Hideo Onotera, interviewed by Howard B. Smith, 16 August 1977

Hideo Onotera, interviewed by Howard B. Smith, 16 August 1977

Abstract
In this interview, Hideo Onotera and Howard B. Smith discuss the role of Japanese Canadians in the economy of British Columbia and Canada, the experience of Japanese Canadians during the internment era, and the impacts of internment and dispossession. Onotera describes how Japanese Canadians entered into the fishing, lumber, and farming industries in British Columbia. He also mentions the limitations they faced in finding work because they lacked the franchise in the province. Onotera references the difficulties Japanese Canadians faced when they were forcibly removed from their homes, and which areas went through Hastings Park. He alludes to the multitude of experiences Japanese Canadians had in the internment era in his discussion of different camps and sugar beet farms. In particular, Onotera emphasizes the importance of having the right to vote, and, because Japanese Canadians lacked this right, the Canadian government and politicians could take advantage of them. He also reveals generational differences within the Japanese Canadian community. In regards to dispossession, Onotera relates his own experience with having his property forcibly taken from him, and how dispossession influenced other Japanese Canadians to choose exile to Japan rather than moving east. He further describes how the limited amount of time given to Japanese Canadians after being ordered away from the coast led to further economic and property loss.
No transcription available.

Metadata

Title

Hideo Onotera, interviewed by Howard B. Smith, 16 August 1977

Abstract

In this interview, Hideo Onotera and Howard B. Smith discuss the role of Japanese Canadians in the economy of British Columbia and Canada, the experience of Japanese Canadians during the internment era, and the impacts of internment and dispossession. Onotera describes how Japanese Canadians entered into the fishing, lumber, and farming industries in British Columbia. He also mentions the limitations they faced in finding work because they lacked the franchise in the province. Onotera references the difficulties Japanese Canadians faced when they were forcibly removed from their homes, and which areas went through Hastings Park. He alludes to the multitude of experiences Japanese Canadians had in the internment era in his discussion of different camps and sugar beet farms. In particular, Onotera emphasizes the importance of having the right to vote, and, because Japanese Canadians lacked this right, the Canadian government and politicians could take advantage of them. He also reveals generational differences within the Japanese Canadian community. In regards to dispossession, Onotera relates his own experience with having his property forcibly taken from him, and how dispossession influenced other Japanese Canadians to choose exile to Japan rather than moving east. He further describes how the limited amount of time given to Japanese Canadians after being ordered away from the coast led to further economic and property loss.

Credits

Interviewee: Hideo Onotera
Interviewer: Howard B. Smith
Transcriber: Jennifer Landrey
Audio Checker: Nathaniel Hayes
Publication Information: See Terms of Use for publication and licensing information.
Setting: British Columbia
Keywords: labour; fishing; lumber; logging; franchise; policy; Kaslo ; Greenwood ; participant; forced removal; sale; property; attitudes; Petawawa ; Ganbari Group; exile; education; camp work; language; 1890s-1950s

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.