camp, so that's the reason why we were there. Did you want me to just keep going?
AP
Yeah, absolutely.
KM
Okay. So from there, we made our way back to the coast of BC. We moved to the small town, at that time it was a small town of White Rock. White Rock is about 25 miles south of Vancouver. My dad bought a farm, a 17 acre farm and we grew strawberries on the farm. That's what we did for about 4 years, while we were in high school really. When we finished high school, we moved out east -- well I moved out east, my parents stayed out in BC. I came out to Toronto and I had various jobs, mostly in the accounting field. After about -- how many years -- pause from the 1960s until 1977, I was in Toronto. In 1977 I met my wife Sheila and we got married and we moved to Georgetown. We bought a house, we bought a piece of land about one acre. There was a small bungalow on the property. The main reason for buying this piece of property was that it was ideal for building a tennis court laughs. I've been a lifelong tennis player so that was one of my priorities in buying a piece of land. As soon as we possibly could we built a tennis court and then we renovated the house. And that's where we still are. We've had the house for 38 years and it's the only house that we've known. That's pretty well it as far as my life goes.
AP
So you mentioned that your father bought the farm where you grew strawberries. This was after the internment?
KM
Yes.
AP
Immediately after?
KM
Immediately after the internment my father got a job as a cook up in the mining camp. So the nearest town to the mining camp was Silverton, which was very close to New Denver and that's where we were for a few years.
AP
So during the internment you were in--
KM
We were in New Denver.
AP
In new Denver.
KM
Right.
AP
And then you went to that town where your father worked.
KM
Yeah.
AP
And then when you returned back to the coast--
KM
That was 1949.
AP
'49, so the restriction had been lifted, allowing--
KM
Yes
AP
People to return to the coast.
00:10:17.000
00:10:17.000
KM
Right, to the coast of BC. Immediately after the war, as I mentioned Japanese Canadians had the choice of coming out east or going back to Japan. But I guess we were fortunate in that my father got the job in the mining camp. After a few years the restriction was lifted so we were able to stay on the coast. Our family was raised on the farm and we did all the things you need to do to grow strawberries. We cleared the land, dynamited the stumps that were on there, some of those stumps were very large. In fact, some of those stumps are as big as a small room. The only way you can get those guys out was by packing the roots with dynamite and blowing them. That took a few winters. Then we had the bulldozer come and clear those stumps. Then we cultivated land and planted strawberries. So that was it for the next three to four years of my life. During that time we also needed to have some income because the strawberries - it takes about two years before for the strawberries are able to bear enough strawberries to be able to pick them and sell them to make a living off of them. My older brother who was a year older than myself, we went up the coast to Prince Rupert and he and I worked in the salmon canneries. This was during the summer vacation, because we were still in high school. And we worked in the canneries and at that time we had huge fishing runs, salmon runs, and there was a great market for salmon. Europe was virtually starving and they would take all the canned salmon that we were able to produce. So my brother and I were fortunate in that we were able to go up to the canneries and work there and we worked all kinds of overtime, double time and sometimes we are on the clock. Any fish that were brought into the canneries they had to canned that night or that day because if you left them they would spoil. So it didn't matter if they brought 25 000 pieces of fish or 100 000. It had to be canned. Some days we have to work around the clock and we would have about 4 hours of sleep and work in the cannery for 20 hours.
00:15:10.000
00:15:10.000
KM
But that was good because we were paid double time, overtime. So during the short summer months we made enough money to pay off the farm. We didn't owe all that much money but because we were not able to market, sell the strawberries until after a few years, it was fortunate that my brother and I were able to work and pay off the farm. After that I came out east and I worked at various jobs in the accounting field.
AP
I'm curious to know, hear about your childhood and what you remember about that?
KM
The internment?
AP
Prior to that, just your childhood prior to the internment. Do you recall much about that?
KM
I guess we had a fairly ordinary childhood. As I said we were brought up on a very small farm. Ken's wife mentions in the background that Alex is referring to his earlier days Ok, yeah. Before we moved to Victoria, we were in Kelowna. I was born in Kelowna, BC. My father and mother grew onions and tomatoes. It was the midst of the depression and nobody could make any money at that so we moved to Victoria. We grew strawberries until the war broke out.
