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Overlapping lives : cultural sharing among five groups of Japanese Canadian (Nikkei) women Shibata, Yuko 2003

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O V E R L A P P I N G LIVES: C U L T U R A L SHARING A M O N G FIVE GROUPS O F J A P A N E S E C A N A D I A N (NIKKEI) W O M E N  by  Y U K O SHIBATA B.A. The California State University, San Jose, 1971 M . A . The California State University, San Francisco, 1973  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF D O C T O R OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  f f H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A January 2003  © Yuko Shibata, 2003  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  available  copying  of  department publication  of  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  University  of  British  Columbia,  I  agree  for  this or  thesis  reference  thesis by  this  for  his thesis  and  study.  scholarly  or for  her  I further  purposes  financial  gain  2  ^J^6  shall  permission.  Department  of  *J0<^<*±^  T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6  (2/88)  ^  Columbia  i  that  agree  may  representatives.  requirements  It not  be  that  the  Library  permission  granted  is  by  understood be  for  allowed  an  advanced  shall for  the that  without  make  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  11  ABSTRACT  The year 2002 marks the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the first recorded arrival of Japanese immigrants in 1877. Since then the Japanese Canadian population has grown to over 65,000 people living in various parts of Canada. This dissertation concentrates on Nikkei (Japanese Canadian) women, specifically on five different generational groups of these women. The focus is on the relationships between prewar and postwar immigrant women as well as between the generations within these two groups. Special attention is paid to how memories are fashioned, experiences related and interpreted, and ultimately how the cultural knowledge developed in these relationships has come to affect contemporary Japanese Canadian communities. This dissertation documents the shifting interpretations of immigrant status, of gender performance, of ethnic identity, and of the nature of Japanese Canadian culture in Canada. The thesis addresses five groups of Nikkei women: 1) the Issei, or prewar immigrants who migrated from Japan in the 1920s; 2) the Nisei, or daughters of the Issei; 3) the Sansei, the granddaughters of the Issei; 4) the Shin-Issei, or postwar immigrants who immigrated in the late 1950s to mid1970s; and 5) the Shin-Nisei, or daughters of the Shin-Issei. It shows a culture of socially organized diversity within its bounds and a display of Japanese Canadian-ness to the outside world. The cultural knowledge which emerges is viewed as a creative interactional process. The research informing the dissertation is longitudinally based over twenty-five years, spanning the years between the mid-1970s, when the first data were collected, to the beginning of 2000. It is based on the life histories and the narratives constructed by each generation of women to explore their past, their relationships with their relatives and friends of both genders, and their perspectives on being Japanese within a Canadian context. These women evaluate the experiences and understandings of their mothers and grandmothers, or alternately their daughters and  Ill  granddaughters. The narratives provide ethnographic sketches of each group and the cultural and interactional issues that reflect upon their experiences in both the Japanese Canadian and in the Canadian communities. These narratives are posited against my own experiences as a Japanese Canadian woman of the Shin-Issei generation. They are presented as intersecting experiences organized by pre-defined stages of the women's life-cycles, namely reasons for coming to Canada, early days as an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants, the years of war, postwar years, and their lives in the present. A constant theme is the reflection on the past as well as their ongoing experiences and on the continual shaping of their Japanese Canadian identity. The narratives demonstrate how gender, racialized identity, the status of being immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, language and cultural competency affected the lives of Nikkei women in Canada. They offer us a glimpse into the dynamic interaction between the restraints of social structure and the power of the individual, and in so doing, illustrate the strategies these women used to overcome conflict and to construct a distinct Nikkei culture in Canada. Nikkei women's narratives reflect their active resistance within a gendered and racialized world, how they balance their autonomy and the traditional connectedness to their cross-generational relationships and how they deal with conflicting values in order to incorporate their lives into local as well as mainstream Canadian society.  iv  Table of Contents Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Maps and Tables  vi  Acknowledgements  Prologue: Way of Seeing  vii  1  Chapter One Introduction Nikkei Terminology Overlapping Experiences Becoming a Nikkei Woman: Commitment Vancouver Nikkei Communities: Collecting the Past and Sharing with Others The Dream of Riches: Japanese Canadians, 1877-1977 Diversities Within Learning to See Cultural Sharing Collecting Life Narratives and Histories Searching for Connections: What Is a Japanese Canadian? Portraits of Five Groups of Japanese Canadian Women  3 7 8 13 15 16 18 19 21 25 28 30  Chapter Two: Background for the Study A: A Brief History of Japanese Canadians B: Fieldwork Research, 1975 - 76 Research, 1996 - 97 Nikkei Communities in the 1990s C: From Aural Material to Written Text D: Writing Ethnographic Sketches of Nikkei Women: Integrating Individual Narratives  40 43 47 50 54  Chapter Three: Ethnographic Sketches of Prewar Women and their Descendants A: Issei Women Encounter Reasons for Coming to Canada The Early Days The War Years The Postwar Years Life in the Early 1980s Postscript  57 58 59 66 72 82 92 96  32  V B: Nisei Women Encounter The Early Days: Family and Community Impact of the War The Postwar Years: Starting Over Connecting with the Past Present Lifestyles and Hopes for the Future Postscript  97 98 101 113 122 132 138 140  C: Sansei Women Encounter The Early Days: Family and Community Youth and Young Adulthood: Incorporating Divided Worlds Present Lifestyles and Future Hopes  141 144 145 163 176  Chapter Four: Ethnographic Sketches of Postwar Women and Their Descendants A: Shin-Issei Women (Postwar Immigrant Women) Encounter Reasons for Coming to Canada The Early Days: Family and Community Present Lifestyles and Future Hopes B: Shin-Nisei Women (Children of Postwar Women) Encounter The Early Days: Family and Community Youth and Adulthood Present Lifestyles and Future Hopes  183 187 189 199 214 225 226 227 236 249  Chapter Five: Making History Together, Cultural Sharing Nikkei Women's Narrative Themes Gender Exclusion Generational Issues Being Japanese Canadian Power of Narrative  259 260 265 269 271 275  Glossary  280  Bibliography  281  Appendices A: Five B: 1976 C: 1976 D: 1996  Groups of Japanese Canadian Women Questionnaire (Japanese) Questionnaire (English) Interview Guidelines  309 311 322 330  vi  List of Maps and Tables Map  1: Japanese Canadians in Internment Camps in British Columbia  37  2: Distribution of Japanese Canadian Population After the Mass Evacuation from the 100-mile Coastal Zone (as of October 31, 1942)  38  Table 1: Japanese Immigrants to Canada: 1907 - 1934  33  2: Postwar Immigrants to Canada: 1946 - 1996  34  3: Japanese Nationals in Canada (Japanese Passport Holders)  38  4: Five Groups of Nikkei Women  56  vu  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I am grateful to my adviser Dr. Elvi Whittaker and supervisory committee members Dr. Robin Ridington, Dr. Ted Aoki and Dr. Alexia Bloch for their valuable guidance and patience in the completion of the dissertation.  I thank many friends, Nancy Chan, Randy Enomoto, Jillian  Ridington, Joanne Richardson, and Paddy Tsurumi, for their editorial help to smooth my drafts along with valuable comments at each stage of my writing.  And I thank the Nikkei women of this study and Nikkei community members for their generosity in sharing their experiences with me and for those who patiently encouraged me to pursue my goal over many decades. I am grateful for their patience. Lastly, I thank the late Dr. Michael Egan, my first adviser, who encouraged me to follow my interest three decades ago and my parents, Sukeyoshi and Mie Shibata, who allowed me to explore a life beyond the comforts of home.  Way of Seeing The world in which we live varies greatly, from nation to nation, region to region, community to community, and within historical time. The world we live and the reality we perceive vary greatly, according to young and old, men and women, as we interpret while moving through our own biological time.  Modernity and technology eliminated and lessened some of the differences. We are living in a global community, a transnational, twenty-first-century community. Information, data, and knowledge: culture is always around us, like the air we breathe, like the air we take in and out in order to live. Yet how often do we think about breathing? How many of us are conscious of culture?  When physical or mental pain penetrates our body and mind, we then realize how intricate our bodily functions are and how vulnerable our minds. We then understand how complexly and wonderfully we are built, and we try to cope with our limitations. It is a wonder. The same thing could be said about culture. When we encounter something new and different, we notice and recognize difference. Yet, as we become acquainted with this difference, slowly its novelty disappears and it becomes a part of us. We store it somewhere in our memory.  When we are learning and experiencing something new, we see and discover the things that, earlier, we had not registered.  2 We go through this experience when we raise our children, taking them from helpless infants to persons of the world. Each step of their discovery we share - - the excitements and frustrations, the things that we relearn by seeing them through their eyes. Do their achievements and discoveries in becoming persons of the world evoke our lived experiences? Experiences that we have forgotten or have buried deep in our pasts ? Do they trigger our senses, as does a work of art that enables us to see our world in a new light and within a new order? When we are hungry, we become more sensitive to food and the scents that surround us. When we are sad, we see and hear things that evoke our sadness, and we search for comfort. When we are happy, we see and hear things that evoke our cheerfulness, and we attempt to share our sense of joy and delight with others. When we are in love, we see nothing but the object of our love. When we feel rejected, we see everything in a negative light, and we feel that everybody and everything is against us. I notice when I place a bundle of colourful pansies in the kitchen that, suddenly, the room springs to life. Blue, dark purple, and yellow begin to dance, telling me about the other colours in the kitchen. When my husband wears something blue, his pale blue-grey eyes become prominent. Or, at least, that is when I really notice they are blue.  (yuko shibata, march 2002)  3  CHAPTER ONE Introduction This dissertation is a study of Japanese Canadian (Nikkei) women. It traces a gradual shift in their interpretation of emerging Nikkei culture and ethnicity and of the process of becoming Japanese Canadian. The narratives on which the work is based illustrate a complex and conscious process which enlivens the continual interplay between Japanese traditions and the unfamiliar Canadian context. Sharing such narratives constitutes the very process of forming this new distinctive culture. The narratives reveal the forces of self-expression, Japanese women's resilience and the demands of immigrant culture in facing the contstraints of racialized identity, ethnic visiblity and the disempowerment caused by the historical times in which they occur. The concentration is specifically on five different generational groups of Nikkei women with the focus on the relationships between prewar and postwar immigrant women as well as between the generations within these two groups. The five groups of Nikkei women are: Issei (prewar immigrant women),! Nisei (daughters of Issei), Sansei (granddaughters of Issei), Shin-Issei (postwar immigrant women), and Shin-Nisei (daughters of Shin-Issei). The term "Nikkei" is 2  used as an adjective to describe Japanese Canadian culture, tradition, and community (e.g., Nikkei  1  Japanese women who emigrated from Japan to Canada prior to the Second World War.  2 A group of Japanese immigrant women who, as wives of repatriated Japanese Canadian men and of Kika-Nisei men, came to Canada during the late-1950s to the early 1960s. Some came as independent technical immigrants or as wives of Japanese technical immigrant men from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s (Ujimoto 1973:43).  4 culture, Nikkei tradition, Nikkei community).3 For its International Nikkei Research Project the Japanese American National Museum (1999:2) defined the Nikkei as "persons of Japanese descent and descendants, who have immigrated from Japan and created unique communities and lifestyles within the context of the societies in which they live. It includes persons who have returned to Japan where they constitute separate identities from the Japanese population." For the past two decades I have explored Nikkei women's interpretation (or reinterpretation) of their past experiences in relation to the present and the future. The life narratives they shared with me have revealed how their culture has been transmitted and interpreted.  These resilient  individuals have constructed and reconstructed meaningful and enduring cultural identities, transmitting them both within their own generation and between different generations. By internalizing and redefining their ideology and values within a cross-cultural context, Nikkei women continue, both directly and indirectly, to participate in the creation of Japanese Canadian history. In this process, they share their culture not only with their family members, children, grandchildren, friends, and Nikkei community members but also with Canadians. It is essential that we hear their life histories and narratives. Just as Greda Lerner (1977, 1979) placed American women in American history, so I shall place Japanese Canadian women within Canadian history. I will do this by showing their concerns - - from home and family to the larger community - - and by illustrating the importance of their contribution to Japanese Canadian communities both past and present. The role of Nikkei women  3 Harry Kitano (1969) first adopted the term "Nikkei" 0 ^ (B=Ni Japanese, and %=kei descent or origin), an abbreviation of Nihonjin keito (FJ ^K^Mt). He felt that generational terms may become less meaningful as new generations are born and new Issei arrive from Japan. He pointed out that the term "Nikkei," which includes all of the generations, may become more appropriate as time goes by. Zaigaihojin &!?\*3$X(tE=zai situated, ^-=gai out, 1%K=hojin Japanese) or Kaigai zairyu hojin j&^kfitW^A (fi$$\-=kaiggai overseas, tEl3=zairyu living or residence, 1h%X=hojin Japanese) are the terms used for Japanese residents abroad.  5 in the formation of the Japanese Canadian community has been largely ignored. Although scholars have shown some interest in Japanese Canadian women's contributions in recent years, so far no one has explored just how their contribution has affected the current Japanese Canadian community. Thus it is crucial to investigate these women and, in so doing, to capture the pattern of shifting identities in their life narratives - - a pattern that traces a gradual shift in how they interpret Nikkei culture as they share their cultural knowledge, experiences, and memories with others. How do they talk about their families and friends, about their communities, and about other Japanese Canadian women?  How do their life courses and historical processes affect the  formation of such identities as "Japanese," "Japanese Canadian," and "Canadian"? As they told me their stories, they authored their own biographies. As Ruth Behar (1993:228) argues, telling one's life story involves constructing the self and the world. It involves restructuring experience and connecting past and present (Cruikshank 1990, 1998; Myerhoff 1978; Plath 1980, 1987; Slim and Thompson 1993). As Elvi Whittaker (1995:283) points out: "In the postmodern world, it is an academic's duty to note that all narratives point to innumerable sub-texts, other stories demanding to be told. Not only are these stories parallel and parenthetic versions, but they also contextualize events broadly and point to unities of experiences or disunities of opinion." Historical events both in Japan and Canada, along with major policy changes in Canadian immigration laws (Driedger 1996; Hawkins 1978, 1989; Knowles 1997) affected the flow of immigrants from Japan to Canada and, consequently, the nature of immigrants and their community. Obviously, the history of Japanese Canadian women must reflect and record the activities and events in which they participated. History, both collective and individual, is a result of circumstances. This being the case, in the following chapters I provide a brief history of the circumstances of Japanese Canadians and offer ethnographic sketches of five subgroups of  6 Japanese Canadian women, ranging from the pre-Second World War years to the late 1990s. These ethnographic sketches are based on the narratives of twenty-five Nikkei women. The narratives reflect the sociocultural situation within which these women found themselves and illustrate the relationship between the Japanese Canadian community and the mainstream Canadian community.  They demonstrate how gender, racialized identity, being immigrants (and the  descendants of immigrants), and language and cultural competency affected the lives of Nikkei women in Canada. I do not claim that the following ethnographic sketches offer a definitive representation of Japanese Canadian women, nor do I present an "abstract universal" of Japanese Canadian women. As Kevin Dwyer (1977:146) cautions us, such abstractions result in "informants [being] dissolved into a generalized humanity driven by presumed universal interests." What I attempt to do is to describe the diverse nature of each small subgroup of Nikkei women (i.e., Issei, Nisei, Sansei, Shin-Issei, and Shin-Nisei) according to their life narratives and histories.  4  I investigate their  interactions with different groups and generations of Nikkei women and attempt to delineate their shifting identities over the course of their lives. I explore the personal experiences and choices pertaining to what Nikkei women claim to be - - as women, immigrants, and descendants of immigrants. These ethnographic sketches should enable the readers to gain a better understanding of the process of cultural sharing involved in how Nikkei women shifted from being "Japanese" to being "Japanese Canadians," from being  Some scholars distinguish "life history" from "life story" and "life narrative." For example, Angrosino (1989:3) defines "life history" as "a narrative that records the entire span of a life" and "life story" as something that "highlights a few key events or focuses on a few important relationships." I use all three terms interchangeably as, following Blackman (1991:56), I believe that "life history" is an all-encompassing term that "offers rich ground for the study of personal narratives, conceptualizations of the self, the structuring of life accounts, the personal configuring of culture, gender differences in the expression of life experiences, relationships between anthropologists and the people they study and more." 4  7 "Nikkei in Canada" to being "Canadians." 5 How did Japanese Canadian women share their lives, their lived experiences, their hopes, expectations, and discontents with other groups of Japanese Canadians? I include my own life narrative whenever the Nikkei women with whom I spoke evoked my own memories and personal history. I do this because their understanding of their sociocultural history enabled me to make sense of my own.  Nikkei Terminology Japanese immigrants in North America can be divided into several subgroups.  The first  generation who emigrated from Japan to Canada are referred to as Issei —"fi. The term "Issei" has both a generic and a specific meaning with reference to Japanese in North America. It is applied to all immigrants from Japan, and its literal meaning is "first generation" (ichi=fkst, or one, .regeneration, or era). Similarly, Nisei HW, Sansei Hift, and Yonsei third, and fourth generation, respectively.6  refer to the second,  Kika-Nisei 'J§ in^HL or Kibei-Nisei 'jf  refers to  second-generation Japanese whose parents sent them back to Japan for education and/or other purposes (fci=return,fca=Canada,and £>e/=America [Beikoku was once a common word for the  5 Hiebert's comprehensive paper (1999) presents an overview of late twentieth-century immigration to Canada and its impact on the social geography of Greater Vancouver, particularly during the years since the major policy changes of the 1960s. The 1996 Census Canada points out that Canada's visible minority population has doubled from 6.3 per cent in 1986 to 11.2 per cent in 1996, with a heavy concentration in Toronto and Vancouver. Thirty-one per cent of 1.8 million residents in Vancouver are visible minorities - - about one in three residents (see Mitchell 1998). In the case of Japanese Canadians, a 1998 study by United Way Services indicates that people of Japanese ethnic origins in the Lower Mainland numbered 16,040 in 1991 and 18,165 in 1996, a relatively small increase compared to that of other visible minority groups in Greater Vancouver. Norbeck (1953) points out that the Japanese are the only immigrant group in North America to be known by a linguistic term and to be characterized according to the unique personality of each generation of descendants stemming from the original group. Takezawa (1995) also indicates that Korean Americans have a generational classification similar to that of Japanese Americans, even though it is not as well established as the latter. 6  8 United States] ). Most people in this group have several years of formal Japanese education. Early studies of the Japanese in North America focused upon the Issei and Nisei as well as the Kika-Nisei.7 More recent works have focused upon the Nisei and Sansei. Postwar Japanese immigrants are referred to as Shin-Issei ff—1ft (shin=mw) and their children are called Shin-Nisei §rHW.  Sometimes they are also referred to as Ijusha  rather than as Imin  (yw=migration, and ^/ia=person)  (immigrants), the latter being a negative term used with reference to  prewar immigrants.8  Overlapping Experiences This dissertation evolved out of my earlier research on the acculturation process among Issei and Shin-Issei women in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia (Shibata 1980). The acculturation process was often seen as a linear process involving moving from a subculture to being part of a dominant mainstream culture (Beals 1982; Broom 1943, 1947; Broom and Kitsuse 1955; Caudill 1952; Caudill and DeVos 1956; Conner 1972; DeVos 1954; Kitano and Sue 1973; Norbeck and DeVos 1972; LaViolette 1945, 1948 ; Makabe 1976; Petersen 1966; Redfield et al.1936; Shapiro  People often label repatriated Nisei as Kika-Nisei. However, these two groups should not be conflated as Kika-Nisei were educated and socialized in prewar Japan while repatriated Nisei were educated and socialized in postwar Japan. Repatriated Japanese Canadians were Nisei, and a majority of them were minors when they were sent to Japan along with their parents, who had decided to sign the repatriation paper. This paper was the so-called Repatriation Order, which was proposed in 1945 by Minister of Labour H. Michell. About 4,000 Japanese Canadians went to Japan under this order and about half of them returned to Canada in the late 1950s to the mid1960s. Many repatriated Japanese Canadians and Kika-Nisei returned with their Japanese spouses. Some of them referred to themselves as "Ripaato" and "Kika-Nisei" interchangeably (Kage 1998). 7  8 Sometimes they are also called Shin-ijuusha {shin $f=new; ijuu ^Immigration; sha #=person), rather than Imin (immigrants). In Amerika monogatari [American Story], Nagai (1949:20) describes his encounter with Imin on his way to Victoria, British Columbia: "They were packed into the dirty steerage of the ship more like baggage than human beings."  9 1955; Wallace 1952). A few took exception to this view (e.g., Bateson 1935; Clark et al 1976; Fortes 1936; Green 1970; Ianni 1958; Lebra 1972; McFee 1968; Thurnwald 1932, 1938 ). M y own experiences told me that the process of acculturation was never linear and simple. Thus my earlier research attempted to provide not only ethnographic data pertaining to Japanese Canadian women and their contribution to Nikkei history but also to offer a better understanding of their acculturation processes. I believed that I could do this by collecting their life histories and, at the same time, merging the social distance (Mills 1959) between the subject (i.e., Japanese Canadian women) and the researcher (i.e., myself). I believed that I could do this because we shared some cultural history. Owing to a change in Canadian immigration policy in the 1960s, the 1970s saw the largest number of Japanese immigrants arrive in Canada since 1907.  9  It was also the time  when, due to its rapid economic growth, Japan began to obtain a prominent position in various parts of the world. My research has been ongoing since the mid-1970s, even though my involvement with the Nikkei community has waxed and waned due to my own life course. Between then and now, social issues and anthropological theories 10 have changed; most of all, / have changed,!! as have the women I interviewed and with whom I spoke in the 1970s. Many Issei women have now died, and Shin-Issei women are continuing to explore their lives in Canada. Since the time of my  9 In the peak year of 1973 immigrants from Japan totalled 1,105. See Tables 1 and 2. Two of my original thesis committee members left my committee right after my comprehensive examination in 1975. They indicated that my proposed project was too subjective, that it was not "science at all," and that the life history method of data collection was "too old fashioned." Furthermore, they informed me that "culture and personality" was "out of date." I 0  At this point in my life, upon meeting me nobody would say, as did one of my 1970s committee members: "Dear girl, how old are you? Your parents must be worrying about you." I I  10 initial research the literature on the Nikkei experience has grown remarkably.  12  The events  associated with the 1977 Centennial Celebration of Japanese Canadians encouraged the forging of a positive Japanese Canadian identity; this change gained momentum for the redress movements, which reached their peak in the fall of 1988.  