Macer Okamoto to Colonel Pope and Mr. George Alexander, 27 March 1944

Macer Okamoto to Colonel Pope and Mr. George Alexander, 27 March 1944

562 Dougall Ave.,Windsor, Ont.
March 27th, 1944.
Col. Pope, 3436 Whittier Ave. Victoria, B.C. Dear Sir:
I have received word from Mr. Alexander stating that our belongings are to be taken away from our home and are to be later sold at auction.
Surely there must be a terrible mistake somewhere! I can't even imagine any possible reason for our property being confiscated.
It would be different if my father happened to be a Japanese National (an enemy alien) but, if you will take the trouble to look up the records, you will find that he is a naturalized Canadian citizen - having taken his papers out in or around 1913. Doesn't his naturalization papers mean anything?
You will find that the citizenship status of the whole family is good too. Neither my father nor mother has ever sent money out of this country. Plenty of good people will vouch for us as for character references.
Aged as they are (my father is 64 this year and my mother is 62 years old) - sooner than go to one of the so-called "ghost towns" to "live on the Government" - they volunteered, with the four girls and son-in-law, to go to Alberta to try to make a go of it on a sugar beet farm for the duration. And that wasn't an easy decision for them to make either! But then, they figured they would be co-operating with the authorities if they did - please don't say that they were too much so.
We had every faith that it was for our protection when we handed everything to the Custodian for safe keeping. Otherwise we would have sold some of the things on our own as many were doing.
I haven't had the heart to tell the folks about this latest development. Rather than send in for a lot of the things they need for every day use they've either bought a few new articles or done without, because they were all looking forward to going back home as soon as the war is over. Surely they aren't to be deprived of spending the last few years of their lives living in their own home!
Please drop me a line as soon as possible as I'm in a quandary as to what to tell the folks.
Thanking you in advance.
Yours truly,
P. S. I'm sending this c/o Mr. Alexander because I've misplaced the address of the Custodian's office in Victoria and have no time to look for same now.



Macer Okamoto to Colonel Pope and Mr. George Alexander, 27 March 1944


Encoder: Ariel Merriam
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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.