AP
Did your parents own the farm in Victoria?
KM
Yes.
AP
Do you know what happened to that after you were forced to leave?
KM
Yeah. We went back to visit. The house was still there just like we left it laughs. It was -- I wasn't quite sure if they were still farming there or not. But the house was pretty well intact the way we left it, and you know, that was it. I'm sure that the -- the unfair thing was when the war broke out we were forced to sell that farm for whatever we could get. I believe that my dad got something in the order of, something less than $5,000, and I'm sure after the war it would have been worth quite a bit of money. But I would say that was the most unfair thing. I think in the United States, they interned the American, the Japanese Americans, but they got their properties back after the war, which was a fair thing. But the Japanese Canadians, they virtually had to start from scratch. So that was very tough, not so much for the children, but for my parents. You know, they had a really tough life to get started again.
AP
When you and your family went to the internment camp, did you take much with you? I've heard very often that people were allowed to take one luggage per person.
00:20:04.000
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KM
I think we are allowed to take two suitcases or something like that. It wasn't much that we could take. At the time that the war broke out we were all taken to a holding area as I mentioned before, Hastings Park. Hastings Park was an area like the CNE. It was fairly primitive, it smelled and the sanitary conditions were not the greatest and we got everything that you can catch, including the flu, dysentery, smallpox, whatever was going around we got it. So after a short period of time we were shifted to the interior. And for the children in the internment areas, it was quite nice. Slocan lake is a beautiful lake and it was a very nice area to live. The houses were quite primitive, but all in all -- recorder drops. Ken and Alex talk about recorder positioning But, that's pretty much it in a nutshell type of thing.
AP
What else do you remember about being in the internment camp and that experience?
KM
Well as I mentioned, the so-called houses we're very primitive. They were very, very primitive. They were more like shacks than anything else. And you can imagine my parents that had seven children. I think we got a little bit bigger unit, but still, you know to have seven plus two, nine people in a very small -- it was hardly a cabin and it was more like a shack. That was pretty much it and it was a wonder that we survived without getting any disease like pneumonia or other disease. As I said my father was fortunate in being able to get the job as a cook. Not just for the fact that he was able to make income, but the fact that we didn't have to go and relocate to the east because the Japanese Canadians we're on the coast because the climate was a lot like Japan in a way. And most of the Japanese Canadians were either farmers, like ourselves, or fisherman. They were some of the best fisherman on the West Coast and they had the fishing boats and they fisedh right up and down the coast of BC, right from Steveston which was close to Vancouver, right up to Prince Rupert. And that's how they made their living.
00:25:02.000
00:25:02.000
KM
It was very unfair that they were not given very much choice. We were fortunate that we were able to stay on the coast. But the Japanese Canadians were not used to the climate they have out in the east and to be relocated to an area like Eastern Canada, where the climate was a lot different to the coast, and to also have to start from scratch -- it's a wonder that they were able to get their life started again.
AP
You didn't take much from your home, you mentioned. Did most of it stay in the house? Do you know--
KM
Everything stayed right there.
AP
Ok. And do you know what happened to all of that stuff?
KM
No, no.
AP
I'm curious to know if you have anything that you now posses that made its way from Victoria, that you still have today?
KM
Pause You know I don't think so, not that I can recall. No, we, you know, what we were able to take would have been what my parents would have really considered the bare necessities of what you could put in a suitcase. So I mean there wasn't much that we, the children, brought of their favorite toys or whatever.
AP
So that would have all stayed in the house then?
KM
Oh yeah.
AP
So after the interment you make your way to Toronto. Tell me about that journey here.
KM
Well I would have been able to work in Vancouver if I wanted, but I went to UBC during that time after the war. From that time it wasn't easy to get a job in Vancouver so I made my way out east to Toronto and I got various jobs doing accounting work. And then in 1977 we move out here to Georgetown and I worked in Georgetown as an accountant for a company for about 15 years. And that was basically it.