13  These movements opened a dialogue within  Japanese Canadian families and communities as well as between them and the rest of Canadian society. In October 1992, HomeComing'92, a conference for Japanese Canadian, was held in Vancouver. Out of 800 participants, about 600 came from outside of British Columbia. For many of them it was the first time they had returned to their birth place since 1942. A large and growing body of literature and published personal accounts of recent Japanese Canadian history raised individual ethnic consciousness, and the meaning of "Japanese Canadianness" became a serious topic. Much of the literature concerns histories and collections of the memories and experiences of prewar immigrants and their descendants, the focus being internment and repatriation (Oiwa 1991; Kitagawa 1985; Kuwabara 1995; Kage 1998; Lang 1996), Japanese Canadian history (Adachi 1992; lino 1997; Japanese Canadian Centennial Project 1978; Takata 1983), and redress (National Association of Japanese Canadians 1985; Miki and Kobayashi 1991; Omatsu 1992; Miki 1998; Sunahara 1981). There are also: a comparative study of acculturation of the three generations of Japanese Canadians in Steveston, British Columbia and  For the literature published prior to 1976, please refer to Shibata (1977). In Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English, Chao (1997) indicates that a growth of Chinese literature in English transformed the Chinese community in Canada, leading it from silence to voice. A parallel phenomenon occurred among Japanese Canadians. 1 2  On 22 September 1988, the Canadian government issued an official acknowledgment of injustice to the Japanese Canadian community for how it was treated during the Second World War. This acknowledgment was signed by former Prime Minister Brian Mulrony and Art Miki, the past president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians. See R . Miki and C . Kobayashi 1991:138-139. 1 3  11 Toronto, Ontario (Yamada 2000); novels (Kogawa 1981, 1992; Ito 1998; Goto 1994; Sakamoto 1998); biographies and autobiographies (Nakano 1981; Amano 1987; Morita 1986; Kiyooka 1997); works on Issei women and their experiences as "picture brides" (Makabe 1983 and the English translation in 1995; Kudo 1993; Ayukawa 1995); and on Sansei (Makabe 1998). Since the 1990s research has spanned many different areas: the ethnic identity of prewar Japanese in Edmonton (Nakahara 1991); a Japanese community in transition and conflict from 1935 to 1951 (Nunoda 1991); Hiroshima immigrants living in prewar Canada from 1891 to 1941 (Ayukawa 1996); the transforming identities of Japanese Canadian women writers (Iwama 1999); old-age health care among Nisei parents and their adult Sansei children (Hayashi 1999); silence and memory among Nisei women evacuees and their Sansei daughters (Oikawa 1999); the social construction of memory (McAllister 1993, 1999); and the work and family experiences of Winnipeg Nisei women (Kang 1996). There are studies of pre- and postwar Nikkei women and their acculturation experiences (Kimura 1993; Shibata 1980); of English-Japanese language switching among Nisei and Shin-Issei (Shima 1992); and of identity constructions of pre- and postwar Japanese Canadian Buddhist immigrants compared to those of Vietnamese Buddhist immigrants (McLellan 1993). The most recent addition to the Japanese Canadian experience of the war years is Teaching in Canadian Exile (2001) by the Ghost-Town Teachers Historical Society and Frank Moritsugu. As the Nikkei infrastructure continues to strengthen, the literature of Japanese Canadians continues to expand. At present, in various Nikkei communities across Canada, there are numerous events planned to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Japanese Canadians. In the post-redress period of the early 1990s, many Nikkei began to see changes in their communities and to examine several important issues: high intermarriage rates, problems in intergenerational communication, a lack of Japanese language retention, and the role of postwar  12 immigrants (i.e., Shin-Issei).  14  While there have been many studies on prewar Japanese  Canadians, there are still very few studies on postwar immigrants. So far some attention has been paid to the study of relationships between pre- and postwar groups. These studies have shown that each generation of Japanese Canadians has both similar and dissimilar characteristics. characteristics change over time and within each generation.  These  What are they and in what  circumstances do they occur? What makes us different from other Canadians? Is it shared values or moral assumptions? There are substantial cultural and historical differences between Japanese and Japanese Canadians; however, other than citizenship and nationality, there is no definitive line that separates these two categories.  What urges Nikkei women either to keep their "Japanese  Canadianness" or to discard it? When we investigate cultural identity construction, the shifting selves of Japanese Canadians, it is essential to examine the relationship between the various subgroups because this affects the formation of the present Nikkei community. Despite a relatively small number of incoming immigrants during the immediate postwar years, when we look at the Nikkei population we see that one-fourth of it is made up of postwar immigrants (Census Canada 1996).  In the Greater Vancouver area, where I conducted my  research, the postwar immigrants make up over one-quarter of the total Japanese Canadian population of approximately 18,000 (Kobayashi 1989; Cleathero and Levens 1998).is There are  See National Association of Japanese Canadians 1990; Tonari Gumi 1992, 1994; and Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre 1991. 1 4  15 If we add the number of long- and short-term visa holders, and of seasonal tourists from Japan, then althogether the postwar population of Japanese and Japanse Canadians accounts for more than one-quarter of the Nikkei community. The 1996 Statistics of Overseas Japanese ($^E®^Aifcfi!iE$fcff) indicates 4,320 hold long-term visas. See Table 3. A recent increase in Japanese language publications (Adoballoon T Y-^/V—y; Canada Japan Business Journal fii-? i/^—~f)V; the Canada Jiho #-+"^R#|g, Canada West Tourist News J - X h ; the Escape Magazine f x - 7 ^ t r — t h e Fraser - & > t i v ^ — ; VancouverShinpo *7 -y 7°.X) is another indication of a strong Japanese Canadian presence.  /<—Dffg; Oops  13 very few studies on postwar immigrants (Kurokawa 1971; Ujimoto 1973, 1989; Shibata 1980, 1998; Shima 1992), and this group is often excluded from studies of Japanese Canadians. As mentioned earlier, so far very little attention has been paid to the study of the relationship between the pre- and postwar groups or to their interactions with regard to the formation of a contemporary Nikkei identity and community. In order to respond to the problems facing this community we need to know about each of its subgroups and how they interrelate to form a complex network of socially constructed categories based on age, generation, gender, economic status, and language competence (English and Japanese). Only by understanding the diverse nature of the Nikkei community can we offer some answers to the questions that it faces.  16  Becoming a Nikkei Woman: Commitment In recent years I have become aware of the need to identify discrepancies in the offical record of recent Nikkei history. The memories and experiences of recent Japanese Canadians have been selectively recorded; in fact, it seems as though the Shin-Issei are not included in the history of Japanese Canadians. For example, consider the entry written by Ayukawa and Roy concerning the Japanese in the Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples (Magocsi, ed. 1999:842-80): under the subtitle "Migration," we find little information on postwar immigrants and only a brief description of the postwar immigrant group. Despite well-grounded writing on the history of the Japanese in Canada, the writers (a Nisei historian and her co-author) fail to see how postwar immigrants contributed to the Japanese Canadian centennial celebration. For instance, despite the pivotal role  16 In 1941 the total population of Canada was 11,506,655. This included 34,629 Chinese Canadians and 23,149 Japanese Canadians. However, the 1996 Census on Ethnic Origins shows that there were only 18,165 Japanese Canadians in Greater Vancouver, in contrast to 264,190 Chinese Canadians, 91,445 East Indian, and 33,340 Filipinos. It is often said that Japan exports "goods" but not "people."  14 of Shin-Issei in assembling the photo exhibition for A Dream of Riches and the trilingual book that came out of it, all credit went to a Sansei photographer: "Tamio Wakayama is a talented photographer with several publications to his credit. Two of his books, A Dream of Riches (1977 [sic]) and Kikyo (1992), deal with the Japanese-Canadian experience" (Ayukawa and Roy 1999: 851).  Elsewhere, a Nisei Canadian writer 17 says: "Dream of Riches [sic] [was] written, edited  and organized by Tamio Wakayama" (Watada 1999:89). I acknowledge Tamio Wakayama's artistic talent as a photographer and his work as a coordinator for the project. However, the book was the product of a group effort by the Japanese Canadian Centennial Project (JCCP) and was produced by prewar immigrants (Issei, Nisei, KikaNisei, Sansei), postwar immigrants (Shin-Issei), and their Canadian friends.  The JCCP  encouraged cultural sharing and was comprised not only of its own members, but also of numerous volunteers and many others who supported the project, despite the cold reception we received from the Vancouver Nikkei community in the mid 1970s. 8 Despite our differences in 1  age, generation, and nationality, JCCP members instigated a movement towards cultural sharing within the Nikkei community, and, in celebrating the Japanese Canadian Centennial, we opened a new page of our history. It is rarely mentioned that Shin-Issei played a crucial role in this project - - a project that affected the course of recent Vancouver Japanese Canadian history when, in early 1981, a group of JCCP members and other concerned Japanese Canadians organized the JCCP Generally Watada is known as a Sansei writer/playwright and educator. Unlike his generational category: Nisei, his works reflect upon Nikkei experiences closer to his cohort: Sansei. 1 7  18 The Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association (JCCA) and the Consulate General of Japan, Vancouver office, refused to support our project. Both organizations felt that our project would rejuvenate bad past memories and ruin our hard-earned good relations with the Canadian govenment. The majority of the members of the Japanese Canadian community shared this sentiment. Sometimes we were called Aka red), an old fashioned Japanese term for "communist."  15 Redress Committee. In his speech at the tenth anniversary redress banquet in Vancouver on 18 September 1998, the then president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, Randy Enomoto, a former JCCP member who had played an important role in the redress movement in the 1980s, revealed his thoughts on events that had occurred in 1975 (when Michiko Sakata, a Shin-Issei, called together a group of Japanese Canadians - - a move that eventually led the formation of the JCCP). Reflecting on the recent past, Enomoto commented that it was a time when he, a Sansei, began to see his personal history and Japanese Canadian history in a different light. His newly acquired perspective was stimulated by the people who were born outside of Canada - - the Shin-Issei: For the first time, I was exposed to persons of Japanese descent who were unencumbered with the shame of the internment and who had lived their lives in a straightforward manner, without the doubts of internalized racism. In personal terms, I moved from an inward dwelling person to one who began to seize power in the external world . . . The redress movement began with Muriel Kitagawa's protests to the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property in the 1940s, but I credit the outside influence of the shin issei or ijusha for kick-starting dormant sansei like myself in the Vancouver area in the 1970s. (JCCA Bulletin, October 1998:8)  Vancouver Nikkei Communities: Collecting the Past and Sharing with Others In the mid-1970s, many Japanese Canadians did not want to look back on their past. They wanted to focus on the present, on being referred to as a "model minority" (Hosokawal969; Kitano and Sue 1973; Petersen 1966, 1971). Many did not want to acknowledge or re-experience the agony of the past. They did not want to go back to a time when they were known as "second-class citizens." Over the past two decades, however, they have begun to accept their history and to see it in a positive light. Shikataganai ("it cannot be helped"), a concept used by Issei and the older generation of Nisei, is being used to help contemporary Nikkei move towards a constructive frame of mind - - one in which they will be able to say, "let us learn from our past." Japanese Canadians needed a myth that they could share and transmit with pride, both with themselves and with other  16 ethnic groups. Through the 1977 centennial celebrations, Japanese Canadians gradually regained their confidence. They began to share their history, their knowledge, and their experiences with other Canadians. The group statement of the Japanese Canadian Centennial Project - - a statement that was agreed upon only after many hours of deliberation - - conveys the meaning of the centennial celebrations for Japanese Canadians. In tracing the journey of our people through time, in going back to our roots, we find ourselves made whole, replenished in spirit. We return from the journey deeply proud of our people, of their contribution to this country. Let us also examine ourselves. Having gained our freedom and established our respectability, we must not lose sight of our own experience of hatred and fear. Too often we have heard "damn Jew," and "lazy Indian" from those who were once called "dirty Japs." The struggle of the generations and the meaning of the war years is completely betrayed if we are to go over to the side of the racist. Let us honour our history and our Centennial by supporting the new immigrants and other minorities who now travel the road our people once travelled. (JCCP, 1978:170) Yet, in the post-redress period of the 1990s, I have been hearing the term "internal racism" applied to the Nikkei community. This reflects concern about conflicts between various subgroups in the community, particularly those between the prewar group (who, either directly or indirectly, experienced internment during the war) and the postwar group (who did not). I also hear talk of "cultural appropriation," of being violated by "non"- Japanese Canadians. What happened to the spirit the JCCP envisioned not only for Japanese Canadians but also for mainstream Canadians? It is time Japanese Canadians took a critical look at their communities.  19  The Dream of Riches: Japanese Canadians, 1877-1977 I played a part in the Japanese Canadian Centennial Project (JCCP), and I remember clearly the  19 It is interesting to find that Nguyen (2002), an Asian American literary critic, calls for Asian American intellectuals to re-evaluate their rigid theoretical assumptions about politics, race, and social change by recognizing the diversity within the Asian American population and its various ideologies.  17 opening night at the Vancouver Centennial Planetarium on 14 June 1976. It was prior to the actual celebration year because the JCCP wanted a chance to generate interest in Japanese communities across Canada in preparation for the real celebrations.  20  Among the guests of honour on opening  night were community dignitaries, media people, Nisei, Sansei, Shin-Issei and Issei. There was a busload of Issei who supported and encouraged us throughout the project and shared their memories, experiences, and photos. After the ceremony people rushed into the exhibition room. I was surprised to see the Issei's delighted faces as they talked with their friends about the painful experiences of their past. They were enjoying the process of remembering the past, of sharing their nostalgia and fond memories. Some were delighted to see images of their youth, while others were disappointed at not being able to find theirs. I remember Kuni 21 standing and talking with her friends in front of a picture of a young girl in kimono. Do you remember that pretty girl? I wonder where she is now. By now she is the mother of a couple of children and living comfortably somewhere in Canada. I wouldn't recognize her if I met her on the street now... Indeed it has been a long time.  Many Issei were gathering in front of the pictures and sharing their memories with their friends. It was a reunion. It seems that they accepted their hardships and struggles in Canada as a part of their lives, and they acknowledged this philosophically. I listened to their conversations as one listens to background music, feeling happy that we had created an official and legitimate opportunity for them to talk, share, and feel pride in their past. However, this feeling did not last long. One of the Nisei expressed concern that the exhibition did not adequately portray what it Another reason for holding this celebration early was to attract Japanese media while they were in Vancouver for Habitat'76. In the year of the Japanese Canadian centennial (1977), the English version of the exhibition travelled across Canada while the Japanese version travelled across Japan. 2 0  2 1  narratives.  Mrs. Matsumoto is one of the Issei women who shared with me her life histories and  18 meant to be Japanese Canadian. "See, you people did not put any of our famous Nisei in the exhibition. This is not Japanese Canadian history!" Comments from the Sansei and Shin-Issei also reflected their dissatisfaction with the exhibition. According to them we had not made any statement concerning the wrong-doing of the Canadian government during the Second World War: "Why did you people not spell out the injustice of the Canadian government? You people are too soft!"  Diversities Within We need to understand the complex nature of identity construction among Japanese Canadian- people who are often assumed, not only by outsiders but also by Japanese Canadians themselves, to constitute a homogeneous group. The event at the Planetarium offers a good example of the complex nature of identity construction among Japanese Canadians in 1970s Vancouver. To understand the situation we need to exercise a reflexive historical awareness. For the most part, the Issei accepted the past; they were grateful that they had the opportunity to be a part of this celebration. Some of the Nisei had wanted to forget the past and had not shared their experiences with their children, the Sansei. In their turn, some of the Sansei had only very recently accepted that they were Japanese Canadians, and they had not known of their parents' and grandparents' past. Some of the new immigrants were outsiders and bystanders at this event; they saw Japanese Canadian history according to their own direct or indirect experiences of the Second World War.22 As J. P. Hill (1992: 812) points out, "different peoples give form and meaning to events,  There is still unfinished business associated with memories of the Second World War. Many countries (e. g., Japan, Germany, and now Switzerland and France) and individuals are still searching for new national identities. Generational factors also affect this process. See Erlanger 1997. 2 2  19 socializing the past into narratives and other embodiments of historical consciousness that have significance in contemporary circumstances." In remembering opening night I am also reminded of the time that JCCP members argued for many hours about "the history of Japanese Canadians" and about how to assemble that history so as to best reflect "our past."  For some of us it was the first time we had talked about and  discovered our parents' and grandparents' past, the first time we had worked with other Japanese Canadians. For some, it involved recalling bitter memories; for others (myself included), who are newcomers to Canada, it involved creating a new history.  Learning to See Shin-Issei involvement in the Nikkei community is not well documented. This is largely due to their ambivalence towards their own identity. The majority of Shin-Issei identify themselves neither as Japanese nor as Japanese Canadians. However, this has been gradually changing. During the late 1960s and early 1970s many Shin-Issei were facing various challenges: some had difficulty looking for work or were struggling with their new jobs; some were young parents who were barely managing to survive with their young families; and some were feeling alienated from their children, who were quickly learning Canadian ways and the language and culture of the outside world, all of which were still foreign to them. Over a few decades the Shin-Issei, along with other Japanese Canadians, were gradually acquiring a set of new cultural values and patterns in order to cope with life in Canada. This aspect of the Japanese Canadian community has never been fully explored. The more I investigated, the more I felt a need to speak out on behalf of this postwar immigrant group. 23 I began to see the community and the history of Japanese Canadians Following Klein's suggestion that we cannot speak for others but can speak outfox them, Reinharz (1992: 16) explored feminism and methodology in her seminal work, Feminist Method in Social Research. 2 3  20 from the perspective of a Shin-Issei and to situate Shin-Issei within recent Nikkei history. As I listened to people and learned to understand the community, I ceased to be an observer who recorded and described historical events, an anthropologist and researcher who only provided information.  I became a woman who shares stories with other Japanese Canadian women.  "Feminist objectivity is about limited location and situated knowledge, not about transcendence and the splitting of subject and object. It allows us to become answerable for what we learn how to see" (Haraway 1988:583, emphasis mine). Thus Donna Haraway expresses my own discovery of the process of cultural sharing among Nikkei women - - a process that enabled me to become and to accept myself as a Nikkei woman. It was a process of enculturation, a process that involved internalizing the external world while objectifying the internal world.  It is similar to Liz Stanley's (1992, 1993) notion of relating to a  feminist epistemology and a feminist ontology through the notion of self.  In my case, the  relationship was between Japanese Canadian women's selves, and my own shifting self. This led to an exploration of my own life and to my using it as a way of presenting this thesis - - a thesis on life writing and auto/ethnography. My cultural sharing with Nikkei women created memories, my own as well as those of other Nikkei women. 24 My acquired theoretical knowledge, lived experiences, and narratives became one as I learned to adapt and to accommodate myself to my new environment.  I have learned how to see and how to become more aware of cultural  differences and similarities.25 24 Hortense Powdermaker does not use the term "cultural sharing." She does, however, note that "the very process of living and growing older is a source of learning and increasing selfawareness" (Powdermaker 1966:12). 25 Johannes Fabian writes how he transformed from anthropologist into an ethnographer when he realized that ethnography is based on communication and language. This gave "some reality" to his project as praxis (Fabian 2001:2-3). In my case I transformed from an anthropologist into a Shin-Issei woman with an ethnographer's eye.  21 Cultural Sharing Anthropological knowledge seeks to explain as well as to demonstrate contextual relativity (Scholte 1972:446).  As a Japanese, a Japanese Canadian, and a middle-aged female  anthropologist, one of my jobs is to provide explanations for Nikkei culture by relating to my own experiences.26 Thus I explored Japanese Canadians, specifically Nikkei women's life narratives, from the perspective of a Shin-Issei who participated in the formation of the postwar Vancouver Japanese Canadian community from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s.  Barbara Myerhoff  (1979:18, emphasis mine) has suggested that Working with one's own society, and more specifically, those of one's own ethnic and familial heritage, is perilous, and much more difficult. Yet it has a certain validity and value not available in other circumstances. Identifying with the "Other" - - Indians, Chicanos, if one is Anglo, blacks if one is white, males if one is female - - is an act of imagination, a means for discovering what one is not and will not be. Identifying with what one is now and will be someday is quite a different process.  Indeed, my research involved a different process. I had never felt the "collapse of professional identity" that led Dorinne Kondo (1986:79) to "a sense of vertigo, and to a fear of the Otherness - - the Japanese elements - - in the self . . . to the point of identification led also to a disturbing disorientation, an uncertainty as to which role I was to play." What began as research to shorten the social distance between a young female anthropologist and her subjects in the mid 1970s has ended two decades later with the former identifying as a postwar Nikkei woman. I moved from being a visiting graduate student and Japanese citizen adapting to Canadian culture to being a postwar immigrant woman. ? 2  I am writing an ethnography of a particular group of Japanese  I have shared my experiences as a Shin-Issei woman at the Nikkei Heritage in Transition Symposium in Montreal, October 1994 (see Shibata 1994). 2 6  Even though I have lived outside of Japan for more than half of my life, I still maintain my Japanese citizenship. Legally, I am a Japanese subject living in Canada with a permanent resident visa. The relationships between ethnic identity and citizenship is another interesting area to 2 7  22 Canadians. I am writing for culture (Brumann 1999), and I am writing about socially shared knowledge - - knowledge with which different generations of Japanese Canadian women think, feel, and interact. This knowledge allows them to be aware of living in a common world which encourages sameness and fosters an image of shared social experience (Wikan 1992). It allows them to share languages, traditions, symbols, and memories and so to create a shared history. This is what I refer to as "cultural sharing." I define cultural sharing as a continuous process of interaction between an individual and those with whom she comes in contact. It is not limited to overt cultural elements (Linton 1936; Swartz 1982) but, rather, includes covert factors and emotive phenomena. It is through the process of becoming a Japanese Canadian, through dealing with problems of cross-cultural and intra-cultural conflicts, that a Nikkei woman interprets, reacts, adapts, and then shares her experiences. As discussed earlier, A Dream of Riches, assembled by the JCCP, offers a good example of cultural sharing. Our diversity became our strength, and this connected the individual and the collective, the specific and the universal, the Japanese Canadian and other ethnic groups (including mainstream Canadian society). It also involved links with the Japanese in Japan as, in 1977, the year of the Japanese Canadian centennial celebration, the Japanese version of the exhibition travelled to various cities in Japan while the English version travelled in Canada.  