AP
I'm curious to know about tennis a little bit. When did you start playing? Did you play--
KM
As soon as I got to Toronto from Vancouver, or White Rock, wherever we had our home, I always wanted to play tennis. I was always interested in tennis. So when I moved to Toronto, that basically was my sport, hobby and all that. So that's where I spent a lot of time, and that's where I met a lot of my friends, at the tennis clubs. I was a member of two or three clubs in Toronto and we also ran a few clubs, taking turns being Treasurer, President, Coach.
00:30:05.000
00:30:05.000
KM
So, tennis was a big part of my life in Toronto and I met most of my friends and my wife Sheila at the tennis clubs. So needless to say, tennis was a big part of my life. When I moved to Georgetown we were able to buy a piece of land that was ideal laughs for building a tennis court. So we got the land cleared and we constructed a proper tennis court. In fact, our tennis court is as good as any tennis court you'll find in Toronto, as good as what's in the Cricket Club or the Toronto Lawn. It's what you call a clay court not a hard court. We are very lucky in being able to have this court which has been a big part of our life.
AP
Did you play other sports growing up?
KM
When I was growing up in White Rock, or Vancouver, we were too busy working on the farm. The strawberry farm is a very, very time consuming and very tedious type of work. You don't have very much time to do anything except work. Because, first of all, my father bought the property and we had to clear the land. That was quite a job to clear the land to be able to plant strawberries. I never had much time to do anything except to work. In the summertime as mentioned my brother and I worked up in Prince Rupert. It did nothing but rain up there. They don't call it the rain forest for nothing. laughs And so even if you wanted to -- in fact, that's where I really started playing tennis even though it wasn't the greatest environment because it rained so much. It really got my interest started in tennis.
AP
Did you play tennis by any chance in the internment camp?
KM
Nothing like that
AP
Nothing like that, huh?
KM
Ya, ya, because the camps had nothing really. My neighbors and ourselves we did some gardening. In fact it was very, very rocky where we were interned. But the Japanese have always been known to be great gardeners. So almost everybody in the camp had some type of garden. My father had quite a nice rock garden. And we also had a -- cleared a small piece of land by the lake where we grow our own vegetables. So that was pretty much it.
AP
It's my understanding that you're a part of a church. I'm wondering, were you a member of a church as younger person, or did you get involved in that later in life?
KM
Well to tell you the truth, the one that was really involved in the church, and she was involved in the church for most of our life I believe, would be my sister Sumi. She's in Burnaby right now.
00:35:11.000
00:35:11.000
KM
But I was not really involved in the church except for when I got married to Sheila, my wife, she was a very dedicated Catholic. So we've always been faithful churchgoers. We always attend church. We've been active to some extent with the church community too. But as far as -- I wouldn't say that I was a a dedicated person like my sister Sumi.
AP
During the internment and in the camp was there a presence of a church there that you can recall?
KM
There was hardly anything. I think there was some, I forget the denomination, but it would be Protestant and I think it probably would have been the United Church. So you had some of these United Church community wanting us to join the church and that. But we -- the Japanese Canadians, I think my parents in Japan, they were Bhuddist. And so we grew up really without too much exposure to the church. But as I said, after I got married, Sheila and I got married, we've been pretty faithful Roman Catholics. I think that's been a good influence in my life and something that we have, something that's been part of my life. And of course Sheila has always been -- Sheila and her family have always been dedicated Roman Catholics.
AP
You mentioned earlier that you visited Japan. Have you been there once?
KM
Just once, ya.
AP
Just once. What was that like?
KM
It was very informative and quite exciting for me in some respects. We went and visited where my father was born and where they're still exists the so-called family home although none of the families live there now. But the house is pretty much the way it's been ever since the -- when -- the feudal days. Because in that village, which is called, the area or region is called Wakayama, Wakayama-Ken. Ken means Wakayama district I guess. And the village that my father was born is called Mio - M I O. And it's a very small village and nothing ever changed very much there. It's right on the seaside. and there are no roads there. Between homes there are paths, but that was it. And the only way you could go from one house to another, is of course you can walk or bicycle or you could have a scooter laughs. So that's how you can get from one house to another. And I think what's interesting there is the village temple.
00:40:10.000
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KM
The Buddhist temple is right below -- right below the temple is our house, the family home. If they want to tell us how to get to our home, they say, “The Morisawa home is at the foot of the -- the foot of the hill where the church is.” And so if you want to get to the church, or the temple, you have to climb up the hill laughs. And in that village, nothing has changed very much. so in that respect it's quite interesting, because it's very interesting to see how my father and my mother grew up and to see what the conditions were like. Because that's exactly the way it is right now. I think that at that time, my father and some of the villagers made their living gathering shellfish, which meant that they would have to dive, sort of deep sea dive, to get the shellfish like clams, abalone -- products like that that they sold. But as I said, it was very, very interesting for me to visit Wakayama. Mio Mura is like the village and Wakayama Ken, Wakayama is the region and its almost at the very southern end of the island of Honshu.
AP
When you saw the, sort of, family ancestral home, what was that like? What did it feel like? I'm curious to know what that was like for you.
KM
We weren't able to go into it, Alex, because the family was still there, you know living there. It wouldn't have been very easy for us to say “This is our family home, I want to come have a look.” So it was very -- well to me it looked quite a basic and primitive type of thing. That's the way people lived. It would have been interesting to see inside, to see what the format of the rooms are like. But we weren't really able to do that.
AP
When you came to Toronto, did you go back to BC much to visit?
KM
Ya, I would visit every now and then to visit my folks. But when I first moved there, that was in the 60s, I still remember Air Canada, it wasn't called Air Canada then, but it was still propeller-driven airplanes, eh? And I still remember that. It was quite a thing to be flying in those days really.
AP
When you would go visit BC, did you ever take a look at and visit the home you grew up in? The farm that you guys lived at prior to the internment?
00:45:09.000
00:45:09.000
KM
We visited there once.
AP
What was that like?
KM
Uhm pause As I said, we never -- the house still looked like the original house and everything, but we never went -- I think we went and said hello, but we didn't go in the house or anything. And we told the residents that's where we used to live.
AP
What did they say?
KM
Nothing very much, you know, but uh pause, it was a traumatic -- well it would have been a devastating experience for my father and mother. For us, I mean I was around 8 years old at the time. It didn't make that much of an impact, but for my folks to have to start all over and to be forcibly moved like that and to be in a place like Hastings Park which was area for livestock and cattle, wasn't the greatest experience. As I said conditions were not that sanitary, it smelled, you know. But fortunately we weren't there too long. And all in all it was something that you could say “Well, we survived”, and that's it.
AP
Did your parents talked much about the internment and losing their home, stuff like that to you afterwards?
KM
Alex, you know, they hardly ever mentioned it, you know, because it was something you really didn't want to recall really. And it wasn't something that you wanted to really remember because it wasn't the happiest time of our life.
AP
I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on how the internment and that moment in history should be remembered and passed on to future generations?
KM
I'm very glad that, like your group, are involved in this project because otherwise there wouldn't be too many people exposed or informed of what really happened because the government -- like in the history books there is maybe a few lines in the history book but that's it. That wasn't something that I guess the government was proud of, but it would have been something you just glossed over because it wasn't -- it wasn't something that people wanted to recall.
AP
Throughout your life has that experience, and those memories, have they sort of manifested themselves in any way, or impacted your life in some way that comes to mind?
KM
Not really Alex, because we -- it just seems to be something that we shut the door on.
00:50:06.000
00:50:06.000
KM
And so we don't go and -- we might, if I was with my brother we might talk about it a little bit, but not very often.
AP
So amongst your siblings, you guys when you get together, you don't talk about it too much?
KM
No, hardly ever. Like we would have our reunion, every few years, but no, we don't really talk very much about that period Because I guess it's not something we really want to remember.
AP
So you said there was seven siblings?
KM
Ya.
AP
And of those 7 how many remained in BC and how many moved elsewhere?