28  Cultural  sharing is also a process of cultural transmission. Each individual creates inter-, intra-, and crosscultural space within which she shares and creates intersubjective space with another. People are thus connected by both personal and collective histories. In this process the individual is the centre of action. A . Irving Hallowell (1967:313, emphasis mine) points out the essential role of the  be explored - - one that is close to our hearts as well as to the hearts of our parents. 2 8  In this sense, I am talking about transnational cultural sharing.  23 individual in cultural contact. In a lineal sense cultures never have met nor will ever meet. What is meant is that peoples meet and that, as a result of the processes of social interaction, acculturation— modifications in the mode of life of one or both peoples - - may take place. Individuals are the dynamic centers of this process of interaction. If perceptible differences in the mode of life of either people result it means that new ways of acting, thinking, and feeling have been learned by individuals.  Individuals are free to develop many alternative styles of living within broad cultural boundaries, as long as they have competence within the culture within which they are operating.29 Language and cultural competence, as well as socio-economic situation, strongly influence each Nikkei woman's cultural identity. Despite all these constraints, each woman identifies with a lifestyle that corresponds to her worldview, which, in turn, is based on her relationship to the outside world throughout her life course (Schutz 1967; Watson and Watson-Franke 1985; Plath 1980). Women often remain with the family, specializing in domestic roles, and people see them as having a lesser role in contributing to the public spheres than that played by men. However, their roles are crucial with regard to the enculturation and socialization of future generations. Women are major transmitters of culture (Mercer et al. 1989; Karmiloff and Karmiloff-Smith 2001). I take the interactionist point of view, which holds that we are always open to change. Individuals can continue to grow, but only to the extent that others allow or confirm that growth. My earlier research on the acculturation process among Issei and Shin-Issei shows their resilience and their ability to reconstitute meaningful, enduring cultural identities and values. This contradicts previous studies, which describe Issei women as the least acculturated group among Japanese  2 9 Gordon Mathews (2000), however, discusses cultural identities within the "massmediated" and "cultural supermarket" world - - a world in which those of us who live in affluent societies can purchase our cultural identities from the global cultural supermarket.  24 Americans (Conner 1972; Kikumura 1979). To outsiders their lives seemed isolated, yet upon closer examination I found a complex social and cultural structure - - one that they carefully crafted, choosing it over various alternatives (Shibata 1979).  Japanese Canadian women's life  narratives indicate how their roles, status, and values have changed over the course of their lives. Directly and indirectly each woman's life course intersects across generations as she learns and adapts to her cultural identity as Nikkei woman. In The Chrysanthemum and the Sword?® Ruth Benedict (1946) concluded that challenges awaited those Japanese who were anticipating the effects of a newly introduced "de-mok-ra-sie" (democracy), the postwar Constitution. She surmised that the postwar Japanese were facing a difficult challenge, and she suggested that they follow the example of the American Nisei: The Nisei in the United States have already lost the knowledge and the practice of the Japanese code, and nothing in their ancestry holds them rigidly to the conventions of the country from which their parents came. So too the Japanese in Japan can, in a new era, set up a way of life which does not demand the old requirements of individual restraint. (295)  In a sense, my research begins where Ruth Benedict's ends. Did the Nisei, Sansei, Shin-Issei, and Shin-Nisei in Canada really lose "the knowledge and the practice of the Japanese code" of individual preferred in the prewar Japan? Were they free from "individual restraint," living within a culture where individuals chose their cultural identities and excercised their own personal demands on the collective "expectation" (p. 293)? Did they demand self-discipline as did the Issei? How much had altered over the generations and in what form did the Japanese code remain among Japanese Canadians in their personal, individual, and collective cultural identity? How did Nikkei women narrate their strategies and responses in order to overcome conflicts and constraints? What were the emotions that accompanied the shift in their consciousness?  30 A well known and well disputed book on Japan. For detail, see Kawashima (1950); Bennet and Nagai (1953); and Sofue (1960).  25  Collecting Life Narratives and Histories Life narratives are the basic medium in which we speak, think, and understand others. It is the most appropriate language, therefore, to comprehend Nikkei women's lives in the cultural context. The sharing of life narratives bring people into human contact with one another. The act of sharing such narratives ties the process of understanding oneself to creating an identity and to making sense of past experiences - all from the perspective of the present. Our very identities, our very selves, are tied to narratives (Freeman 1997:174). Following Julie Cruikshank, I use a model of life history collection which: . . . begins by taking seriously what people say about their lives rather than treating their words simply as an illustration of some other process. By looking at the traditional dimension of culture as a resource to talk about the past, we may be able to see life history as contributing to explanations of cultural process rather than as simply illustrating or supplementing ethnographic description. (Cruikshank 1990:1-2) She discusses the importance of oral history as a way of documenting cultural change and continuity. However, I shall go one step further as the oral history collection method does not limit us to document cultural change and continuity only. The combinations of differing narratives and multiple life histories allow us not only to add voices not heard in conventional history and to bring out unknown and hidden histories of people - - women, indigenous people and immigrants, e.g. First Nations people (Radin 1920,1926; Kelly 1978; Cruikshank 1990; Ridington 1988, 1990), of refugees and undocumented immigrants ( Freeman 1989; Chaves 1991; Whittaker 1995), of urban dwellers (Myerhoff 1978; Mathews 1996; Finnegan 1998), but also to comprehend the present world where we have to coexist with our diversities. They offer us a better understanding of our world so that we may create communites that can sustain our diversities.  Among the  works on Nikkei women there are several works (Kikumura 1979; Makabe 1983; Kudo 1983; Amano 1987; Glenn 1986; Nakano 1990; Ayukawa 1990; Kiyooka 1997) that dwell, with the  26 exception of Glenn's work, on prewar women and their descendants.  Postwar Japanese  immigrants' experiences are still to be discovered in order to fully comprehend Nikkei histories. In a sense I aim to describe Nikkei cultures, written from the perspective of a Shin-Issei, that is "thickly described" (Geertz 1973:14) to make sense for Nikkei people and to those who are familiar with them. The life history/narrative/story method I have chosen provides an ideal tool to offer us multivocal narratives and commentaries on Japan and Canada to enrich the historical diversity which has been lacking in the past. Thus the method allows me to capture several perspectives: 1) how Nikkei cultures, communities, and histories are created and revealed; 2) how each Nikkei woman's life course and its processes are directly and indirectly affected by these external factors; and 3) how each individual acts as an active agent using her institutional knowledge, cultural values and advice from significant others to author her subjective/life career while creating multiple and shifting identities. Narrated life histories not only provide a rich ethnographic portrait of Japanese Canadian women, but also enhance our understanding of Japanese Canadian history. My research investigates how, throughout their lives, different generations of Nikkei women describe experiences, construct narratives, and share knowledge. Life narrative collection allows me to explore how Nikkei women organize a diversity of experiences to create a common thread of Japanese Canadian cultural identity. My knowledge of the Japanese language and of both Japanese and North American culture, as well as my own achieved status as a Shin-Issei and as a participant in the recent history of Japanese Canadians, facilitates my documenting cultural understandings of emotions and personhood as they influence the social life of Nikkei.  I  acknowledge, however, that there is no such thing as the perfect researcher (Riessman 1987). Personal narratives are particularly rich sources because, attentively interpreted, they illuminate both the logic of individual courses of action and the effect of system-level constraints within which those courses evolve. Moreover, each life provides evidence of  27 historical activity - - the working out within a specific life situation of deliberate courses of action that in turn have the potential to undermine or perpetuate the conditions and relationships in which the life evolved. (The Personal Narratives Group eds. 1989:6)  Listening to and sharing the life narratives of Japanese Canadian women allows me to explore how they select and interpret their past in relation to the present and future, and it enables me to delve into the processes of cultural sharing. Catherine Riessman (1993:3) refers to personal narrative as talk organized around consequential events. A teller in a conversation takes a listener into a past time or "world" and recapitulates what happened then to make a point, often a moral one . . . Respondents narrativize particular experiences in their lives, often where there has been a breach between ideal and real, self and society.  By examining basic and perennial anthropological issues pertaining to discussions on questions of cross-cultural translation, ethnographic interpretation and ethnographic explanation by various anthropologists (Abu-Lughod 1991; Appadurai 1991; Jackson 1989), Andrew Strathern (1995) delineates either the universals or the particulars, either the global or the local, either the outsider or the insider aspects of anthropological practice. He then cautions us as follows: "Difference is always only contextual. At the widest level all anthropologists must operate with a concept of common humanity in their studies of others, but what it means to them has varied greatly" (p. 180). According to Strathern, what confronts us is an "endlessly varying hybrid form" of culture, and he challenges us to produce a hybrid theory to comprehend this ever-expanding "sphere of variation." I attempt to explore Strathern's notion of "sphere of variation" - - a sphere that is created according to "internal and external ethnic boundaries" (Barth 1969). I do this by analyzing the life narratives of five subgroups of Nikkei women in order to understand their commonalities and differences.  Following Mary Pratt's (1992) "contact zones," wherein one encounters the  dynamics of continuous negotiation of power, I shall refer to spheres of variation as "comfort  28 zones" - - the places where Japanese Canadian women's cultural sharing processes occur and intersect. Unlike contact zones, however, comfort zones are so familiar that those within them are unaware of the dynamism of culture change. Can these comfort zones be referred to as "home"? As places where one can obtain a sense of belonging? The cultural sharing processes of Nikkei women encompass the particulars and universals of each group and each generation, connecting both individual and collective and creating Nikkei spheres of variation in Canada. Nikkei women are constantly engaged in the process of cultural transmission: enculturation, acculturation, and adult socialization. I have written an ethnography of the particular - - an ethnography concerned with socially shared knowledge, which enables different generations of Japanese Canadian women to think, feel and interact so as to gain a better understanding of their own emerging culture.  Searching for Connections: What is a Japanese Canadian? Given the diverse and complex nature of Japanese Canadians, we have to delve not only into the lives of different generations but also into the lives of individuals in order to understand present Nikkei communities and how their members relate to each another.  What determines a  "Japanese," "Canadian," or "Japanese Canadian" behavioral pattern? Is it thought processes? Are these unique to Japanese or to Japanese Canadians? Is it the "replication of uniformity" (Wallace 1970:22) among the Japanese Canadians? Something attributable to their common roots? Or is it the "organization of diversity"? (p. 23) To what extent does a diversity of habits, of motives, of customs coexist within the boundaries of the Nikkei community? Clark et al.'s (1976) research on three generations of Japanese-Americans and Mexican-Americans shows that no one "particular" identity pattern belongs to one ethnic group.  When looked at separately, various  "Japanese," "Mexican," and "North American" traits were not uniquely "Japanese," "Mexican," or "North American." Hamaguchi's (1996) research findings on the profiles of "mutual-reliance"  29 and "self-reliance" among Japanese, North Americans, British, French, and other groups echo and reflect Clark et al.'s findings. He found no one particular profile belonged to any one nationality. These findings may indicate that the research method failed to penetrate the complex level of shared ideas and personal experiences, and that it failed to capture how collective life and cultural identity are constituted. The features distinguishing Nikkei culture from other cultures emerge from "a unique combination of factors which are not unique in themselves" (Vansina 1970:177). These features occur during the course of any given life as an individual selects or rejects options, learns (or not) from experience and through education, and makes decisions and modifies them. What is the nature of the integrative force that attracts each Japanese Canadian woman? How does each woman's isolated cultural knowledge come to be a part of Nikkei culture, showing culture traits specific to her group, to her generation, and to her subculture in relation to her understanding of Canada? I soon began to notice how several themes were continuing to surface, to echo and reecho throughout Nikkei women's life narratives. Gender, for example, mattered greatly as did notions of exclusion, generational issues, and what it meant to be Japanese Canadian. It is fascinating to see how Nikkei women's narratives reflect their active resistance within a gendered and racialized world, how they emphasize the importance of their autonomy and, at the same time, how they experience connectedness through mutually supportive cross-generational relationships. Their life narratives reflect how each woman works to expand her social networks, to create a place she can call "home." Economically, socially, and culturally, these women incorporated their lives into local as well as mainstream Canadian society. The narratives illustrate how they had adjusted conflicting values while searching for a stable community. Through this process, Nikkei culture has become distinctively different from Japanese culture while retaining selected elements of the latter, such as language, art, and chosen customs.  30  Portraits of Five Groups of Japanese Canadian Women I present my findings by paying attention to life writing (Little 1980; Rose 1993), feminist autobiography (Stanley 1992 &1993), auto/ethnography (Ellis and Bochner eds.1996, Ellis and Bochner 2002; Reed-Danahay 1997), and women's lifecycles (Ryff 1985; Neugarten 1968, 1985; Hareven 1977; Hareven and Adams 1982; Stewart 1977).  This work is based both on my  research and on my own life experiences as a Shin-Issei, as someone who participated in the formation of the postwar Vancouver Nikkei community from the mid-1970s to the beginning of 2000, as someone who has moved from early to middle adulthood, from being a single woman to a married woman, from being a wife to being a mother. According to Reed-Danahay (1997:2): Autoethnography stands at the intersection of three genres of writing which are becoming increasingly visible: (1) "native anthropology," in which people who were formerly the subjects of ethnography become the authors of studies of their own group; (2) "ethnic autobiography," personal narratives written by members of ethnic minority groups; and (3) "autobiographical ethnography," in which anthropologists interject personal experience into ethnographic writing. I am writing about a "sphere of variation" within five different generations of Nikkei women. In portraying five subgroups of Nikkei women, I focus on how they described and rewrote themselves and on how their notion of selfhood shifted over time. I explored their shared ideas and assumptions about their personal experiences as women, as immigrants and descendants of immigrants, and as Japanese Canadians. These portraits offer us not only a lost community, a vibrant Nikkei community that existed in the prewar years, but also an instance of how the active restructuring of experience connects past and present. In the following chapters, by focusing upon language, culture, and emotion, I explore how Japanese Canadian women shared their lives with other groups of Japanese Canadians. Through these sketches, I hope to find connections among Nikkei women and to understand their personal experiences and choices, their presentations of self - - as women, immigrants, and members of  31 generations as well as individual Nikkei women. narratives.  Several themes surface throughout the  Some are specific to one group, some are not. I chose to focus on four specific  themes: (1) gender, (2) exclusion, (3) generational issues, and (4) being Japanese Canadian. The first and third themes resonate not only among the Nikkei but also among women in general as certain experiences seem to transcend race and culture.31 The fourth theme is specific to Japanese Canadians, belonging to them due to their visibility, their blood heritage, and their shared language. Chapter 2 presents the background to the dissertation, a brief history of Japanese Canadians, and my two stages of research on the Japanese Canadian women over several decades. I also discuss how I transcribe, translate, and present life narratives. Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 present ethnographic sketches of Issei, Nisei, Sansei, Shin-Issei, and Shin-Nisei women. In dealing with these five subgroups of Nikkei women, I show how each group deals with issues related to gender, exclusion, generation, and being Japanese Canadian. Chapter 5 continues to explore these four themes by incorporating my own experiences and summarizing the ethnographic sketches and pointing out similarities and differences between each subgroup. I also explore how prewar regional cultures gradually transformed into present-day Nikkei culture.  31 Klukhohn, Murray, and Schneider (1953:53) echo a well-known dictum: " Every man [sic] is in certain respects a) like all other men, b) like some other men, c) like no other man."  32  CHAPTER T W O  Background for the Study A: A Brief History of Japanese Canadians Overseas migration from Japan began in 1868, the year of the Meiji Restoration, when Japan came out of its seclusion. At first, Japanese migration was heaviest to Hawaii and then to the United States, but once the introduction of restrictions barred them from setting foot on the Pacific Coast via Hawaii, they began going to Canada and to South American countries such as Peru and Brazil (Cornell and Smith 1970). They were looking for economic betterment, and they intended to use the cash they earned to improve their social standing in Japan. These people were often referred to as watari dori M 9 ^ (birds of passage), and most of them were ambitious young men with a "dream of riches." The majority of them worked as seasonal labourers and hoped to return to Japan as soon as their dreams had been realized. They responded to Canada's demand for frontier labours in fishing, logging, mining and farming. Yet the realization of their dream of riches remained elusive. It is not known exactly when the first Japanese immigrant arrived in Canada. There are many records of shipwrecks and of Japanese survivors, dating back as early as 1834 (Adachi 1976; Nakayama 1921; Shimpo 1975). Although precise details are not available, it is generally believed that the first Japanese, a sailor by the name of Nagano Manzo, arrived in Canada in 1877. Prior to 1896 (when imperfect records began to appear), no record was kept on the number of Japanese who arrived in British Columbia (Canada 1902). The major flow of Japanese immigrants to Canada began in the late 1870s and increased rapidly in 1887 when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) started a direct steamship service to Japan from Vancouver. Since then, the Japanese  Canadian population has grown from a small number of immigrants (which, before the Second World War, were mainly concentrated in British Columbia) to more than 65,000 people (Census Canada 1996) living throughout the country.  See Tables 1 and 2 for pre- and postwar  immigrants. Table 1: Japanese Immigrants to Canada: 1907 -1934 YEAR  MEN  1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934  6945 312 104 170 322 252 354 191 148 301 459 584 280 145 140 141 184 182 114 475 (total) 478 168 188 70 32 52 44  WOMEN  CHILDREN (age of 0-15)  242 566 153 134 217 362 424 447 338 233 310 370 536 389 338 300 197 233 269 214  34 90 30 33 50 81 48 55 43 20 37 54 64 42 49 31 31 31 50 72  ?  ? ?  ?  65 48 40 25  ? ? ? ?  15 7 5  From Report on Oriental Activities op. cit., p.7 for years 1907-1926 and from Japanese Consulate for 1931-1934. [ Sumida, R. 1935:35-36, Japanese in British Columbia]  34 Table 2  Postwar Immigrants to Canada: 1946 -1996 YEAR  1946-55 1956-65 1966 1967 1968 ! 1969 ! 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1  IMMIGRANTS F R O M JAPAN 409 1,716 509 930 693 766 797 883 718 1,105 859 635 498 412 359 666 737 770 630 333 256 205 273 446 346 541 369 502 603 922 970 835 1,056  source: Citizenship and Immigration Statistics, Canada.  Total number of immigrants to Canada  146,000(1965) 194,000 209,000 183,000 164,000 147,000 121,000 122,000 184,000 218,000 187,000 149,000 114,000 84,000 112,096 143,117 128,618 121,147 89,157 88,239 84,302 99,219 152,001 161,500 191,497 216,398 232,751 252,842 255,819 223,875 212,504 225,773  35 Based on historical events and major policy changes that affected the flow of immigrants, the nature of immigrants, and their community, the history of the Japanese in British Columbia can be divided into seven stages. 1. 1877 - 1906: The Pioneer Years The beginning of Japanese immigration to Canada. Most were male immigrants who were seasonal wage earners with no intention of staying in Canada permanently. The majority of them were engaged in British Columbia's primary industries: fishing, forestry, mining, and farming.  2. 1907 - 1928: Life in White British Columbia The outbreak of the anti-Oriental movement culminated in the Vancouver Riot of 1907.  As a  result of this riot, the Dominion of Canada and the Japanese government established a "gentlemen's agreement" that restricted the flow of Japanese immigrants. Only 400 immigrants were allowed to enter Canada each year. The irony of this is that the government imposed a limitation on male immigrants but not on female immigrants.  Many women arrived as "picture brides," and their arrival altered the  structure of the Japanese community and transformed the transient mentality of the Japanese immigrants. Women stabilized men's lives, and the community grew.  After 1907, with the  immigration of women, the birth rate among Canadian-born Japanese began to increase rapidly. Then a new problem began: White agitation against Canadian-bom Japanese Nisei.  3. 1929 -35: Growth of Japanese Communities In 1931 the ratio of male and female Japanese immigrants was 10 :7, whereas the ratio of male to female Chinese immigrants was 10:1.  The more stable family life became, the more determined  the Japanese Canadians were to stay in Canada. The sojourner mentality transformed into a  36 permanent settler mentality. As the Japanese communities grew, so did problems relating to social identity, assimilation, and a viable future. The Nisei were Canadians by birth, but they were denied the rights of citizenship, just as their Issei parents had been. They did not have the right to vote and were barred from many professions.  White Canadians reacted to the growing number and  stability of Japanese Canadians, with the "Japanese problem" and "peaceful penetration" being much discussed topics. The British Columbia government went to great lengths to keep the Japanese, Chinese, and "Hindus" at the bottom of the social and economic ladder.  4. 1936 - 48: Exclusion and Destruction The outbreak of the Second World War was used to legitimatize the removal of Japanese Canadians from the west coast of British Columbia. Japanese Canadians comprised a small minority, making up less than 0.2 per cent of the total Canadian population and only 2.7 per cent of the population of the province of British Columbia, which is where they were concentrated. Over 22,000 Japanese Canadians lived in British Columbia in 1942: 13,000 were Canadian citizens by birth; around 3,000 were naturalized citizens; and around 5,500 were Japanese nationals who had resided in Canada for 25 to 40 years, the majority of whom were women. On 24 February 1942, eighty-one days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Canadian government ordered a mass evacuation of "enemy aliens." This evacuation was completed by the end of October 1942. The Nikkei community was destroyed, and individual families were broken up. A new, harsh life began in a variety of locales, the internment camps located in the interior of British Columbia: Tashme, Greenwood, Slocan City, Lemon Creek, Popoff, Bay Farm, Rosebery, New Denver, Sandon, and Kaslo; self-supporting projects: Lillooet, Bridge River, Minto City, McGillivray Falls, and Christina Lake; sugar beet farms in Alberta and Manitoba; and other cities in Canada. The conclusion of the war did not end problems for Japanese Canadians; rather, it marked the  37 beginning of another kind of struggle. Their loyalty was still questioned, and the government offered them two choices: (1) return "home" to Japan or (2) move east across the Rockies. British Columbia did not want its Japanese Canadians. See Map 1 and 2 . Map 1 : Japanese Canadians in Internment Camps in British Columbia  source: R. Miki and C. Kobayashi, Justice in Our Time: the Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement (National  Association of Japanese Canadians, 1991), p. 30.  