KM
During the -- after we moved to the coast after the internment period, my little brother, he was the youngest. He was 10 years old. But he died in an accident at the farm. So then -- How many years ago was that Sheila, when George died? Sheila responds and says George died in 2013,April. Ya, so it was a few years ago that my younger brother George -- he moved to California after the war and he married a girl near L.A., but he passed away a few years ago from cancer. but my oldest sister -- Ken asks Sheila when his sister died and she responds by saying it was '05 So, that's 10 years now. She was my oldest sibling. She married -- after the war she married a person in Seattle, Washington. They had a large family, 6 or 7 kids. But she developed diabetes, and she died of complications diabetes about 10 years ago. But they had a very nice house, very nice family in Seattle, Washington. Well the family is still there, but her husband also passed away. Ken asks when he passed away and Sheila responds by saying about a year ago. But she had 7 kids.
AP
So I think I am going to wrap up my end of it and let you have your evening back. Anything that you would like to add before I stop the recording?
KM
pause Only to say Alex, I'm gratified that you and your group are -- I mean, I don't know what is going to come out of it, maybe you can tell me a little bit about what's going to come out of your project. Like, are you going to -- is it going to be written up in a, as a -- like, is it going to be published as a description of your project?
00:54:47.000
00:54:47.000 Alex explains the project's end goals and envisioned outputs.
KM
I would just like to mention, Alex, since we did not live in Vancouver as the war broke out, we were not part of Japantown because whatever discrimination and bias there was, a lot of it happened there. Japantown, Powell Street, those areas where Japanese people were living. We were in Victoria, out in the country and we had nothing but good memories of our neighbors and all the people. So we never had bitter memories and experiences during the war. I think as a family we are probably fortunate in that respect.
AP
So when your family returns back to the coast after the war, was the same sentiment there, sort of cordial relations with neighbors? Or had things changed?
KM
When we went back to the coast, we weren't near Vancouver. We were 25 miles away in White Rock -- well we were two or three miles from White Rock on the farm. So we went to school in White Rock, during high school days. But we had no discrimination or bad experiences before the war or after the war. So I think we are very fortunate in that respect, with our neighbors or with anybody else. I'm sure that wasn't the experience of everybody who lived in Vancouver, for instance.
AP
So again, before we wrap up, any last, last thought?
KM
The only thing that I could say is that I'm happy that you people have embarked on this project because there probably isn't going to be too much left that is going to remind people of what happened and I think that that is certainly something -- I think it needs to be told because we never know, it might happen to other people, to be suddenly uprooted, like we were and shipped to -- first to places like Hastings Park, which was a pause a holding area, livestock holding area. And to be shipped to the interior, I don't know exactly how to describe it.
01:00:01.000
01:00:01.000
KM
We as the children were not that impacted. But my parents certainly were impacted and I certainly feel that if there was any injustice it was on their part, more than anything else.
AP
Okay, thank you very much for speaking with me and offering your thoughts and memories. I appreciate it.
KM
You're welcome.
AP
So yes, thank you again. I'll stop. Alex intends to shut off the recorder but is interrupted by Ken's questions about the project and oral history collection by the project. Alex responds with information about the project and the work of the project's oral history cluster. Afterwards, Ken discusses where his siblings currently live and their upcoming family reunion.
AP
As you're mentioning that, I started to wonder -- any ideas why you're the only one that went East, and everyone else stayed at West? Was that just circumstance?
KM
Circumstances mostly because, mostly in the way of jobs I guess. If I stayed out in BC, if I would have gotten jobs, I maybe would have had to go out -- up north or somewhere. They would ship you out to different places, and not necessarily be in Vancouver. The most of the commercial type of work was up here in the east. So I got established out here and we might still move back. Sheila has always been out here, near Toronto. But we're thinking of maybe buying a condominium and going out west where the climate is a bit more -- what we, what Sheila and I have been doing the last 6 or 7 years, is at the first of the year we drive down to Florida and we stay there until the end of March.
01:05:13.000
01:05:13.000 Ken discusses his trips down to Florida
AP
If you do go back West, would that feel like going home to you?
KM
Well, I don't know, because I've been an easterner for so long. I haven't -- I haven't really been established as a homeowner or anything like that out in the West. So I really don't feel like I'm a West coaster except going to school and living with my parents, working up the coast and that type of thing.