38  Map 2: Distribution of Japanese Canadian Population After the Mass Evacuation from the 100-mile Coastal Zone (as of October 31,1942)  Road construction camps:  945'  Blue River • Yellowhead 258 Revelsloke - Sicamous  346  Hope - Princeton  296  Schreiber  32  Black Spur  13  Sugar beet farms:  \Yukon  Territory/  Alberta  2,588  Manitoba  1,053  Ontario (males only)  Northwest Territories  \  3,991  350 British C o l u m b i a  Camps in BC  •  Alberta  12,029  Greenwood  1,177  Slocan Valley  4,814  Sancton  933  Kaslo  964  Tashme  2,636  New Denver  1,505 I VANCOUVER  Self-supporting sites  ^  1,161  \  /  a  /  MANITOBA .  \  VAUXHAtl  42  Uprooted prior to March 1942  IRON « SPRINGS |PICTURE B U T T E * TABJJ.  579 k  Interned in prisoner of war  m M  "  n 0 C ,  .  WINNIPEG  SCHREIBER  V COAlOAU N  RAYMOND  camps in Ontario  699  In detention in Vancouver  111  TOTAL  REGINA REGINA  1,359  Repatriated to Japan  Hastings Park hospital  I  / Saskatchewan /  ( LETHBRIOGE •  Special permits to approved employment  _CAIGARY  •  105  500 I CANADA ~  miles  600 k m  "USA" *  21,460  •Between March and June 1942, a total of 2,161 Japanese Canadians were place in road construction camps. Many of them subsequently were allowed to join families in the interior detention camps by October 1942. During February to October 1942, more than 22,096 people were displaced: 60.2 % Canadian-born; 14.6% Naturalized Canadians; 25.2% Japanese nationals (Census of Canada 1941). Sources: Canada, BC Security Commission, Removal of Japanese from Protected Areas (October 31, 1942); Ken Adachi, the Enemy That Never Was (1976). Chart adapted from R. Miki and C. Kobayashi, Justice in Our Time: the Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement (National Association of Japanese Canadians 1991), p. 31.  39 5. 1949 - 65: Recovery and Resettlement In 1949 Japanese Canadians were granted the franchise. It was during this period that they were transformed from "enemy aliens" into a "model minority." The Japanese Canadian community grew in various parts of Canada. However, Japanese Canadians were now more dispersed and more assimilated than they had been during the prewar years and so were not as visible as they had once been. A majority of Japanese Canadians now tried to assimilate into mainstream Canadian culture, and the rate of intermarriage for younger Nisei and Sansei rose. During the late 1940s a large number of immigrants doubled the population of Canada. However, for Japanese immigrants the gate was still narrow. In 1952 the government altered the immigration law to allow the re-entry of the repatriated Japanese Canadians: Nisei and Kika-Nisei. For the first time during the postwar period, Japanese immigrant women began to arrive in Canada, many of them being the wives of repatriated Japanese Canadian men. 6. 1966 - 77: Expansion and Diversification In 1966 a new immigration law introduced a point system that allowed new types of Japanese immigrants, the so-called "technical immigrants" (gijutsu-imin). In the peak year of 1973, approximately 1,100 Japanese immigrants entered Canada. The post-war immigrants, "Shin-Issei," were quite different from the prewar immigrants. The majority of the Shin-Issei came as independent immigrants and, unlike prewar immigrants, did not have to rely on relatives or the Prefectural Association (Kenjin-kai). Unlike the Nisei and Sansei, who were influenced by the Issei's Meiji values, the Shin-Issei had been educated and socialized after the war. 1977 was the centennial year for Japanese Canadians. In Vancouver, this was the year that saw the beginning of the Powell Street Festival; and 1979 saw the formation of the Taiko group Katari  40 Taiko (drumming group). Some Sansei began to discover their parents' and grandparents' past and to regain their roots and identity.  7. 1978 - 2002: Redress Movement and Looking Back With the centennial year behind them, many Nikkei began to accept their ethnic history and to see it in a positive light. Consciousness raising was well under way, and the campaign for redress began to emerge.  Major actors for the redress movement included former members of the  Japanese Canadian Centennial Project. On 22 September 1988 the government of Canada and the National Association of Japanese Canadians signed the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement. In October, 1992, HomeComing'92: Kikyo, a conference for Japanese Canadians, was held in Vancouver. Of 800 participants, about 600 hundred were from outside of British Columbia. In Vancouver the National Nikkei Heritage Centre was completed and, on 22 September 2000, the Japanese Canadian National Museum held its inaugual exhibition: Re-shaping Memory, Owning History: Through the Lens of Japanese Canadian Redress.  B: Field work Research, 1975 - 76 My first research on the acculturation process of Japanese-born women residing in Vancouver (who were either naturalized Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or holders of long-term visitor's visas) was conducted between September 1975 and August 1976.  Selecting those  Nikkei women was problematic since the 1971 Census did not include a breakdown of Japanese group membership, which, for census purposes, was determined partrilineally. Thus Japanese women who married non-Japanese men were not included in the figures.  41 For three months I worked on building up a rapport with Vancouver's Japanese community, participating in various community organizations and activities. I was a participant observer at social events sponsored by the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association (JCCA);i I attended religious services at ethnic churches (United Church and Buddhist Church); and I turned up at bazaars held by various community social organizations. I also worked as a volunteer at Language Aid  2  (where I helped prewar and postwar immigrants), was involved in Tonari Gumi (TG),  Japanese Volunteers' Association, conducted a Japanese women's orientation group, 3  4  and  worked with the Japanese Canadian Centennial Project (JCCP) to mount a photographic exhibition of Japanese Canadian history. Together with the information I gathered from secondary sources prior to conducting my fieldwork,5 I located sixty Japanese women (fifteen Issei and forty-five Shin-Issei) and distributed T h e Japanese Canadian Citizens Association is the oldest existing Japanese ethnic organization. It was established in 1932 and focused on enabling Nikkei to gain the franchise. 1  2 Language Aid (established in 1972) was developed by a group of concerned individuals (who were themselves new immigrants) to respond to the growing awareness of the daily problems of non-English-speaking residents in the Greater Vancouver area. It offered information referral, counselling, interpretation, translation, and home visiting services in five different languages. In 1976 it was amalgamated with Multilingual Social Service and became the Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC). 3 This association was founded in 1973 to provide social, recreational and educational progams and services for the Japanese Canadian community. This group met in the spring of 1976 and was sponsored by the Women's Resources Centre and the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of British Columbia. Orientation classes provided information on shopping, the school system, the medical system, and social services. Topics were open to the needs of Japanese women. 4  5 This consisted of an annotative bibliography on Japanese Canadians (based on 1975 Japanese and English resources) that was published in 1977. During the process of gathering this information I became extremely angry about our faceless "history" and at British Columbia's racist treatment of Asian immigrants. I also reflected upon my mother's stories (which I had  42 a basic survey and questionnaire consisting of sixty-one questions (in closed-answer form) in order to gain information on their background (see Appendix B and C). I did not regard this population as a statistical "sample" of Nikkei women; rather, I attemped to study the widest variety of Nikkei women I could find in Vancouver. During the interview the women asked me many questions concerning my background; my impression of Canada, its people, and customs; the position of women vis-a-vis marriage and career; and my future plans. These interviews were not strictly structured and I did not use a tape recorder. Through my community activities I had had previous contact with many of the interviewees.  Later, in order to illustrate the complexity of  the lives of Japanese Canadian women, I collected life histories from four Issei women and four Shin-Issei women whose experiences differed yet complemented each other. They graciously accepted my request to share their life experiences with me. It was at this point that I began to use a tape recorder. The majority of Issei women came to Canada in the 1920s and 1930s, while the majority of Shin-Issei women came between the 1950s and the 1970s.  Issei women belonged to my  grandmother's generation and were in their late seventies and early eighties. Many of them were widows and were living alone in and around the 300 block of Powell Street (adjacent to Chinatown). This is one of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods and is known as Nihonjin Machi (Japantown).  It is reminiscent of the once flourishing prewar "Little Tokyo."6 Shin-Issei  women lived in various areas in Vancouver and ranged in age from their late twenties to their midheard as a child) and upon Japan's conduct before and during the war in many Asian countries. I did not know where to direct my anger, sadness, and frustration. I told my former adviser the late Dr. Michael Egan that I was too angry to be objective and was not suited to conduct research. He told me that so long as I knew where I stood I was qualified to continue with my work. 6 This was the symbol for all Japanese Canadian communities in the province. See Nakayama (1921 ); Ito (1969 : 700); and Shimpo (1975).  43 forties. The older Shin-Issei came to Canada as wives of repatriated Nisei or Kika-Nisei in the 1950s,7 while younger women came as independent "technical immigrants" (gijutsu imin) or as wives of technical immigrants.^ Despite the differences in age, background, personality, and length of stay in Canada, there were many similarities among these two groups of women: motivation for leaving Japan, discrepancies between "dream" and "reality," problems pertaining to language and child-rearing, and the strength and flexibility implicit within their life histories. Issei women's life histories illustrated resiliency and a capacity to reconstitute meaningful, enduring cultural identities and values. Shin-Issei women's life histories reflected their concerns about their children as they explored and adapted to their new cultural environment in the mid-1970s.  Research, 1996 - 1997 Twenty years later, with my gained identity and life experiences as a Shin-Issei as well as updated anthropological knowledge, I collected life narratives from four groups of Nikkei women in order to explore how Nikkei culture has been transmitted, interpreted, and constructed. I investigated how Nikkei women described their conflicts with, and accommodation to, Japanese and Canadian/North American values. I did this by examining how they selected and interpreted past experiences in relation to major events in the history of Japanese Canadians and by investigating their shared cultural knowledge (e.g., language, traditions, customs, values, and patterns of  As for kika-Nisei men who returned to Vacouver right after the government determined they could do so, many spent several years establishing themselves in Vancouver and then went back to Japan to find a wife. This pattern was similar to that followed by prewar Issei men. 7  Ujimoto (1973:43) indicates that among his sample of 100 technical immigrants there were 78 men and 22 women. More than half of his male subjects were married (41) but only one woman out of 22 was married at the time of emigration. 8  44 behaviour). Based on my earlier research and my association within the community, and with the help of a social worker who had been working with the community since the early 1970s, I put together a list of prospective interviewees. My goal was to interview a cross-section of Japanese Canadian women from different generations. I sent out introductory letters and, one and one-half weeks later, followed them up with telephone calls. From summer 1996 to spring 1997 I conducted my research among twenty-one Nikkei women in Greater Vancouver and Victoria. I categorized these groups according to the mother's generation because maternal influence is dominant in children's enculturation and socialization processes. I interviewed seven Nisei women (daughters of Issei). Initially, I was only looking for four Nisei women. I compiled a list of prospective candidates from various Japanese Canadian community organizations (e.g., the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, Tonari Gumi: Japanese Community Volunteers' Association, and religious organizations) and then selected sixteen prospective Nisei women. Following the procedure set out by the University of British Columbia Ethical Committee, I sent introductory letters to these sixteen women before contacting them by phone. Upon receiving my letter, one woman phoned me to ask why she was chosen as she was clearly "too ordinary." After I replied that her name has been mentioned by several people in the community, I sensed a mix of surprise and delight in her voice: "Oh, is that so?" I answered her questions about my research and she responded that she would be happy to participate in my project.  Yet she continued to insist: "But you know, I am too ordinary" (a  comment often heard from Issei women).  She was the second Nisei woman who agreed to  participate in my research; however, I was not so lucky with other Nisei women. One woman flatly said "No !" when I phoned and identified myself, while others were simply unreachable. One woman was eager to help but could not be interviewed as she was recovering from an illness.  45  As the number of Nisei women on the list of sixteen dwindled, I went back to the larger list and sent out yet more introductory letters.9 I am not the only one who has had a problem getting Nisei to participate in projects. One of my colleagues, who had also been conducting her research in the Nikkei community, mentioned that she also had a difficult time getting interviews with Nisei. Herself a Sansei, she indicated that the Nisei had been interviewed too often since the Redress Movement.  10  They often felt exploited  and were unhappy that few results emerged from the research in which they had participated. Some indicated their negative feeling towards the Japanese media, which had very little knowledge of Japanese Canadian history and which described Japanese Canadians as "exotic" and "oldfashioned Japanese."  11  "How about [if I interview] your mother?" I asked one of my Sansei  friends since her mother's name was mentioned by several people in the community. She replied, "No. She does not know how to articulate her ideas." I was astonished by this reply and told her that her mother does not have to "articulate" her ideas.  I simply wanted to listen to her  experiences, just as I had to those of the Issei women. When I asked other Sansei women about the possibility of interviewing their mothers, they often said that they would ask them.  Yet  whenever I inquired in more concrete terms, they would say such things as, "they are getting old"  This time I extended my research to Victoria. Eventually, seven Nisei women gave me the opportunity to interview them. I included all seven women rather than eliminating three of them (which would have resulted in a match with the number of interviewees from other generations) as this was the generation with which I had the least connection. 9  In the past couple of decades, many scholars as well as the Japanese and Canadian media have interviewed members of the Japanese Canadian community. Interest in Japanese Canadian studies, both in the social sciences and in literature, has increased tremendously since the 1988 Redress Agreement. 1 0  H M y colleague told me that she had to rebuild confidence by telling herself that Nisei were simply tired of having strangers ask so many questions ( "Who likes it, right Yuko?").  46 or "they are busy." I took these responses to be negative and did not pursue the matter further. Of the seven Nisei women, all but one had been born during the 1920s and had been socialized in southwestern British Columbia. They had been assimilated into Canadian culture through their secondary education and, until 1949, were without the franchise. Three of the six Sansei women (granddaughters of Issei) whom I interviewed were the daughters of the Nisei women interviewees.  12  They were born between the late 1930s and mid-  1960s. The oldest was born in Vancouver and the younger two, due to their families' relocation and resettlement during and after the Second World War, were born and raised outside of British Columbia. At the time of the interviews, they were in their early thirties to early sixties. Four of the Shin-Issei women included in this study had been interviewed for my research in the 1970s, and they had immigrated to Canada between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s. Two of them resided at the same location as they had when I first interviewed them in the 1970s. Three were wives of Kika-Nisei, and one was the wife of a "technical immigrant." They were in their early fifties to early sixties at the time of the interviews. Two of the four Shin-Nisei women were daughters of the Shin-Issei of the study born in the 1960s. The Shin-Nisei women were in their mid-thirties to early forties. I included a woman who was born in Japan and came to Canada with her parents when she was six years old. In total there are five mother-daughter pairs: three among the Nisei and Sansei, and two among the Shin-Issei and Shin-Nisei. I tape-recorded all interviews except for one (with a Shin-Issei woman who declined to be recorded). They lasted from one and one-half to several hours. I used a brief guideline (see Appendix D), although I was constantly modifying it in order to maximize I originally hoped to interview matching pairs of mothers and daughters, but I decided against it. Unlike Sansei women, Nisei interviewees were happy to introduce their daughters to me and they, in turn, graciously accepted my request for interviews. Shin-Nisei women were also eager to speak about their mothers and encouraged me to interview their mothers. 1 2  47 each woman's interests and concerns.  From the interviews I extracted a chronology of each  woman's life, noting her major life events in relation to her personal history, family history, and sociocultural history.  Nikkei Communities in the 1990s Compared to the cohesive and homogeneous prewar Japanese communities  13  that existed before  Japanese Canadians in British Columbia were dispersed in 1942, postwar Nikkei communities are heterogeneous.  The first generation of Japanese Canadians is composed of the Issei, who  immigrated to Canada between 1900 and 1920; the second generation is composed of the Nisei (who were born to the Issei between the 1910s and 1930s); and the third generation is composed of the Sansei (the older of whom were born to the Nisei in the mid-1930s, but the majority of whom were born in the 1940s to the 1960s). Today, Vancouver's Japanese Canadian community is the largest in Canada, consisting of a 14  small number of Issei, the rapidly aging Nisei, older Sansei (who went through the internment experiences), and younger Sansei (who are in their thirties to fifties). There are also the Yonsei,  Nunoda's (1991) Winnipeg Japanese community study indicates that, upon closer investigation, it was not as homogeneous and cohesive as it was when first presented to the outsider. The Vancouver community is no exception. 1 3  14 See Statistics Canada - Cat. no. 93-315, the Nation, page 70 and 89. Ethnic Origin of Japanese in Canada. Single response (identifying only one ethnic origin): 48,595; multiple response (identifying two or more ethnic origins): 17,085. In British Columbia, single response: 20,850; multiple response: 6,205.  48 the fourth generation descendants of Issei.  15  Also now a part of the Nikkei community are the  Shin-Issei, a majority of whom came during the early 1970s as technical immigrants, and the Shin-Nisei. There are also long-term visitor's visa (i.e., working-holiday visa) holders, 16 business and academic researchers and their dependents, 17 and tourist visa holders, all of whose numbers increased during the 1990s (see Table 3). Table S.-  Japanese Nationals in Canada (Japanese Passport Holders) total  long-term  permanent  Canada  25,493  9,777  15,716  British Columbia  12,548  4,535  8,013  Greater  11,108  3,744  7,364  Vancouver  source: Vancouver Japanese Consulate Report, July 1, 1996 * business visas: 1,836; researchers and students:2,291; government official: 37; other:371. Work-holiday visa holders: 3,500 are not included in the above figures. At present, the quota is 5,000.  A majority of the Yonsei (children of the Sansei) have multiple ethnicity. They are the children of intermarriage. According to a 1989 demographic study, in the under-thirty-seven age group, or the Sansei generation, about 90.2 per cent of women and 88.4 per cent of men married partners of another ethnic background (Kobayashi 1989:33). 1 5  The working-holiday visa was introduced in 1986 to promote Canadian and Japanese cultural exchange. In 1998 this quota was raised from 3,500 to 5,000 per year. 1 6  Due to Japan's economic recession in the 1990s, the number of this group is decreasing. Many Hoshugo gakko (Japanese supplementary schools) in North America have closed. 1 7  49 Compared to two decades ago when I did my initial research, the geographical clustering of the present-day Vancouver Nikkei community is not very prominent. 18 Over the past several years a few well known social organizations (such as the J C C A store) have moved away from Japantown.  19  and Fujiya, the largest Japanese grocery  Only two social institutions remain in the area: the  Vancouver Japanese Language School at 475 Alexander Street and the Vancouver Buddhist Church at 220 Jackson Avenue.  In the fall of 2000 Tonari Gumi (Japanese Community  Volunteers' Association) moved from 378 Powell Street to 511 East Broadway, and Sakuraso (housing for Japanese seniors ), which was located on the second floor of 378 Powell Street, has been sold. The Aki Restaurant, which had operated and trained many sushi chefs and, since the early postwar years, used to operate in the old Japantown area near Oppenheimer Park, has recently moved to downtown Vancouver. 20 During the prewar years many community activities  18 Since 1988, the Vancouver Japanese Canadian community has been trying to build a centre for all Japanese Canadians. The National Nikkei Heritage Centre Society, which was composed of several organizations in the community, finally completed the National Nikkei Heritage Centre (often called Nikkei Place), a multipurpose complex in Burnaby, British Columbia in the fall of 2000. Slowly it is gaining ground as a geographical centre for Japanese Canadians not only in British Columbia but also in Canada. It houses the Japanese Canadian National Museum.  19 The J C C A has represented the social, cultural, and political interests of Japanese Canadians in the Greater Vancouver area since the 1930s. It served as the major source of community information and support for those Japanese Canadians who returned to Vancouver after the wartime restrictions were lifted in 1949.  20 Vancouver's Chinese community, which has more than ten times the population of the Japanese Canadian community, is now facing a similar problem. It has been trying to revitalize Vancouver's Chinatown, which, for the past several years, has been facing competition from the newer suburban Chinatowns in Richmond, Coquitlam and Burnaby. See Howell 2002.  50 took place in Oppenheimer Park. 21  And the Powell Street Festival 22 has been held in the park  every summer since the Japanese Canadian centennial year ( 1977).23  C: From Aural Material to Written Text In my encounters with Issei and Shin-Issei women over the years, all spoke variations of Japanese. Knowing that I spoke Standard Japanese, no Issei women used their native regional dialect but, rather, conversed with me in contemporary Standard Japanese laced with Nikkei Japanese.24 When I came here, people thought I was too snobbish because I talked in polite Japanese. I had to learn a rough and crude imin go [immigrant language] but now I am so  21 This was where the prewar Japanese Canadians' proud baseball team, Asahi, played and attracted many spectators. See Pat Adachi's Asahi: A Legend in Baseball (1992). At present Jari Osborne, a Chinese Canadian film maker, is working on a National Film Board production devoted to the Asahi baseball team. 22 It is a celebration of Japanese Canadian art, history and culture, and it involves sharing Japanese food, creative arts, community displays, demonstrations, and performances. The Powell Street Festival Society claims that the festival, which began in the summer of 1977, is Vancouver's oldest community celebration. 23 Due to a lack of funds and volunteers, the 2000 Powell Street Festival was held indoors at the newly renovated Vancouver Japanese Language School. However, Japanese Canadian community members demanded an outdoor festival, and so it was returned to the park in 2001. 2 4 Standard Japanese was also mixed with such Japanized English words as booi (boy=son), gaaru (girl=daughter), booshin (boss), sukuuru-booi (schoolboy, a domestic worker), mauntii (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and so on. Similar languages were spoken when Wagatsuma interviewed Akemi Kikumura's mother, Chie, who spoke informal Japanese to her daughter Akemi and formal Japanese, with "difficult" words and vocabularies, to Wagatsuma, thus indicating her educational background (i.e., she was a jyogakko graduate, a Japanese native speaker). See Wagatsuma and Kikumura (1986: 4). See also Kiyooka (1997) regarding how he collected his mother's narratives in Tosa dialect and, with the help of a Japanese translator, translated them into English.  51 used to it I feel uncomfortable speaking in polite Japanese.25 (Kuni 1976) Some Issei women continued to speak Standard formal Japanese throughout my interviews, while others shifted from formal to informal Japanese once our association became more like one between grandmother and granddaughter, or between friends, than one between subject and researcher. Some encounters were formal, and I would take notes; others were informal, taking place over a cup of green tea with Japanese sweets or a cup of red tea served on English china with cookies (or even lunch or supper). When I began to collect the life histories of the four Issei women, I introduced a tape recorder.  26  Later, I transcribed these tapes and then translated them  into English. In relation to their work on Tlingit narratives, Nora M . Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer have discussed the difficulties involved in transcribing oral material and translating it into written material. What they say is also relevant to the problems I encountered in translating Issei women's voices and expressions into written form: [At] each stage of the recording of oral literature, something gets lost. . . when the story is written down, we lose everything about the voice . . . when the Tlingit text is translated into English, we lose the original language - - the way the storyteller put his or her words together to create a special and unique performance of an event that will never be repeated . . . When the story is read by a person outside the culture of the storyteller, the cultural context is lost. Information and assumptions shared by the composer and original audience may no longer be shared. This applies not only to persons totally outside the Tlingit culture, but to younger generations within Tlingit culture. (Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer 1993:  6-8)  25 Imingo is a Japanese Canadian version of Japanese combined with many regional dialects (e.g., Wakayama-ben, Hiroshima-ben, Kumamoto-ben, and Nagasaki-ben) and mixed with some English words. See Hikosaka 1994 and Kage 1977. The translator of Roy Kiyooka's (1997) Mothertalk spoke of the difficulties he encountered when trying to translate Mrs. Kiyooka's Tosa-ben (the Tosa dialect used in Shikoku) into English (Matsuki Masui, a translator, personal correspondence, May 1995). 26 Even though they agreed to be taped, at the beginning of our recording session the women seemed very self-conscious about the "machine" on the table. However, as soon as their memories became more vivid and the conversation began to flow, they forgot its existence. Later, I could sense that they were eager to be on tape.  52 In this dissertation I use Japanese words and sentences whenever I feel that they best evoke the Nikkei women I encountered: their voices, their words, and the ways they expressed themselves.  27  I believe that readers who are familiar with Japanese or with Japanese Canadian  culture can share some of my experiences with these Nikkei women. Furthermore, by seeing and reading these women's words in Japanese, the reader can experience the life narratives of Japanese Canadian women in their own terms. My encounters with Shin-Issei women were conducted in the same manner as were my encounters with Issei women. Verbatim narratives have been edited in order to better express the texture of the women's characteristic speech and thoughts, to better evoke their individual vocabularies and styles of interaction (Myerhoff 1978:30). Some narratives were given in both Japanese and English (e.g., the narratives of Shin-Issei women collected in 1996-97), and all differed according to the individual and the generation. I underlined any words that the women particularly emphasized. All tapes were transcribed and translated by me. All my interviews with the Nisei women were conducted in English. To varying degrees Nisei women often added Japanese words, mostly nouns and adjectives, to their statements.  28  Two  women frequently used the Japanese particle "ne" & at the end of sentences, just as Japanese women today use "yo" J: or ''nee" ;fax. as an interactional particle.  29  A l l my interviews with  Words given an English pronunciation are indicated in italics; words given a Japanese pronunciation are indicated in Japanese. 2 7  2 8  narratives.  A few women switched to Japanese when they recounted their parents' or uncles'  One was a repatriated Nisei and the other had a Kika-Nisei sister who joined her family in Canada after the war (she was eighteen and had been away for ten years). "Yo" or "nee" meaning "don't you think so," "don't you agree," or "right." See Maynard (1990:125) for a grammatical explanation. Unlike Hikosaka (1994), I found that none of the Nisei women I interviewed used "yuu-ra"(you) or "mii-ra" (us) ('ra'=tac/n, suffix for plural). 2 9  53  Sansei women were conducted in English and, as with the Nisei women, their use of Japanese words and sentences varied from individual to individual.  One Sansei woman who was  competent in both languages used onomatopeia to describe her experiences.  30  I also noticed that,  as the interview progressed, her use of Japanese increased. In the latter part of the interview, she was speaking in Japanese more often than English. 1 Many Sansei women inserted Japanese 3  words - - nouns, adjectives, set phrases - - into our English conversations. Whenever Japanese words were pronounced with Japanese rather than English accents, I inserted them in Japanese. For example, one of the Sansei woman gave me a family recipe: a quick miso soup for chilly winter mornings (it was the soup she used to have in the winter before going off to school): I would get a cup and omisoJ^^z [soy bean paste], about oosaji ippai no miso l^—pfO [a table spoon of miso], and katsuo irete z ^ o & A f t T [put bonito flakes], one bunch de oyu o irete T*33i§£r AtvT[and pour hot water over], soshite mazete sa U T j g i fT § [then stir it, and], misoshiru Tf-^z L £ [Voila! Here is miso soup].  My interviews with Shin-Issei women were conducted in formal standard Japanese, which, as the interviews progressed, often became more informal. These women did not use English words as often as did the Nisei and Sansei women.  32  My interviews with Shin-Nisei women were  conducted in English, and these women used fewer Japanese words and phrases in their narratives than did any of the other English-speaking Nikkei women. Unlike Sansei women, Shin-Nisei 30 This happened quite often when she was narrating about her grandparents, parents, relatives in Steveston and her experiences in Japan (e.g. sara sara £ £ [rustling sound], guzu guzu <rf<Tf [slowly]). 31 I wonder if this was a reflection not only of her competence in Japanese but also of that fact that she felt comfortable throughout the interview, during which I responded to her in Japanese fashion. 32 Because modern Japanese is full of Anglicized Japanese words (e.g., "apaato"[apartment], "depaato" [department store], "oo em" [Office Lady= Japanese for women office workers]), I differentiate "Japanese-English" words from "English-English" words.  54 women used few Japanese nouns and adjectives,  33  and Japanese sentences or set phrases. The  interviews were conducted so as to accommodate their work schedules. Sometimes they were conducted at their workplace during their lunch breaks, sometimes at their homes in the evening, and sometimes at my home or office. The length of the interview ranged from two and one-half hours to several hours over one or two sessions.  D: Writing Ethnographic Sketches of Nikkei women - Weaving Individual Narratives I have written an ethnography about different groups of Japanese Canadian women intending to explore what Strathern calls a "sphere of variation" with the aim of highlighting the possible parameters of socially shared knowledge in the Nikkei community. The concern has been to provide immediate access to the diversities and similarities in the lives of women who are held together by common threads of heritage, identity and experience.  While the documenting of  individual lives in lengthy narratives from each woman interviewed would have given one kind of depth to the notion of experience, I have chosen to attempt a weaving together of the narratives. The commitment of my work to the construction of knowledge in interaction, to cultural sharing and identity building as processes makes this a stronger choice. It is thus a record of lives not lived in isolation, but rather in generational groups in continual interaction to deal with the common problems of bringing together Japanese traditions and ideas about the good life while, at the same time confronting prejudice, a devastating war and the many difficulties of making a living. This permits me to not only focus on individual differences but also to make more visible shared knowledge as it is formed in the context of wider social and historical events. It also allows me to  33 Interestingly, the term Oshogatsu (New Year's celebration), which often appears in the interviews with Nisei and Sansei women, never appears in interviews with Shin-Nisei women nor in interviews with Issei and Shin-Issei women.  55 make clearer the contrasts and similarities in the different stages of the immigrant women's life cycles - reasons for coming to Canada, early days as an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants, the war and postwar years and, finally, life in the present. The integrated narratives illustrate the variations and similarities of experience in each group as well as the shifting interpretations given by each generation of women to gender, to race and a stigmatized identity and to the status of being immigrants. The following five ethnographic sketches are not in any way definitive or generalized representations of Japanese Canadian women. Such quantitatively oriented work is left to other researchers. The concentration is purposely on a small number to permit the depth that only this can give, as well as to the nature of interpretation and memory as influenced by the present in rewriting the past. Again the process of rethinking the self is the core of my presentation.  56 Table 4 : Five Groups of Nikkei Women 34  Entry to Canada  Interview (J=Japanese, E=English, M=Mix)  Generation  Name ( *=pseudonym)  Issei '—i£  Kuni Hanako Kinori Satsuko  b.1895 b.1901 b.1904 b.1906  Nisei ZHS  Lillian Ellen Fumiko Mary Midge Aya Eiko  b.1922 b.1922 b.1929 b.1930 b.1930 b.1930 b.1935  1996 (E) 1996 (E) 1996 (E) 1996 (E/M) 1996 (E/M) 1996 (E) 1996 (E/M)  Sansei H i £  Setsuko Naomi Mayumi Joan* Patti Carolyn  b.1936 b.1949 b.1952 b.1956 b.1965 b.1968  1996 (E) 1996 (E/M) 1996 (E and J) 1996/97 (E) 1996 (E) 1996 (E)  Shin-Issei *f—fft  Asako Hana* Taeko* Yoko*  b.1932 b.1933 b.1933 b.1949  1961 1959 1960 1975  1976 1976 1976 1976  Shin-Nisei ffnift  Martha* Catherine Nancy* Haruko*  b.1962 b.1963 b.1966 b.1966  1969  1996 (E) 1996 (E) 1996 (E) 1996 (E)  1920 1921 1927 1925  1975-1981 1975-1982 1975-1982 1975-1982  ; ; ; ;  (J) (J) (J) (J)  1996 1997 1996 1996  (J) (J) (J) (J)  34 I contacted the women of the study (except the Issei women who died in the 1980s and the 1990s) in the summer of 2002 to update their lives and discussed the use of pseudonyms in my writing. Several women chose to be known by their Japanese names. The majority of ShinIssei and Shin-Nisei women, however, chose pseudonyms.  57  CHAPTER T H R E E Ethnographic Sketches of Prewar Women and Their Descendants A: Issei Women Although coping with their old age, many Issei women were still active in the early 1980s. Since then their numbers, along with those of older Nisei women, have decreased. Yuko-san, I have nothing to tell you or to teach you. I am an old widow living alone. See, I am too ordinary for you. I don't think it is good to interview me for your study.  This was how an Issei woman responded to me when, in 1976,1 expressed my hope of collecting her life history. She was one of four Issei women (Kuni b. 1895; Hanako b. 1901; Kinori b. 1904; Satsuko b. 1906) who shared their stories with me during my initial research on Japanese Canadian women, and she was not alone in declaring herself to be "too ordinary" to have anything interesting to tell me. Among these four Issei women were two widows, one with children and the other without. Both of these women were typical of Japanese Canadian women of their time. Upon arriving in Canada as young wives in the 1920s, they began moving around to various remote areas of British Columbia, working as cooks in logging or fishing camps, while their husbands worked as booshin y$—i/l/ (foremen of Japanese work crews) until they could accumulate enough money to establish lives in Canada.  During the Second World War they lived in internment camps in the  interior of British Columbia, and after the war they returned to Vancouver with their husbands to begin rebuilding their lives. The other two Issei women were also married. One was the wife of the Vancouver Japanese Language School's principal and was herself a teacher. She had no children. The other woman had four children and was the wife of a photo studio owner. Before the Second World War she managed her own photo studio. These women did not spend the  58 prewar years moving around in British Columbia with their husbands, nor did they spend time in the camps established by the British Columbia Security Commission during the war years, as had so many other Japanese Canadians; rather, one had moved to a self-supporting camp and the 1  other had moved to Alberta. They were both financially independent and required no help from the government. All four Issei women returned to Vancouver in the early 1950s to rebuild their lives. At that time they were in their late forties and mid-fifties, and their husbands were in their sixties and seventies. These four women differ from one another with regard to their pre-Canadian backgrounds, their reasons for coming to Canada, and their lives in Canada. Yet their life experiences do show some similar patterns.  While these women were of my grandmother's generation, their  experiences resonated with those of my mother and, in some respects, with my own (even though I was bom and raised in the postwar "new" Japan). As a young child I heard about my mother's experiences during the prewar and war years, how she bore two daughters and eventually lost everything in what is now North Korea. At that time North Korea was a Japanese colony known as Shingishu ifrHjHi and it was there that, after graduating with a degree in foresty from the National University in Hokkaido in 1937, my father worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.  In many ways, the Issei women's life stories reflected my own experiences as a  Japanese woman who spent her early to middle adulthood in Canada. Their narratives reflected the sociocultural history of their times as well as the clash between the Japanese Canadian community and mainstream Canadian society. They spoke of how race, language, and culture affected their lives.  The so-called "self-support projects" (non-government operated) were located in Lilloet, Bridge River, Minto City, McGillivray Falls, and Christina Lake. 1  59  Encounter At the time of the interviews, the Issei women were in their seventies and eighties and lived in the vicinity of Japantown as well as various other parts of Vancouver. Due to "picture bride" marriages there was a great age difference between wives and husbands, a twelve- to fifteen-year gap not being uncommon. The. majority of Issei women were widows by the mid-1970s.  2  Although they had all lived in Canada for over half a century, the language and cultural knowledge with which they were most comfortable were Japanese.  Many indicated that the first time they  had real contact with Canadians and Canadian culture was when they left Vancouver at the time of forced exile.  Although many had tried to learn English and many had acquired Canadian  citizenship in the early 1950s, they identified more closely with Japan and Japanese culture. Yet many said that, whenever they visited Japan, they realized how different they were from those who lived there.  Reasons for Coming to Canada Y: 3 What made you come to Canada [dooshite kanada ni kitano]! R: honno nisan nen dake to omotte kitanoni konnani nagaku narutowa nee. fSA/CD &iX%±<DKZ.Jvftl£&< t£%> b\ite.7Lo [I thought I would stay here for just afew years. I never planned to stay this long, you know]. (Kuni)  Many Issei women had never intended to remain in Canada. Some thought a couple years of hard  My small sample from the original study indicated that, in the mid-1970s, 75 per cent of Issei women were widows. 2  3 Y=Yuko Shibata; R=respondent.  60 work was worth leaving home for, and they took their chances in the Amerika* that their future husbands promised them.  Others believed that joining their relatives or teaching Japanese  Canadian children in Canada for a couple of years was their fate. They all had dreams about and expectations of America. The oldest woman in the group had been born in 1895, and the youngest had been born in 1906.  Each woman freely chose to leave Japan. They left with the hope of  making a fortune and of realizing endless possibilities.  The words Amerika or gaikoku iS^g  (foreign country) ignited their imagination, for many of those who returned to Japan had talked about these places. Not surprisingly, their expectations were fostered by their own backgrounds and personal aspirations. Perhaps this was enhanced by the fact that many Issei women had attained the highest level of education then available to women. In Japan, prior to the Second World War, all children were required to attend six years of compulsory elementary schooling (Junjyo shogakko #r<l?/b#M£), beginning at the age of six. After graduating from elementary school, some could attend an upper-level school (koto shogakko m^f ) for two or more years, while others could enroll in a five-year program at a women's school (jogakko  ) or, if they were men, attend a middle school (chugakko <P^#e). Only  middle-class families could afford these longer courses of study, and, even in this class, it was uncommon for women to complete the women's high school course. Three of the Issei women who shared their experiences with me had attended jyogakko ^C^fe.  Receiving this higher  education not only delayed their marriage but also encouraged them to acquire independence. Thus Early Japanese immigrants often referred to Canada as "Amerika" ® 7 R f i J J P . These people simply had no idea how big North America was. For example, Mio village in Wakayama, the place of origin of a majority of prewar immigrants to Steveston, British Columbia, is called Amerika mura T ^ V %pb (American village). Before Expo'86, which put the city of Vancouver on the world stage, many of my Japanese friends thought I was living in the United States, not in Canada. They did not seem to be aware that Canada and the United States were two different countries. It is also interesting to note that my high school atlas, issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education in 1961, does not list Canada in its index. 4  61 these women married rather later than was common in Japan at that time.  4  Their experiences  reminded me of the stories I had heard about my maternal grandmother, who left home in search of a suitable job (e.g., teaching, a profession that was open to women). At that time it was not customary for women from a "proper" family to be in the workforce. However, after she had finished attending jyogakko in Yamagata Prefecture, her family could not arrange to find her a suitable husband. 5  She went to Hokkaido to visit her uncle and, eventually, became a school  teacher. Later she married my grandfather, a second son of a Hiroshima rice farmer who worked as an officer for one of Hokkaido's coal mine companies. Issei women often stressed that they had chosen to come to Canada against their parents' will rather than staying in Japan and marrying. Were their comments a reflection of a strong sense of independence?  Or did they see Japanese men in America as rich and as offering them better  prospects than men in Japan? Were they influenced by the pictures their future husbands sent to them? Stories indicate that some Issei men posed in front of the Hotel Vancouver, saying that they were its manager; while some, in borrowed Sunday clothes, stood in front of the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park. This was, and still is, a well known location for taking family pictures. Many men tried hard to enhance their bargaining positions, even going into debt to bring these women to Canada. Given this, it is not surprising that many women believed that these men were rich.  According to Japan's first national census, which was conducted in 1920, the average age at which Japanese women first married was 23.2; the average for men was 27.4 years old (Office of the Prime Minister, 1975). 4  5 The word 'suitable' is crucial in this context since marriages were often arranged by matchmakers who assessed the similarities between sociocultural backgrounds of potential brides and bridegrooms. See Takie Lebra's research on Japanese aristocracy, Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility (1993), especially the chapter on marriage and the realignment of women and men. This practice is not limited to Japanese aristocracy.  62 The Issei women whom I studied came to Canada in the early to late 1920s. Kuni 6 arrived in 1920 with the idea of returning to Japan after three or four years. Her matchmaker told her that the Canadian government had given her future husband twenty-five acres of land after his service during the First World War. The matchmaker also told her that the bridegroom was going to sell this land and return to Japan when he was no longer eligible for the draft. You know, I had a keiyaku ^^t) [an agreement/contract] with the matchmaker before I decided to come to America. After all, that was the reason I decided to come here. They told me that I could return to Japan within three to four years with the money which was supposedly coming from the land Ojisan ^ 5 D $ ^ [her husband] had owned. I was well prepared to work on the farm with my husband, but I would never have dreamed that he was a fisherman and that I would have to work as a cook for his camp workers. Qbasan damasareta yo, 33(5: £ /vfc1£ £ thtc <£ \ I was deceivedl! Of course, I would not tell these things to my parents. It was no use telling the truth about my life in Amerika. They would only worry about me. So I wrote letters to my parents saying how happy I was in Amerika. But I should say I have no regrets. I felt I was punished because I was too spoiled. I accepted my life as my fate. Even if we regret things, we can never return to the point where we left, right? 1  She had met her future husband when he returned to Japan to look for a bride, and the marriage ceremony was conducted in the bridegroom's hometown. He then returned to Canada, and she went to live with her in-laws, where she remained until she immigrated two years later. Her inlaws were good to her, but she was anxious for her husband to ask her to join him. In 1920 that finally happened, when she was twenty-six and her husband was forty. Here is another example of a marriage which did not turn out as the bride, Kinori, had anticipated.  6 Names are in boldface to indicate that individual women contribute to a shared story line, embellishing and extending it and offering contrasts. See Table 4 (page 56) for identification of the women. Literally, Ojisan means "uncle." The Japanese extend kinship terms to persons outside the immediate family (e. g., females and males of a similar age to mothers and fathers are referred to as "aunts" or "uncles," sometimes even as "mothers" or " fathers"). See Fisher 1964; Goodman 1958; and Passin and Horiuchi 1977. 7  63 You know I did not want to get married, as I told you before. But that was onna no sadame iccD^E#> [the destiny for women] as my mother told me. I could not get away from it. So I decided if I was going to do it, why not with someone in Amerika? I took a chance. Well, that was a tragedy. At that time there was another marriage arrangement for me, with the son of a tea wholesale dealer in Japan. I wanted to come to Amerika so badly, I decided to accept the offer from the man in Amerika. I told my parents that he was the only one I would marry. Besides, my sister was already there and had written to tell me what a nice person my fiance was. He was the third son of a well-to-do wholesaler from Kyushu who used to retail soy sauce and kume gasuri fK^&'t 19 [a well-known cloth from the region]. You see, his whole family cleared everything in Japan to invest their future in Canada. Her father was against her decision, but she was determined to go to America. After the engagement she corresponded with her fiance for four years. When I saw my name registered in my husband's family domicile I felt really sad. I don't know why. I felt sad being called Mrs. Oka, I suppose. She then cited her haiku:  ni ku kakete okano koseki ni shirusarete tsuma to yuu ji ni nazeka sabishiki [at age eighteen registered under the Oka's domicile, I feel some sadness with the character "wife" by my name] Kinori came to Canada in the winter of 1927 on the ship Alabama-maru. She was twenty-three and her husband was fourteen years her senior. Yes, he looked very old, very different from the pictures he had sent me. I did not feel any affection towards him. He was like my father. I wanted to cancel the engagement, but I had wanted to come to Amerika so badly. You see, I used to hear that Amerikan ladies wipe their noses with silk handkerchiefs and throw them on the ground. I also imagined that all Amerikan ladies wore long dresses and sported bonnets for this is what I used to see in the pictures. In the Japan of the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) eras, girls were raised to be modest, unselfish, and subordinate, and family life was considered to be extremely important  8 See Kisaragi tanka kai, ed. 1972: 134.  64 (Karasawa 1958). The family was held to be the primary unit, individuals tended to disappear, and self-expression was not encouraged. Yet the Issei women in my study came to Canada of their own volition, to pursue their own dreams. All four women indicated that their lives would had been quite different had they stayed in Japan. It seems that an unfortunate family circumstance, such as a decline in wealth due to a father's death or bankruptcy, was a major factor in their deciding to risk their future lives. A l l except one of the Issei women from whom I collected life histories attended Jyogakko, but only one of them worked (as a teacher and in order to support her family) before coming to Canada. Hanako came to Canada when she accepted an offer to teach Japanese in Vancouver to Japanese children. However, a marriage proposition was tied to this job offer. Well, for me, I was still too young. [Yoi mo warui mo wakarya shimasen yo H i V ^ l l V ^ t>& *9 L$L-&As£] I had no concept of "good" or "bad." I felt it would be all right. . . definitely my mother gave it a lot more thought than I did. I was only a child then. I did not think much one way or the other, whether it was good or bad. I only knew Mr. Sato as the teacher of my younger brothers, so I thought it would not be so good to marry him. While we were thinking it over, Mr. Sato approved of the marriage. He did not come back because he trusted Mr. Imai's [his former superior's] judgement. So I thought it would be O K [ maa nonkina mono desuyo 1;2b<7^il & k<£>"C i"<fc.] In those days it was not customary to look for one's husband by yourself, you see. So I let it happen. My mother suffered much more than I did on this matter. r  ,  ;  Hanako's marriage was not a typical picture bride marriage, but it did follow a similar pattern. Before she left for Canada, Mr. Sato's father came to her house in Tokyo for the wedding, which was held without a bridegroom. Mr. Sato's photograph took the place of Mr. Sato. In May 1921 Hanako left Japan for Vancouver. Gaikoku [foreign country] at that time was somewhere far, very far away. [ totte mo tool tokoradattan desu yo toT^jsV^Hf tcofcA/'^'f'X] Nowadays, people don't think much about it, but at that time, it was a faraway place both mentally and  65 geographically. We exchanged a parting-cup with water: mizu sakazuki T k l L The only person I could depend on was Mr. Sato. I trusted and believed that he would take good care of me. I was only twenty then. 9  On board the ship there were many picture brides who had never met their future husbands. According to Hanako: So many women did not know what their future husbands looked like. Later I shared so many sad stories about them, which I cannot describe in words. I eventually taught their sons and daughters. Fortunately, in my case my future husband used to be my brothers' teacher. I was scared of him but at least I knew what he looked like. He was my only tayori $g <Q [trusted person] in Canada. And, of course, I knew I had to teach Japanese children. But many women did not know what was awaiting them. It was spring when she arrived, and Hanako recalled the beauty of the journey to Vancouver by way of Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands. Everything was green, and yellow flowers were blooming everywhere: " Yumeno Kuninoyoo deshita W<DW\<7) <£ 5 "Tr Lfc [it was just like a dream land]." Hanako was the only Issei woman I interviewed who spoke of how beautiful it was when she arrived in Vancouver, and she was the only one not to refer to Canada as "Amerika." Upon leaving Japan she was prepared to no longer see Japanese food or Japanese cultural phenomena. However, at her welcome party she was surprised with a beautifully arranged sushi dish. She had never dreamed of eating sushi on her first day in gaikoku, but there it was in Vancouver's "Little Tokyo"  10  of 1921. Japanese people were walking around, some in Western  attire (e.g., suits and ties, dresses, bonnets, and parasols) and some in Japanese attire (e.g., nihongi  9 For happy occasions a parting-cup usually contains sake. A parting-cup that contains water indicates a life-long separation or death. Vancouver's "Little Tokyo" was the symbol for all Japanese Canadian communities in the province. See Nakayama (1921); Ito (1969:700); Shimpo (1975) for details. 