AP
So having this home makes you feel more rooted here?
KM
Oh definitely, definitely, yeah. Like we have been here 38 years, only house and property that we've ever owned. And I don't know -- did I mention that we have a son? And my son of course he was brought up here. And of course he is a tennis player. He is a good tennis player laughs. But he's been out Ken asks Sheila how long their son Christopher has been out in BC. She responds by saying since '07.
AP
Did he go back to BC -- I mean, I shouldn't say go back, but did he go to BC again just out of circumstance, or was there some sort of nostalgia?
KM
Well, no, he went out because I think after he finished university, I don't think he wanted to come live with his parents. And we also told him that maybe it might be best if you go out there and went out on your own and have your own life. So that's pretty much what he did. He always liked it, he likes -- of course he moved out there with a bunch of his pals. So he has his friends out there and all that. I don't think he's ever expressed his desire to come back here. He likes the outdoors -- he likes to do snowboarding and hiking and that type of thing. He likes life out there.
AP
Did you speak to him when he was growing up, much about your memories that experience of the internment?
KM
Never, no. Sheila asks Ken if he told Alex about their family reunion in the internment camp Ya, oh ya. When was that? Sheila mentions that it was in '09. Sheila describes the family reunion in the internment camp in New Denver as a means of teaching their son's generation about this moment in Canadian history. She then discusses the impact it might have on their son and shows Alex pictures of the reunion. Ken asks Sheila how many people were in the reunion group to which she responds that were about 75.
KM
It was quite an experience for the villages, because the villages sort of reverted back to what it was like before the war. And to see us come back there, like in a convoy, because we all drove laughs from Vancouver, out to the interior. That was quite an experience, really.
01:10:11.000
01:10:11.000
AP
And that was your siblings and their families?
KM
Ya, ya.
AP
So the usual reunion just made its way to the old internment site?
KM
Ya, ya. Like last year the reunion was near where my brother lives in Tsawwassen. Sheila shows Alex a picture of the reunion at the internment site and describes the experience of being there. Sheila offers Alex persimmons grown at Ken's brother George's home and they discuss persimmons. Sheila then mentions a book written by Ken's sister Sumi and arrangements to send it home with Alex. Alex and Sheila discuss books written by the Morisawa family, specifically a book written by the family grandchildren about working during the summer on the family farm.
AP
So Ken, should we end the recording now? Again, thank you so much for speaking with us. I really appreciate it.
KM
You're welcome and I think it's something that is going to record and hopefully and inform maybe other Canadians, other people, of what we went through as a family.
01:15:01.000
01:15:01.000
KM
There aren't too many of us left, I don't think, but as time goes on there is going to be fewer and fewer, so it's a good time.
AP
Ok, thank you so much.
KM
You're welcome.
01:15:27.000

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Title

Ken Morisawa, interviewed by Alexander Pekic, 18 November 2015

Abstract

Ken Morisawa speaks his early life, being born in Kelowna BC then moving to a farm in Victoria when he was 8 years old. He then discusses his family's experience of being uprooted to Hastings Park, the train ride into the interior and being interned in New Denver. At the end of the war, due to his father's job as the baker at the New Denver Sanatorium, they did not have to move immediately. The next four years, his family followed work next as a chef in a mining camp and later in 1949 moved to White Rock and bought a farm. Ken goes on to discuss his move to Toronto after finishing highschool in search of work in the accounting field and eventual settling in Georgetown ON with his wife. Ken also discusses visiting Japan, his passion for tennis, his extended family as well as visiting BC. Ken ends the interview expressing his appreciation of he efforts being put into preserving and passing on the history.

Credits

Interviewer: Alexander Pekic
Interviewee: Ken Morisawa
XML Encoder: Stewart Arneil
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Setting: Georgetown, ON
Keywords: farming; tennis; accounting; strawberries; New Denver ; Slocan ; Toronto ; Vancouver ; Victoria ; BC ; Georgetown; ON ; Wakayama ; Japan ; White Rock ; 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.