1 0  66 g ^ : ^ n [Japanese clothing] and nemaki [Japanese sleepwear]).  The Early Days Hanako began to teach the day after she arrived in Vancouver. I was really scared of the students here. They were physically big and wore suits and ties. In those days this was uncommon in Japan, where only wealthy and prestigious people wore suits and ties. Also I wasn't sure whether the children really understood me, even though they looked like Japanese in Japan. I was worried and scared. As soon as I opened my mouth they began giggling and laughing, but that meant they understood my Japanese. Although they teased me - - "Hey, what a young teacher with a red hakama H [culottes over kimono]"- - and, chattered and laughed away, they were with me by the end of the day. They were jun M [rough and uncultured] but very pure. They had no pretentions whatsoever. They were very straightforward, I fell in love with them right away. These children were probably why Hanako stayed in Canada for so long. Although at the time of my interview those "children" were in their sixties and seventies, she still referred to them as kodomo tachi -flftjH (children). When she arrived in Vancouver there were over 280 students and six experienced teachers in the Vancouver Japanese Language School. Hanako and her husband lived in the back of this school in a one-room apartment until they moved to a house on Pandora Street. The Vancouver Japanese Language School was originally established in 1906 under the name "Japanese National School" (kokumin gakko I S ^ f e ) .  At that time, the Nikkei community  consisted mostly of newly arrived immigrants. Canada was their temporary home, and the policy of the Japanese National School reflected this fact. Except for one subject - - English - - the curriculum was identical to that of schools in Japan. This school was meant to prepare students for their eventual return to Japan. However, when Hanako arrived, the school's policy was  1 1  term.  Many Issei women used this term for kimono. Some Nisei and Sansei still use the  67 gradually shifting towards language training, thus reflecting a new phase for the Japanese in Canada. Their early dreams had vanished, and the birds of passage had become permanent settlers. No longer was the purpose of the school to train a future generation of Japanese citizens but, rather, to train a future generation of Canadian citizens. The Nisei were to be educated in Canadian public schools.  In 1921 the Japanese National School changed its name to the  Vancouver Japanese Language School. It became an institution that taught Japanese language and culture. Yet when Hanako arrived, the majority of students were still being taught according to the Japanese education system, which meant all-day schooling in Japanese: Many parents did not like Canadian public schools, often called Hakujin gakko g A ^ f e [white people's school]. They did not like the discrimination and the prejudice shown towards the Japanese. They wondered, "who would stay in this country with so much haiseki [discrimination and prejudice]?" Yes, it was bad. In our later conversations Hanako indicated that she had not directly encountered prejudice and discrimination but that, as a teacher, she was always conscious of it: I was scared and worried for my children and was very sensitive about our Japanese customs and culture. We did not even eat our meals with chopsticks in front of White Canadians. 13 I wonder whether this prewar habit of not using chopsticks stayed with some of the Nisei and Sansei as late as the 1970s. I noticed that some of them refused to use chopsticks, saying that they did not know how.  Hanako and her husband, among others in the Japanese community, spent  many hours trying to persuade parents to send their children to Canadian schools because they believed that it was important to encourage the Nisei to become good Canadians (Sato 1932, 1953 ). Her comments reminded me of the time when I read Tanemaki, a collection of the Japanese Language School Students' compositions, that reflected the sentiment of the time - - not to offend their Canadian friends. One of the students wrote that even though she really loved Japanese pickles, she would not take them for lunch and eat them in front of her White friends because they really smelled bad and offended them. 1 3  68 By 1923 almost all Japanese Canadian children were enrolled in Canadian public schools; they learned Japanese at the Vancouver Japanese Language School after public school hours.  13  Hanako  sat through numerous committee meetings concerning the Vancouver Japanese Language School. She did not have any specific title, but she was the person who kept the records of most of these meetings. One of the associations with which she was involved was the Boshi Kai Wft<§£ (Mother- Sister's Association), which was established in 1923 and was a major link between students' families and the school. Others were the Japanese Language School Educational Society ( Nihongo Gakko Kyooiku Kai 0 ^ H ^ ^ t ^ W ^ ) and the Society of Japanese Language Teachers Association ( Nihongo Kyooshi 0^i§t&(iil)^), which was also established in 1923. With the help of these organizations, the Japanese language schools in British Columbia overcame various hardships. These organizations set a guideline for Nisei education during the prewar years. In 1928 they rebuilt the Vancouver Japanese Language School in order to accommodate increasing numbers of Nisei (Canadian-born children) and in thel940s they fought the Vancouver City 14  Council's anti-Japanese stance, which culminated in the closure of British Columbia's forty-eight Japanese language schools. 5 1  While Hanako was working hard for Nisei education, other Issei women were preoccupied  According to J. E. Brown, principal of Strathcona Public school in 1925, approximately 30 per cent of the students at Strathcona were Japanese Canadian, and, out of sixteen classes, they took 56 per cent of the top ten places. After five years, the numbers of the Japanese Canadian students at school increased 50 per cent (Ashworth 1979:105). 1 3  In 1920 there were seven Japanese language schools in British Columbia. Ten years later, in 1931, however, there were thirty-six schools. At the time of the exile in 1942, there were forty- eight Japanese language schools in British Columbia, and eight of them were in Vancouver (Sato and Sato 1980:161-162). 1 4  See the Province and the Vancouver Sun in the early 1940s to Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941; Sato 1953; 1954 for more detail. 1 5  69 with reconciling their dreams with their realities. Right after arriving in Vancouver in 1920, K u n i purchased a set of Western clothes. A woman from the Japanese community took her to a shop that had been set up to cater to new immigrants. Proudly, she showed me a picture. She was carefully dressed in the fashion of that period - - a fashion that would prove to be totally unsuited to the life she would soon be leading. She sent a copy of this picture to her relatives in Japan. For a couple of months she lived with her husband in a boarding-house in the Japantown area. Oh, it was a small place, smaller than this apartment. There was only one room and it had a bed, a kitchen area, and everything in it. When she arrived she had discovered that her husband was not a farmer but a fisherman. The couple went out to work together during the fishing season. Kuni's husband was a booshin > (foreman) for B C Packers on the south arm of the Fraser River, and he had twenty-five Japanese men working under him. He had been working there for many years. The year of Kuni's arrival was a bad year for fishers, and during that year she worked as a cook. After the fishing season, the couple went to a lumber camp where she again worked as a cook. The old times were good. People took our credit. When we ran out of money we looked for a job and worked. The boarding-house owner waited for our payment until we got the money to pay. This kind of thing does not happen nowadays though. I was always worried about money because we were always short then. I knew I was prepared to work with my husband in Amerika, but I never thought of working as a cook in a logging camp or fishing camp. Ojisan loved to drink, and our money went on his drinks. But drinking was a social thing in the old days; the men gathered around drinking together with their fellow countrymen. After working for a couple of years at various places in British Columbia, the couple bought a corner store on Vancouver's Powell Street for $ 1,000. Kuni operated the store while her husband continued to work for B C Packers. During the off-seasons, her husband helped her at the store. At first we thought about buying a boarding-house, but there was not a good one to buy. In retrospect, it was a good idea that we did not do it. There were many boarding-house bankruptcies: the credit system ruined them. Besides, the flow of Japanese immigrants stopped in the late 1920s. With the arrival of many women and the growth of the Japanese  70 community, people had begun to settle in. In earlier days there were many single men around who needed a boarding-house. By the time I got the store and began to operate it, the boarding-house business was gone. You see, many men got married and the demand was gone. She told me that she was capable of running the store without knowing English as most of her customers were Japanese. If she made mistakes her hakujin S A (white) customers pointed them out. Nostalgically, she told me about a group of students from the University of British Columbia who used to live in the Methodist Church boarding house (now a Buddhist Church) on Jackson Street. They used her store as a gathering place, studying and discussing their work while helping her out. One of the students became very close to her and her husband, looking after the store when she visited Japan in 1930. Like many other Issei women, in her early days Kuni did not have close friends or relatives upon whom she could rely. Besides, the couple moved around a great deal and she did not have a chance to develop friendships. In our conversations, she often mentioned not having any children. She insisted that her hardships were minimal compared to those of women who had children. She saw many women going through incredible difficulties. In the early days, there were not many majime na hito ^ l E g ^ A [serious-minded men] around. There were many dooraku mono i i ^ M f [playboys] then. I do not know how to describe kuroo [the hardships] of women who had children. They stayed in Vancouver with their children in order to give them an education. The men went to earn money doing seasonal labour. Women were paid little, and they had to depend on their husbands for financial support. Often, however, the men got drunk and gambled, and they did not send enough money to feed and clothe their wives and children. Women suffered a lot. But their gaman IfetS [perseverance] kept their marriages together. They cried, but those women who suffered are now living comfortably. Yes, in our generation, women suffered a lot. We did not have any relatives to depend on. We did not know the language or cultural customs. We did not have close friends with whom to share our hardships. We cried and cried. And then the children came along. As I have said, many women stayed married because of their chidren. It was hard, indeed, Yuko [ Honto ni taihen datta yo, Yuko-san] ^ f c A ^ / c o f c £ .  71 Kuni continued: We were very isolated from our families in Japan. Now people find going to a foreign country easy. But see, at the time when I came here, it was very, very different. North America was a totally different world. We did not have enough information about North America. We had too many fantasies about this country. As I told you earlier, our dreams and the reality we faced upon our arrival were very different. But you know, once a woman got married, she had to stay married. That was okite S [the rule] in our time. Leaving one's husband and satogaeri Ji'Jf 9 [returning to one's home] was a disgrace for the family. Besides, we came to Amerika with great expectations, and people in Japan also had high hopes for us, you know. We could not turn down or ruin their dreams either, right? I suppose people might think this is nonsense. Just like many other Issei women, Kuni accepted her life as it came.  Like many other immigrants before them, Japanese men were at the bottom of the Canadian social scale. The only way to express their frustrations was to drink and complain about their situation to their friends and fellow countrymen. While the men had an outlet for their frustrations, the women did not. So much the worse, they were forced to deal with the consequences of their husbands' frustrations.  Many men worked in primary industries as labourers, where they  struggled with language problems, low wages, and discrimination. Housing was inadequate, and the women had insufficient funds with which to feed their families. Working conditions were difficult. Issei women often had occasion to make comments such as the following: Our education was totally useless in Amerika. What a waste it was! Physical strength was essential then. (Kuni) Economic needs and social pressures forced women to work as many of them simply could not afford to stay at home. Alongside their husbands, women cleared land and helped cut trees. They all worked: some as cooks in logging and mining camps, some in canneries, some as domestic servants or small storekeepers. Child-rearing was a woman's responsibility. Many parents sent their young children to their parents in Japan so that they could work harder to make money, which was the primary concern of prewar Issei. According to Satsuko:  72 We were working too hard to overcome our material discomfort, to reach standards of middle-class Canadian living. We were too busy trying to make money and were alienating ourselves from our children. Many Issei women held middle-class aspirations, believing that they could become part of mainstream Canadian society and possess all its material comforts. From the late 1930s to the early 1940s, many Issei women were finally beginning to settle comfortably into life in Canada, despite their cold reception on the part of mainstream Canadian society. Sadly, this enjoyment was not to last.  The War Years After the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the federal govenment took immediate action to control the activities of the Nikkei communities in British Columbia.  The Royal  Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested thirty-eight Japanese who were considered to be "potentially dangerous" to national security and, subsequently, over 22,000 Japanese Canadians were "interned."  16  Some 1,200 fishing boats, all owned or operated by naturalized citizens or  Nisei, were impounded. On the advice of the RCMP, the forty-eight Japanese language schools in the province and the three Japanese newspapers published in Vancouver (Kanada Shinbun, Tairiku Nippo, and Nikkan Minshu) were closed as "precautionary measures."  17  Even radios and  cameras were taken away from Japanese Canadians (Adachi 1976; Shimpo 1975; Miki and  6 Ann Sunahara (1981:66) points out that, under the Geneva Convention, the Canadian government could not have "interned" Japanese Canadians during the war because a majority of them were Canadian and naturalized citizens. Under the Geneva Convention only aliens may be interned. For this reason, the Canadian government used the term "detained." 1  The only ethnic newspaper circulated throughout the war was The New Canadian, an English and Japanese newspaper operated by Nisei. It began in 1937 as a semi-monthly publication, Voice of the Nisei. In 2001, however, not having enough subscribers in recent years The New Canadian terminated its operation. 1 7  73 Kobayashi 1991; the National Association of Japanese Canadians 1985). On 24 February 1942, under the War Measures Act, the Canadian government ordered a mass evacuation of "enemy aliens" from the 100-mile coastal zone. Satsuko commented: I still remember the time when 'mauntiV [RCMP] came and took away our cameras. Yes, I was so frightened. We were nothing but tekikoku jin $&SA [the enemy aliens]. Everything we worked for disappeared like bubbles [awa no yoo ni kiete shimatta vfSCDJ; b k.X L"£ o f c ] We tried so hard to become Canadians, but it was impossible. This was the time the Murakamis' photo studio was flourishing. Indeed, it was also the most productive period of their lives. Satsuko was thirty-six and her husband was forty-one and, they had four children ranging in age from four to ten. Her husband was sent to a road camp for several months (Adachi 1976:241; Shimpo 1975: 174-176). '9  By the summer of 1942, the  British Columbia Security Commission (BCSC) reluctantly allowed the Japanese to move as family units.  20  The Murakami family moved to Lillooet, one of the self-supporting projects often  referred to by other Nikkei as the "riches" camp. Only those who had enough money to show the government that they could support themselves during relocation were able to move to the selfsupporting camps. They were allowed to take almost everything with them. ! Nobody knew how 2  long the war would last. The Murakamis, being a self-supporting family, managed better than most other people. Their house on East 12th Avenue was rented out at twenty dollars per week.  9 Between March and June 1942, a total of 2,161 Japanese Canadians were placed in road construction camps (e.g., Blue River, Yellowhead - - Revelstoke, Sicamous, Hope-Princeton, Schreiber and Black Spur). 1  The Nisei Mass Evacuation Group, which was formed on 15 April 1942, issued an open letter to the B C Security Commission opposing the unnecessary separation of families (Kitagawa 1985:37-44). 2 0  Normally each adult was allowed to carry 150 pounds of baggage and each child under twelve was allowed to carry seventy-five pounds. A family was allowed no more than 1,000 pounds. 2 1  74 After spending two years in Lillooet, the Murakamis' savings had diminished, the war seemed never- ending, and there was the problem of educating their four children. The town of Lillooet did not allow the Japanese evacuees to live within town limits.  22  In the Nikkei settlement  established four miles east of Lillooet, across the Fraser River (Miyazaki 1973:28), there was an elementary school but no secondary school. With no public transportation, and bicycles being too expensive, the children had to walk four miles every day. Even if they had had the money to buy bicycles, they could only be used during the summer.  The Murakamis decided to move  somewhere where they could find work and educate their children. In 1944 Mr. Murakami went to Vernon in the Okanagan Valley to look for a job, and the rest of the family moved there. During the fruit season all members of the family worked as fruit pickers.  Gradually, Mr.  Murakami began to resurrect his old trade of photography. The outbreak of the war forced Hanako and her husband to leave the Vancouver Japanese Language School, which they had nurtured as though it were their own child. In June 1942 fortyone year old Hanako and fifty-one year old Mr. Sato moved to Alberta, where the Canadian Union College was located. Of the various options they had at the time, this one seemed best. Moving to Alberta meant that they were able to earn their living and did not have to spend money they wanted to save in order to eventually re-open the Vancouver Japanese Language School. They were to wait for ten years. Meanwhile, in Lacombe, Alberta, they managed the business of the Japanese Language School Council (ijikai^W^),  the Japanese Language School Educational Society  (nihongo gakko kyoiku kai 0^Im^l&iftW^), and the Japanese library (nihon bunko R^-JtW). The Canadian Union College owned over a thousand acres of land, which accommodated seventy to eighty cows, several horses, 200 to. 300 chickens, honey bees, and over 300 male and  22. Many places in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario did not accept Japanese Canadians from British Columbia.  75 female students. There was no electricity, no gas, no running water. The college itself was selfsufficient. The couple lived like farmers and, for the first time in Canada, they dwelt among nonJapanese Canadians, mostly German and Russian Canadians. Hanako described her life in Lacombe as follows: It was hard at the beginning, especially since we were "heathens." But even at the end of our stay there, we were still heathens. Of course we got used to the life there, but we could not get converted, even after ten years, I should say. To become a Christian, one should stop questioning, and I could never do that. Being a teacher, I could not swallow and accept the Faith. But it was a very valuable experience for both of us. For the first time we were among non-Japanese. I learned how to grow a vegetable garden, how to can, and how to bake bread. Everything was quite new for me. Oh, we were not supposed to have coffee, alcohol, sugar, and m e a t . . . it was hard because we loved those "vices." Another irony was that my husband did not do so well as a farmer. Later, he was transferred to the kitchen work where he worked with the women students. During the long winter days, they visited various internment camps, where their former students and teachers lived. In 1944, with government permission, they toured British Columbia; and in 1946 they visited other provinces to see their former students and teachers. The following year they visited relocation camps in British Columbia, mostly in the Okanagan Valley (Sato and Sato 1969:339-389).  At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kinori, after moving between various remote logging camps in British Columbia, was finally living comfortably in Woodfibre, keeping house for her husband and children. The Woodfibre community was divided into two groups: those who left their valuables behind, expecting a swift return, and those who tried to take all their valuables with them. Each family could take only 1,000 pounds' worth of goods. Although what was left behind was to be guarded by the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property, it was never returned. Kinori's family belonged to the first group, for her husband believed that they could return home with no problem. Kinori's family and her Woodfibre Japanese community were forced to move  76 into a temporary camp located at the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in Vancouver. They were there along with other Japanese communities from the Pacific Coast. Conditions were bad. The family could not stay together because they were divided according to sex and age. There was a youths' hall, a women's hall (for women and children under six years), a men's hall, and an elder's hall. Kinori's family stayed in this camp for four months. Kinori's baby was too young to cope with the drastic change. He cried and her neighbour complained; despite her efforts he became sick. It was two months before any doctors or nurses visited this temporary relocation camp. She tried to see a doctor but she was denied permission to leave the campground.  When the doctors finally came, they pointed out that her son was  undernourished and had to be hospitalized. Without treatment he would have become retarded. Kinori had not realized that her milk had dried up due to her traumatic experience and that her baby had not been getting sufficient nourishment for a long time. I was so worried about my son. When I visited him in the temporary hospital I noticed some white spots in his eyes. I asked the nurse about it but she didn't know what was wrong with him. Later the spots got bigger and almost covered his eyes. I demanded to see a pediatrician. It took me a long time to get permission. Finally I contacted the Nisei Mass Evacuation Group. The Nisei formed the Nisei Mass Evacuation Group in reaction to the Mass Evacuation Order. The Canadian government had ordered that Japanese men and women be relocated separately, thus destroying the basic family unit. The Nisei Mass Evacuation group worked hard to get the general public's support to relocate Japanese Canadians by family units.  23  It took Kinori's case and  publicized it as a civil rights issue. Because of this her baby finally saw a pediatrician and was given an essential operation. Although this operation was able to remove the spots from his eyes, he never regained either his full eyesight or his full mental capacity. After their stay at the Pacific 23 Their letter to Austin Taylor, a British Columbia Security Commission officer, expressed their position quite well. See Kitagawa 1985:39.  77 National Exhibition Park the Okas moved to Lemon Creek, one of the British Columbia ghost towns that had been converted into a relocation camp. My husband worked as a plumber. At the beginning he refused to work. He used to say, "I'm being called an 'enemy alien'; why do I have to work?" He was paid seventy-five cents per hour. 24  It seemed ironic to hear Kinori say that camp life was "heaven" compared to the life she had experienced before, when she was working hard day and night to make a living and to raise her children. In Lemon Creek she had time to enjoy her life for the first time, mostly practising her hobby- - writing poetry. Indeed, she was quite active in a Haiku club in Lemon Creek. Oh, I felt like leaving everything behind to travel and to make haiku just like Issa and Basho [17th century poets who travelled Japan to praise the beauty of life and nature]. It was my dream. How often it crossed my mind. Camp life liberated Kinori from having to worry about whether or not her family would survive. For the first time since she had been in Canada she had security. Many Japanese women felt the same way as did Kinori. However, for Japanese men it was different. Used to being decision makers, bread earners, and the centre of their families (daikoku bashira A"IM£), they found life in the relocation camps demoralizing. Their sense of pride was gone. In the early stage of the relocation period many men developed heavy drinking and gambling habits and constantly fought amongst themselves.  Men had a hard time regaining their sense of self-worth and pride and  redirecting their energy. Eventually, when life in camps became more settled, they began to create new lives: fishing, gardening, making Japanese gardens and tea houses, and conducting Japanese cultural talent shows and sports activities.  Twenty-five cents per hour was the regular wage for Japanese Canadian evacuees during the war years. Kinori's husband was considered well paid. See La Violette (1948: 102108 ) for the welfare of Japanese Canadians during the war. 2 4  78 Soon after the mass evacuation order, Kuni's husband was sent to Slocan City. All First World War veterans were asked to work in the British Columbia interior, where there were many internment camps (e.g., in Sandon, New Denver, Slocan, Kaslo, and Tashme 25) The veterans' job was to supervise the relocation camps. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, for several months Kuni observed the process of evacuation and the confusion of the Japanese community. She saw many of her friends leave for various camps in British Columbia. It was like iki wakare [a life-long separation] to see my friends off to the camps because we did not know what was awaiting us. Her small store was a gathering place where news were exchanged. The Nikkei community was completely paralyzed. Because it no longer had Japanese newpapers, and because many of its leaders had been sent to the road camps, the community was filled with confusion and uncertainty. Stories were fabricated, and people did not know what was awaiting them. Some thought that people were being killed in the camps. A dear friend of Kuni's refused to go to a road camp because it meant being separated from his wife and young children. Because of his refusal he was sent to Angler, a prisoner of war camp, in Ontario (Nakano 1980; Kuwabara 1995). Kuni mentioned that she and her husband did not lose much property because they did not have much to lose. They owned the store and the house, but the land was not theirs. Her husband sold his fishing boat, to which he had finally acquired ownership, before his departure to Slocan. Kuni insisted on staying in Vancouver until the last train left. She went to the Marine Building where the Custodian Office was located, and asked for permission to stay until the end. She received special permission to do so because, after all, she was the wife of a First World War veteran. I stayed in Vancouver till the 30th of October 1942, the last day of the evacuation order program. My train was the last one to leave Vancouver. 25 Tashme was named after Taylor, Shirras, and Mead, members of the BCSC. It is now called Sunshine Valley and is a resort.  79 She emphasized the fact that she was on the last train to the camp. Later in our discussion she told me, with a mischievous glint in her eyes, that she had some hope that the Japanese army would come and that she felt that some Japanese should be in Vancouver to welcome them. She waited every day for the Japanese army, but it did not come. By the time she left for Slocan she had sold everything in the store. She was forty-seven years old. In Slocan a different life was awaiting her. Her dear friend and her children went to Slocan with Kuni and lived with her and her husband until the end of the war. Kuni lived in Slocan for nine years. In Slocan the residents of the internment camp lived communally. Kuni had no real occupation; she was, as she mentions below, just "killing time."  Many people gathered for  classes in cooking, Japanese music, art, and poetry. People did not have to struggle to make a living, and everybody lived under the same conditions. There were no rich and there were no poor. She found the breakdown of economic distinctions to be a positive thing and referred to her time in Slocan as being "better than before the evacuation days." Although it was very hard for many people to accept the fact that they were being uprooted and removed from their communities, for some life in the camps was not unpleasant. The physical environment improved gradually, and they began another life. Many women did not have to worry about feeding and clothing their children. Life stabilized. Since nobody was better off than anybody else, there was no competition.  26  I was playing or killing my time in the camp. Everybody had a small lot on which to grow vegetables. Growing and showing off our produce was one of the big things in the camp. Once I tried too hard and gave too much fertilizer and killed my vegetables. I did not know how to grow vegetables.  26 Joseph Roucek (1966) also mentions some positive aspects of mass evacuation: (1) the evacuation of the Japanese from the coastal regions broke up a rigid hierarchy; and (2) it indirectly released the positive forces that were needed if Japanese Canadians were to secure political equality and economic opportunity.  80 People were paid 25 cents per hour to cut firewood for us, which used to be my job. I did not have to make furo jES [heating Japanese bath]. We really did not have much to do. It was not a luxurious life, but it was a stable and secure life for most of us. Everybody had the same type of house and the same living accommodations - - a two-by-four bed and a kitchen. Everybody was equal and we had a carefree life in the camp. This newly established community ended, along with the war, in 1945.  Now people were  confronted with yet another difficult problem. In the spring of 1945, while Japanese Americans were free to return to their home on the west coast, Japanese Canadians were compelled to choose between "dispersal" east of the Rockies or "repatriation" to Japan. In early 1945 all persons of Japanese ancestry over sixteen years of age had to report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to state whether or not they intended to "repatriate" to Japan.  Those who did not wish to be  repatriated had to "cooperate" with the government, and to provide as evidence of their "loyalty to Canada," by moving east of the Rockies, where nobody welcomed them. 27 This was the so-called Repatriation Paper. Many Nisei chose to go east, where there were more opportunities than in the west. Issei preferred to return to Japan. While older Nisei refused to repatriate to Japan with their parents, Nisei who were minors had no choice (Kage 1998). And so for the second time many Japanese Canadian families and communities were broken up.28 Some Nikkei, like Kinori and her husband, signed the Repatriation Paper and encouraged  2 7  See Adachil976; Shimpo 1975; Sunahara 1981 and others for details.  28 The so-called repatriation order was issued by the Minister of Labour in February 1945. Except for Saskatchewan, provinces east of the Rockies responded negatively, refusing to accept Japanese Canadians on a permanent basis. See Shimpo 1975: 270-286. Between May and December 1946, about 4,000 Japanese Canadians and Japanese Nationals returned to Japan. Over 50 per cent of these were Canadian-born.  81 others in the camps to do so as well.29  Mr. Matsumoto, however, decided to remain in Canada,  and Kuni publicly supported his decision. Her husband tried to persuade other members of the Slocan community to stay in Canada. However, some felt that he had been co-opted, referring to him as a "black hairy barbarian" (kurogami-no-ketoo  M f t t f ^ i l f  ).  Kuni told me about the day  when a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer came to talk to her. They began interviewing Japanese Canadians in April 1945, a couple of months before the defeat of Japan. One day a government officer came and asked me about my decision concerning repatriation. He wanted to hear my decision. But I told him that a Japanese woman always follows her husband's decision. He did not question me any more.  In 1948 the Canadian government granted the franchise to Japanese Canadians, and the following year the British Columbia provincial government followed suit. However, Nikkei were still not allowed to move freely. In 1949, when Japanese Canadians were allowed to leave the camps with permission, Mr. Matsumoto tried to leave Slocan.  However, Kuni liked the  countryside and did not want to return to Vancouver. Not knowing what was waiting for Japanese Canadians in Vancouver, she was afraid to go back. Furthermore, after several years of living in Slocan it had become her home. She enjoyed the slow, pleasant pace of country life and felt very safe there. Many of her friends suggested that she insist upon remaining in Slocan so that her husband would give up the idea of moving back to Vancouver. However, she finally left Slocan in 1951. Her dear friends wanted to go back to Vancouver with them but were not allowed to move back to British Columbia. They suggested that Kuni and her husband go to Toronto with them, but her husband did not want to go east: he loved fishing and wanted to return to Vancouver.  29 Upon Japan's defeat, Kinori's husband changed his mind. Tsurumi (1962) in her study coins a term chinjimari gata f y ^ - r ' J l (change one's mind) and uses it as a category under which to list people like Mr. Oka.  82 Upon his return, he purchased a small fishing boat and, until his retirement in 1960, continued to trade his boats for bigger and bigger ones. Kuni bought another store located on Powell Street, on the site where the first office of Language A i d  3 0  opened in 1972. Like Kuni, many other Issei  women returned to Vancouver in the early 1950s. Before their return to Vancouver quite a few Issei women acquired Canadian citizenship.  The Postwar Years By the end of the 1950s Mr. Matsumoto began to complain of bad health and wanted to retire. He decided it was time to go back to Japan. In 1960 they sold all their property in Canada and returned to Japan. Kuni was sixty-six and her husband was in his eighties. She told her friends that they were going to visit their family grave (ohaka-mairi j o l ! # *9) 31 implying that their trip was not permanent, but her husband told everybody that they were going to Japan "for good." For a couple of months they lived with her husband's sister, and then they purchased a house. Kuni and her in-laws hoped the house would keep Mr. Matsumoto in Japan. I knew Ojisan could not stay in Japan for too long. He was too impatient. After less than a year we came back to Vancouver. Many people thought we were ghosts. Yes, I still remember the expression on their faces. They moved into the Richmond Hotel on Powell Street. After a year, they moved into an apartment on Cordova Street facing Oppenheimer Park, where Kuni still lived at the time of our interview. Mr. Matsumoto died in 1973, when Kuni was seventy-nine. The couple did not have 30 This was founded in 1972 in response to the growing awareness of the daily problems of non-English speaking residents in Greater Vancouver area. It provided information referral, counselling, interpretation, translation, and home visiting. It served five language groups. In April 1976 this organization was amalgamated into a new non-profit society called MOSAIC, offering multilingual social services. 31 Part of the custom of ancestor worship includes paying respect to one's deceased relatives at the the place where they are buried.  83 any children or blood relatives in Canada. Her husband was the only person upon whom Kuni had depended, and now he was gone. She had been living in Canada for over half a century yet could not cope with her husband's funeral because she could not speak English.32 My friend, a Shin-Issei who worked at Language Aid (then located in the 300 block Powell Street and later moved to 300 block East Hastings) assisted her in making preparations for her husband's funeral. In 1974 Kuni took the ashes of her husband back to his family grave in Japan and, with her Japanese in-laws, held a memorial service for him. Her relatives suggested that she spend the rest of her life in Japan. They thought that there was no reason for her to stay in Canada after her husband's death. She explained why she decided not to remain in Japan. It is really true that whenever I return to Japan I feel the stiff, rigid social norm I had forgotten a long time ago. I am not so formal now. It seems to me that I am not a "real Japanese." People in Japan are too formal andtooconfined. Here in Canada, I can say "hello" and the business will be over, but in Japan you bow and bow and comment about the weather, even though you do not really care about it. I don't think I can go back to that formality any more. Also, my relatives over-protect me, and I cannot move around by myself. Kuni felt close to her relatives in Japan but, at the same time, did not want to depend on them. Here in Canada she had many friends with whom to share her past experiences. In Japan there was nobody. She could not reminisce about her experiences in Canada with her friends in Japan, nor could they share their experiences with her as their personal histories were very different from hers. She also felt that life in Canada was care-free,33 and she liked it that way. In 1977 she returned to Japan and sold her property.  Conner's (1972) study notes that, due to their limited contact with mainstream culture, Issei women were the least acculturated of three generations of Japanese-Americans in Sacramento, California. Kimura (1979) also points this out. 3 2  33 "Kimama ni sugoseru expression she used.  -5" (can live her life as she pleases) was the  84 It is funny that my relatives still want me back. They often mention that I should make sure that my ashes are sent to them.  The Lemon Creek camp was closing up, and the Okas moved to New Denver. Life in New Denver was very important for Kinori, and she began to immerse herself in Christianity. She decided, following a missionary's advice, to send her son to a school for handicapped children in New Westminster. She believed that English was essential if Japanese Canadians were to survive in Canada, and she formed a group dedicated to learning. I went around to houses to explain how important it was to learn the language. We would be associating more with White people, so it was necessary for us to learn English. We had a gathering of thirty-five. The teacher was Miss G . She converted to Christianity, and eventually her whole family converted as well. In reflecting on this period of her life she commented: Without my involvement in Christianity and my Haiku Club I could not have survived. I hated the world, I hated myself. I really think Christianity saved me. The following is a haiku she composed during this period: sei mo shi mo hin mo kunan mo nanikasen [ Life and death, poverty and hardships kamihitosuji ni mio makase naba. 34 no longer matter, if I follow God]  In 1951, both Kinori and her husband acquired their Canadian citizenship, and the following year they moved to Nelson, where she found a job at a Roman Catholic hospital. I worked at a hospital and my husband worked as a watchman and gardener. We were well accepted there. I was allowed to keep many keys. What a responsibility it was. People really trusted us. This job gave Kinori self-confidence as well as financial independence. Her husband suggested 34 Kanada Nikkei Godo Kyokai Kyogikai (Japanese Canadian United Church committe) 1973:8.  85 that they keep separate bank accounts, and so for the first in her life she opened her own account: Oh, it was fun to watch my money grow; the amount got bigger and bigger. Then I realized what I had been missing before. I could not believe how much money my husband was getting before, and how much he was wasting on alcohol. He drank too much. With her own money, she began to plan a visit to Japan to see her mother. She wrote home and found out that her mother had been dead for a long time. That was when her husband began to talk about moving back to Vancouver. He was getting old and his job was getting too hard for him.  Kinori agreed, and in 1955 they moved to Vancouver and began to operate a corner store  on Commercial Drive. She informed me that she wanted to buy a house but that her friends pointed out that a store could provide both a house and an income. The small confectionary store was registered under her name. She explained why: On the way back to Vancouver I found out that my husband did not have any money. I could not believe it. He earned more than I did but did not have any money left when we left Nelson. I was ready to return to Nelson but could not. What could I have said to the people who gave us a nice farewell party? I could not return there because my husband did not have any money. So I told my husband that it might not appear right to register the store under my name because it would ruin his public face in the Japanese community, where a man is always considered to be the decision maker. But I told him that I was going to do it anyway. Besides, I was the one who bought the store. I did not want to be like my mother, not having any knowledge of and control over money. Her life was miserable. My husband did not argue with me. He said "That's fine with me." In 1960 Mr. Oka died. Kinori described him as a good-natured man despite his drinking. When I accompanied her to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds in the summer of 1976, she recalled pleasant memories of her late husband and how they visited the grounds every summer for fun.35  She continued operating the store for a while after her husband's death.  During that time her store was twice broken into. Shortly after these incidents her neighbour, the  35 I found this hard to comprehend, knowing that this was the site of her agony, the place where her much loved son took sick. But she simply remembered it as a pleasant amusement park where she had fun with her late husband.  86 Chinese Canadian owner of a corner store, was killed by burglars. She decided it was time to close the business and to take a vacation with her second daughter. In 1965 she visited her home country, for the first time since 1927. The Japan she knew and imagined was quite different from the Japan she saw. Kinori often emphasized the fact that, against her wishes, both of her daughters had married hakujin £X (white men). She said that her eldest daughter had had a fiance in Japan: A white man stole my daughter [Wk&b hfitcXmusume o torareta yo]. If my husband were alive he would have never allowed this to happen. And you know what? My second daughter got married to another white man. Oh, my family is ruined forever. It cannot be helped [shikataganai L ^ f c ^ f t i ^ ] but it really is sad, you know. There is no one to succeed our family name. The family line is destroyed now. Interestingly, in our earlier conversation, she had told me about her positive feelings toward  hakujin: When I was in Japan I did not like hakujin at all. But I began to like them after I started having some contact with them. They were more open-minded people than the Japanese. They do not look down at you because you are a house worker [i.e., domestic worker]. It's none of their business, you know. I really like that. We Japanese have to learn from them. Japanese people look for other people's shortcomings. They are too nosey. It seems that Kinori had conflicting feelings about hakujin. However, she is not alone in this; her comments reflected many Issei women's thoughts about their children's marriages.  Some  proudly showed me photos of their children and their non-Japanese Canadian in-laws and grandchildren. Some pointed out, with a hint of sadness, that they could not go against the wind since most of their children have little contact with other Japanese Canadians, most of whom are their siblings and relatives.36 After her youngest daughter's marriage, Kinori wanted to live closer to her Japanese friends, but her daughters did not like the idea: 36 Japanese Canadians tried very hard to assimilate into mainstream Canadian life after the war so that they could not be accused of being non-assimilated immigrants and thus have to contend with another relocation or some other form of discrimination. They wanted to be invisible so that they could attain the same benefits as other Canadian citizens.  87 Probably they felt I was going to leave them. They also felt insecure whenever my Japanese friends visited me. You see, my daughters do not speak Japanese. But recently, you know what? One of them began to take Japanese lessons. Kinori lived in an apartment on Main Street owned by one of her sons-in-law, and she managed to exist on her Old Age Pension and the income from small investments. She was very attached to the Japanese community, where she could share her sociocultural identity. However, during the initial interviews in 1976 and 1977, she was living outside of that community. She explained why she had made this decision: Of course, I want to live close to my friends, but most of them cannot keep out of other people's business. They have to know everything around them. If there is a Japanese senior citizen's home . . . I see the convenience of it but it would be too much for me. I'd rather be here. In 1978 I saw Kinori in Japantown. She looked happy and informed me that she had moved into Sakuraso, the Japanese Senior Citizens' apartment in Japantown. In the interview she stated that she was now in paradaisu (paradise). Her attitudes towards the Japanese community and Japanese people in general seemed to have changed. Her sister-in-law, whom she formerly described as "nasty," was now a charming lady with whom she had had a wonderful reunion that summer (1978 ) in Toronto. The "gossipy and nosey" Japantown neighbours were now thought to be "warm." She no longer went to church (formerly the focus of her life) and described Sakuraso as "a wonderful place": "people are dropping in and out all the time and I do not even have time to call my daughter."  Being with her friends with whom she could converse in  Japanese and could share her life experiences with, she was no longer lonely.  Satsuko's children began university in Vancouver and when her youngest child graduated from high school her family decided to move back to Vancouver. This was in 1951, a year before they obtained Canadian citizenship. Like Kuni, Satsuko told me that she did not want to move  88 back to Vancouver. She had settled comfortably in Vernon and was having a new house built there. However, her husband was determined and told her. "I will make it again in Vancouver [ mooichido vankuubaa de yatte miseru % b  > ^  —X  T ^ - ^ - S ]. He was in his early  fifties and she was in her late forties. They put all their valuables in a truck and drove off in the winter of 1953, taking the dangerous road from Vernon to Vancouver. Upon their arrival in Vancouver they searched for a site for a new photo studio. They decided to open their business on East Hastings, where they thought the location had some future. Mr. Murakami and Satsuko ran the business until their retirement in 1979: We really looked around but we could not find a good spot for me. Nowadays Powell Street is OK, but in the early 1950s it was really nothing. Little Tokyo was dead. It was really sad. But there were a substantial number of Japanese in the city by the time we came out. We were latecomers. After a couple of months living in an apartment, they found a house on West 20th Avenue and began their new life. For a while Satsuko volunteered as a teacher at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. In the morning, she went downtown to work as a tailor in a men's clothing shop, where she worked for eighteen years. In the evening she helped her husband develop films and make prints. "I don't know how I managed," she recalled. She continued this routine until her retirement in 1972. In 1958 her eldest daughter was married. " O f course it is a 'love marriage' [mochiron renaikekkon desuyo #J|fe ^S^SWX~t <£]," she told me. All of her four children married in the western fashion: renai kekkon (love marriages). Two of them married "hakukjin-san," and two married Japanese Canadians. She told me that it was interesting to have both a hakujin-san daughter-in-law and son-in-law. When the government brought the repatriation paper to them in 1945 they had signed it without hesitation. However, after their eldest daughter declared that she wanted to remain in Canada instead of going with the family to Japan, they reconsidered their  89 decision and decided to stay in Canada rather than break up the family: You see, Ojisan had never thought about staying here permanently. I used to go to the bank not knowing how much money he was sending to his mother. You see, when we visited Japan in 1958 we took out some money from the bank. It was not much, due to the devaluation of the Japanese yen after the war. But for the first time I realized how much Ojisan wanted to return. The amount was quite a lot by the standard of the old days. So, when the time came we signed the repatriation paper. Then our eldest daughter told Ojisan that she prefered to go east instead of going back to Japan. You know what? She is the one living in Japan now. The year their eldest daughter married was the year when their youngest child graduated from university. That same year they took their youngest daughter to Japan to introduce her to their relatives.  In 1963 they purchased a house in the middle of an affluent neighbourhood in  Vancouver. Satsuko told me how her husband loved buying houses. They often had big parties and invited both pre- and postwar Nikkei to their place. In 1970 they visited Expo'70 in Osaka and then travelled around Europe. We expected to spend all our money in Japan but we were so well treated and did not spend much money. So we decided to go to Europe to spend the money. Oh, it was really nice. I especially liked the mountains in the Bavarian region in Germany. In France I did not understand anything. Italy was fun. You see, I worked with Italian women for so many years at the tailor shop that I was familiar with the sound of the language.  Among the approximately fifty Japanese language schools that existed prior to 1942 , the only one to survive the war was the one on Alexander Street, the Vancouver Japanese Language School, which the Satos reopened in 1952.  During the war it had been rented out to the Ministry  of Defence, and it almost met the same fate as did other Nikkei properties liquidated by the Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1947 a number of the directors of the Vancouver Japanese Language School met in Toronto to discuss the future of the school. They decided that, given the situation of the Nikkei community, it was best to dispose of the building. They felt they had no choice. In that same year, Mr. and Mrs. Sato were delegated to return to Vancouver to carry out  90 this decision. Since they had spent nearly a liftime developing the school, they felt that this task was akin to burying their own child ( kodomo no osooshiki ni iku yoona shinkyoo deshita PSlfcff < X 5 fe'bW.'Z'L-tc) . In Vancouver their lawyer informed them that, since the building was public property, it could not be sold without the formal consent of its duly appointed trustees. The board of directors met once again in Toronto (Japanese Canadians could not return to the west coast without permission until 1949) to review its decision regarding the future of the school. The directors were divided into two groups, one that feared Japanese Canadians would never be allowed to rebuild their community on the west coast and who thus wanted to sell the building, and one that wanted to keep the school for possible future use. The debate between the two factions raged on until 1952. Finally the board of directors decided to preserve the school on Alexander Street. Today, few Japanese Canadians know of the efforts that were made to ensure the survival of the Vancouver Japanese Language School ( Shibata 1986). On 6 September 1952, eleven years after the closure of the school, the Satos obtained permission from the Ministry of Education to reopen it. On that date Japanese lessons began again in the gymnasium of the United Church at 220 Jackson Street because the original school was still being reconstructed. As in the prewar years, Mr. Sato was the principal and Hanako was a teacher. The photograph of Hanako and her husband with their new students in front of the Vancouver Japanese Language School shows that the postwar students comprised a more varied group than did the prewar students. The students now ranged from young children to adults and had varying levels of competency in Japanese. Hanako explained: It was a completely different experience for us. This had to do with age differences as well as differences in the levels of students. In the old days, students began from the first grade. At that time more than half of the students at Strathcona School began from the first grade. After public school they walked a couple of blocks to the JLS. It was easy for them. But now, the students live far away from school; they have to commute. Postwar students consisted of everyone from young children to older professionals, such  T - t t t f ) jo  91 as doctors, nurses, and ministers, who wanted to learn the language. Everybody had different needs. In the evening we had a class for these students, but it was more like a tutorial session because everybody was at a different level. Also, parents were not as keen as in the old days. If the children did not like to continue, they accepted it. Many did not stay long enough to enjoy the language. After one month or so, many left. It was hard to get a feeling for the students as a group. In 1966, they retired from teaching. Hanako recalled their early retirement days: Although it was lonesome not seeing the students it was nice to be at home. We had been living for the "public" so long that we had no privacy to speak of. If we had children of our own, the circumstance would had been different. Our house was always open for students and guests. In the old days, " teacher" was seishokwMM, [sacred profession^ and we had to be different from ordinary people. I was often talked about. "Even though she is a teacher, she did this and t h a t . . . " I did not feel really relaxed. I always felt that I was wearing kabuto [armour], and I was on guard all the time. I'm sure my personality contributed to this, but I think I became "kamaeru"[on guard] due to my many years of teaching. We were the topic of conversation. When we ate an ice cream cone or went to the movies, people talked about us. After our retirement, I really felt relaxed. It really was nice to have a quiet private life of our own. Right after their retirement, her husband's health began to fail, and Hanako's chores increased. Although she retired from teaching in 1966, her activities continued. After their supposed retirement the Satos published three books based on episodes based in the history of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia. "Writing books" meant that her husband dictated and she took notes, edited, and published them. 38 Hanako had devoted her life to the education of Nisei. When I asked her whether she could have accomplished what she did if she had had children of her own, she immediately replied. Of course not. I could not have spent my full energy teaching. I can give you a good 37 A term often used to describe the teaching profession in Japan; in English it means "priesthood."  38 In 1969 they published Kodomo to tomoni gojunen: (Fifty Years With Children). In  1976, Zoku - kodomo to tomoni gojunen (Building the Bridge) was published, commemorating the Vancouver Japanese Language School's first seventy years. It was at this time that I first met Hanako in person. The Satos were writing yet another book, which, they told me, would be their last. That book, Kanshya no Isshoo (Living in Gratitude), was published in 1980.  92 example. Our good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Aoki, both of whom had a similar background to us, graduated from the teachers training college Shihan They went to Cumberland to teach and we taught in Vancouver. My friend had five or six children. She raised "rippana shimin" VtMft rffS; [splendid citizens], yet she could not teach and spend much time with the students like I had done. I did not have my own children but I have over 3,000 children all over Canada and Japan. She then reflected on her life: If I had been competent in the language, I could have done something bigger for the Japanese community. In the old days, we did not have to study English. When we needed some help, we had our children who could help us. I suppose we were spoiled. In the old days, we wanted more contact with the hakujin people, but we could not have that. In the old days, teaching was called seishoku. We had to behave well to set a good example for our children. It seems that I still have this quality, so I cannot blend with others so easily. I am not like other people who enjoy their retirement years by taking a trip to Reno or sunny places or go bowling with their friends; I cannot say "yes" easily and join them. Probably this is the reason people say that I am snobbish.  Life in the Early 1980s When I visited Hanako in 1982, both of us had changed. I was married and had a daughter, and Hanako had just turned eighty-two. Her husband had been in hospital for a couple of months and had just come back home.  Although she was getting help from her "kodomo tachi"  ^fftfc "^children, former students), looking after both herself and her sick husband was getting harder for her. She often used the term mijime & li#> (miserable). Her mind was as clear and as sharp as before, but her body could not keep up with it. Nevertheless, she still talked and acted like a proper teacher, speaking clearly in polite Japanese, carrying herself well, with her silver- grey hair in place and her movements precise and graceful.39  I was reminded of something she had  said to me at our initial encounter seven years ago as she aided her husband in greeting visitors in  39 It is interesting that Hanako was the only Issei woman whom I could not call Obasan; rather, I called her Hanako-sensei ^iSfc^fc (teacher Hanako) throughout our conversation.  93 their living room: I cannot go [die] before him. He cannot find anything by himself.  watashi wa sakini ikemasen. Sato wa namino jibun de mitsukerare masen kara. %1&9 fr£-trXo &B&teK % g I o i f hthtiit/ofrbo It was very difficult to separate Hanako from her husband, who was ninety-one and often said: "I wonder how long I will live. I feel sorry for Hanako having to look after me like this. It is already November now so I suppose I could survive this year." Hanako died in 1983 before her husband. Reflecting upon her life in Canada, Hanako told me that hers was not the typical life of a proper wife: I have been behaving or acting like a man, not like a woman in the Japanese traditional sense. I am not a traditional Japanese. I could not have done lots of things if I stayed in Japan. Hanako described the changes that had occurred in her neighbourhood: Nowadays, we cannot describe Canada as hakujin no kuni £ A © B [white Canada] as we used to do. Vancouver is no longer English, white Canada. Look around this neighbourhood. There are many East Indians and Koreans. We no longer need to be ashamed of our ethnic background. A need for the Japanese langauge is also changing in the Japanese community. It is no longer a must, as it used to be. Parents speak good English, so children do not have to learn their parents' language This is how history changes but it is sad. [for us Japanese language teachers]  Kuni was another Issei woman who observed changes in her suroundings. She told me that, on her first visit back home in 1930, she found Japan relatively unchanged, although her family's soy sauce factory had been converted into a theater. At the time of her second visit in 1960, the theatre had become a moviehouse; and on the third and fourth visits, she found that it had become a furniture factory and then an apartment complex, respectively. She commented that she felt that life in Japan was economically and environmentally difficult for old people. In contrast, life in  94 Canada was care-free, the environment spacious. I don't have any children, so anywhere I go I am always alone and lonesome, so it really does not matter where I end my life. My relatives in Japan always say, "It is best to be close to your ancestors, so please come home, Kuni-san." My sister-in-law begged me to return to Japan before I die. I did not comment on her request. My relatives in Japan will get my ashes when I die but they won't get me before that. I have been asking many people to send my ashes to Japan. For me, it makes no difference, but it matters to them.  In Japan, she found the cost of living high and life both too busy and too restricted. She saw no reason to live in such a place, preferring to live in Canada, in the more relaxed style to which she had become accustomed. She also felt that people in Japan were not as friendly as people in Vancouver. The only people in Japan who cared about her were her relatives. The rest were all aka-no-tanin jfc<Di&A (total strangers): You see, here in Vancouver, especially around this area, whenever I see someone who looks like a Japanese, we smile at each other to acknowledge our presence. But in Japan, you get ignored by people. They are cold people. I suppose that there are too many people and people cannot pay attention to everyone.  When I began my fieldwork I often saw Kuni at Language Aid, and she was often en route to or from her husband's grave. I still remember her well-groomed white hair, her quiet but assertive voice and movements, and the precise and self-assured way she walked. It is good exercise for me and besides I have nothing to do. The government gave me a lot [land] for the grave. You see, Ojisan was a giyuu hei H H ^ (First World War volunteer soldier). After I am gone, nobody will visit him. She told me that she went to his grave at least once a month and that when the weather was nice she tried to go more often. She developed cataracts which were operated on in 1978.  Due to her  bad eyesight she often came to the Language Aid office with letters to be addressed. She loved to talk about her young relatives in Japan, her nephew's sons and daughters, who often called her Haikara ^4 % y Obasan (meaning modem and westernized aunt). She would laugh and say:  95 Don't you think it's funny that they think I could speak English because I have been living in Canada for all these years? And you know what, I wouldn't tell them how little English I know . 4 0  Since 1977  the Powell Street Festival, a mid-summer event at Oppenheimer Park, has been a  special community event for Japanese Canadians. It is here that I often refresh my associations with many of my friends in the community. At the 1982 Powell Street Festival I saw Satsuko, but not her husband. She told me about her husband's sudden death in the spring of 1981. But I can't be too sad about his death. Life has to go on. Here I am trying to keep the Sketch Club which Ojisan started. Their house, which was too big without her husband, was now the home of two of her granddaughters who were at university. She took good care of them and made sure that they had enough to eat. She told me that sometimes she went grocery shopping three times a day because it was good exercise for her. They are very different from my daughters. Probably times have changed. Through this experience I realize how easy my children were. My daughters were good; they respected me; they never screamed at me. Oh, my granddaughers, they are beyond my comprehension! M y daughter advised me not to get involved too much. So I learned to observe as an outsider. Well, it is a good experience for me to live with the younger generation. Satsuko looked back on her life and said that she felt fulfilled. She suffered no great traumas (except, of course, the Second World War), and did not experience the continuous suffering that was the lot of many other Issei women: Probably my sister suffered more than I did. Financially, I did not worry at all. During the Second World War we went to Lillooet when my sister and children went to Greenwood.  40 One day she told me how frustrated she was not being able to read street names when she missed the bus stop to attend the funeral of one of her friends. She could not tell the bus driver where she wanted to get off and, consequently, arrived one hour late for the service. She asked me to make English alphabet flash cards so that she could practise her English.  96 Her husband was in the internment camp in Alberta. As for my children, they were good. I don't remember having problems with them. I travelled enough and saw the world. Many of my friends tell me that my life has been a good one, and I agree with them. I am sure if I had not married Ojisan my life would have been quite different. The last time I talked to Satsuko, she was ready to take off for yet another visit to Japan with one of her granddaughters.  Many things were planned for Satsuko this time.  One of the main  purposes of this trip was to attend her stepfather's fiftieth memorial service. She planned to visit the graves of her husband's mother and her own parents.  Postscript Every spring during cherry blossom season, I attempted to take Kuni out to the Nitobe Garden at the University of British Columbia. We never made it and we never will. The blossoms were gone when I had time, and it was too cold for her when we were both free. In the Spring of 1982 I had phoned her a few times to go Ohanami jsTEJIL ( viewing the cherry blossoms).  41  No  answer. She was working in her garden as usual, I thought. I tried again in the evening. No answer. Worried about her, I contacted my friend at Tonari Gumi. He informed me that she had gone to Japan again and that she would be back by the end of April. He was supposed to meet her at the airport. Yes, I thought, visiting Japan again. Kuni has been saying "this is my last visit to Japan" since I first knew her. I left a message for her with my friend as I was planning to be away from Vancouver and would not be present when she returned. I would see her on my return and ask her about the "real Ohanami" 2fc=^tf>:fe7£JiL in Japan. My friend called when I returned from vacation and informed me that Kuni had died in Japan on the way to the airport in Tokyo, where she was going to transfer to a flight to Vancouver. I  Cherry-blossom viewing. Ohnuki-Tierney (1998) argues that, throughout history, cherry blossoms and their viewing have constituted one of the most significant dimensions of Japanese culture. 4 1  97 knew she was old but did not realize how fragile she had become. Although I knew that she had been well prepared for her death, I was not. That evening I dug out my old manuscripts on Kuni. In its own way, my bumpy writing described her well, at least for me. I could see and hear her talking and laughing with me. It was just like Kuni to die on the way to Vancouver. I was certain that all her relatives had again tried to persuade her to remain in Japan and had failed. As she used to proclaim, "Oh well, this time it is my last!" Despite her relatives "lecturing her to stay in Japan," for Kuni, Vancouver was home. I believe that when she left Nagasaki for the last time, her mind and heart were in Vancouver. In June 1982 there was a memorial service for her at the Buddhist Church in her old neighbourhood, where her many friends honoured her memory.  B: Nisei Women Of the seven Nisei women who took part in this study ( Ellen b. 1922; Lillian b. 1922; Fumiko b. 1929; Mary b. 1930; Midge b. 1930; Aya b. 1930; Eiko 1935) at the time of the interviews, in 1996 - 97, two were in their mid-seventies, four were in their mid-sixties, and one was in her early sixties (the latter being the only one in the workforce). Three of the women were married to Nisei men, one was married to a non-Japanese Canadian, two were widows (one since 1980 and one since 1995), and one was divorced. All of them, with the exception of one who was bom and raised in Saskatchewan, were born and grew up in what is now known as Greater Vancouver (Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster) before the outbreak of the Second World War. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the older Nisei were in their early twenties; the others were pre-teens; and the youngest Nisei was eight.  The Canadian government did a thorough job of  eradicating Japanese Canadian communities along the Pacific coast. Consequently, in coastal areas, especially in parts of Greater Vancouver, it is now hard to imagine the once strong Japanese Canadian presence.  98 Encounter At the time of the interviews, all the women except one had been living in Greater Vancouver and Victoria for over fifteen years. This meant that many of them had resided in the area during the height of the redress movement, which began in the early 1980s and culminated in the signing of the Redress Agreement between the Canadian government and the National Association of Japanese Canadians on 22 September 1988. Their narratives tell of their involvement in a movement that encouraged them to reconnect not only with their Japanese Canadian history but also to try to regain their lost communities. Japanese Canadian community organizations.  Many of them were actively involved in various The older Nisei women were my mother's age;  the younger were contemporaries of my parents' younger siblings. I often heard Japanese Canadians, including Nisei themselves, say that the Nisei are difficult people to deal with. Many Nisei often described themselves as muzukashii t H ^ L l ^ (difficult to comprehend), and I was told that the Nisei were both very self-critical and shy.  One Nisei commented: "It is good that  you, who don't have hang-ups like us, are doing the research on the Japanese Canadians."  42  Another Nisei woman said: You know, we are a difficult lot. Very complex and difficult. I am not a typical Nisei. You see, I talk too much about myself and our community. If I were an ordinary Nisei, I would not have participated in your project. I obtained some of my knowledge about the Nisei through secondary sources (e.g., Adachi, K. 1976:157-178; Makabe 1976; Ayukawa b 1996:236-269), Issei women's narratives about their children, and my Sansei friends' comments about their parents, aunts, and uncles. However, I had very little direct contact with this group during my 1970s research in the Vancouver Japanese  42 I was curious about what she actually meant about "hang-ups" and wanted to inquire further. However, after being told "Don't put the tape on yet!" I restrained myself and did not probe further. In retrospect, I think that I probably wanted to maintain the image of a "polite Japanese" by not asking too many questions right at the outset.  99 Canadian community. Some Issei women indicated to me that their children did not like them associating with a Shin-Issei and speaking in Japanese. From these women's comments about their children I sensed that the Nisei disliked me because I was a Japanese from Japan who shared their mothers' life narratives and experiences.  43  Were they against me as a person, as a generic  Japanese, or as someone who could speak the only language in which their mothers could freely express their thoughts? Were they against the rapport I was establishing with their mothers? Was the issue language, or something else?  44  In total, I interviewed and collected the life narratives of seven Nisei women. The narratives reflect diversity in age, birth order, family status, geographical backgrounds, and degrees of association with relatives. The older Nisei women were the most affected by British Coumbia's prewar racism and discriminatory practices. Their Issei parents and older Nisei competed with other Canadians at a time when job opportunities were already seriously restricted for Japanese Canadians.  45  They were the ones who, throughout postwar Canada, looked after younger siblings  and dislocated parents. Eventually, through their hard work both during and after the war, they gained acceptance. The rigid hierarchy crumbled, and the Nisei were scattered, free to pursue lives  I felt that some Nisei simply did not like the idea of someone talking to their mothers because they did not know what the latter were saying to me. I remember wondering about the real issue behind this conflict. It demonstrated the importance of a shared language that would have allowed them to understand their mothers and their past. 4 3  Later I found clues to possible answers to some of my questions in Sakamoto's The Electrical Field (1998), where she describes the Nisei protagonist, Asako Saito, and her thoughts about her neighbour, a Shin-Issei woman whose innocence (she had not dealt with being a Japanese Canadian during the Second World War), Asako envied. 4 4  45 As has been mentioned, at the time of relocation in 1942, 95 per cent of Nikkei resided in British Columbia; 60 per cent were Canadian-born; 13 per cent were naturalized before 1923; and the rest were Japanese nationals, the majority of whom were women who had lived in Canada for more than twenty-five years.  100 quite different from the ones they had been expected to live. All interviews (except one) were conducted in each woman's living room surrounded by framed photographs of their children and grandchildren, Japanese dolls or prints and other "things Japanese," together with a print of the Sansei artist Linda Ohama. lunch or dinner after the interviews.47  46  Sometimes they offered me  On a few occasions, their Nisei husbands served us tea  while we were in session. On one occasion the daughter of an interviewee joined in at the beginning of the interview. Due to their ailing health, or having to take care of their aging husbands, some women were reorganizing their living environments while exploring new challenges, such as taking Japanese lessons or offering their services to the community at large. I asked the Nisei women to describe their lives up to the present time. M y opening question was: "Tell me about your life, where you were born, and where you were raised" (see Appendix C).  Some began right away and continued on with information about their parents. They would  often stop and ask me, " Do you want me to say all these things?" Others began hesitantly: "Oh, I do nothing, [silence.  Then, slowly] . . . well I'll tell you what I know" or  "You ask me  questions, O K ? "  46 A print of Linda Ohama's Wataridori (Bird of Passage) was one of the products of the redress movement's fundraising efforts. It was sold to members of the Nikkei communities in the mid-1980s. 47 I wondered then whether my father, back in Japan, would serve tea to my mother's friends or guests. M y mother often noted that there is no retirement for women. A similar feeling was expressed by a seventy-eight-year-old housewife (Asahi Shinbunsha 1986: 15). My father, who was quite open and who allowed his three daughters to do almost anything they wanted, could not extend the same freedom to his wife. In his old age he expected my mother to serve him.  101  The Early Days: Family and Community The Nisei women's narratives varied greatly, reflecting when and where they were born and raised, and whether they had lived in or outside of the Japantown area in Vancouver. It seems 48  49  that, to both Japanese Canadians and Canadians, there is only one Japantown. However, the women's narratives indicate delicate boundaries that separated Japantown into at least two different worlds: (1) the area around Powell Street, Alexander Street, and adjacent streets where many shop owners' and their families lived, and (2) the Strathcona area, where not only Japanese Canadians but also many other ethnic groups lived (Marlatt and Itter, ed. 1979). There were also Nisei women who lived in a predominatly white environment and who associated with "hakujin friends" outside of Japantown (e.g., in other parts of Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster). They had constantly experienced two different worlds because they lived away from "Japantown kids."  50  Many were often sent to the Vancouver Japanese Language School on  Alexander Street after attending "Canadian" schools. As one woman recalled: The world was divided so that there were no words such as "Japanese-Canadians" and "Chinese-Canadians." Nothing in between. No hyphenated words then. We were  48 We cannot ignore their birth order since many eldest children, whose parents could not speak English, functioned as a bridge between the two worlds. They were often their parents' interpreters and protected their younger siblings from the racism that they themselves had experienced. 49 Sometimes the women used the term "Japanese town." After I asked what she meant by "Japantown kids," she explained that, when she was a child, Japantown kids "were the children of Powell Street business families who were of good standing and somewhat powerful in the Japanese Canadian community. They felt they were as powerful as their fathers or families in the community, and they behaved accordingly. Their English was not as good as that of the children who lived outside of the Japantown area (that, is, not on Powell Street). Those children had more contact with English-speaking friends." She continued: "I think they didn't like us playing with Hakujin kids. They used to say 'Why do you play with T H E M ? ' I used to say,' They are my friends.' " 5 0  102 Japanese and they were Canadians, see: Hakujin (White people)5i and us.  The world looked quite different to a young child, however. Eiko remembered that her father, who had worked for a codfish cooperative, "kept books and things," and went to work every day with "suits on" (it was uncommon for Nikkei to wear suits to work). She described Japantown in the late 1930s as it appeared to a child of three or four. And she drew a map of it, trying to locate places in her memory. I have memories of, bits of memories of Vancouver. But I can't locate, you know, what I think of Vancouver now. I can't locate exactly, except I know where my family lived, I know the address where we lived. We lived on Alexander - - Nihonjinmachi 0 ^AP3T - and the Japanese Langauge School is here. And I remember tricycling, tricycling down to the other corner. I'm sure an otera [temple] was there, on the corner. Yeah. So I have memories of crossing the street, tricycling to the end. . . . Here is otera jo#.. . there used to be a bread store - - a bakery - - and I remember there was a bread called Four X, and we used to go to buy bread . . . Other things I remember is that a church is here, Catholic . . . There is a little cross on the top: this is a strange image in my childhood memory. Yeah, yeah, my mother used to say omeriya-san 33 ; > < ' J £ A> [Church of Mary]. This seemed to be a long, long walk for a child. And I remember mother and I walking there because we went there to Safeway to buy peanut butter. [ Laughs] Very important. Yeah, yeah. And I remember it as the marker, I have to go for a long walk to go to Safeway. I have this memory that I have to go across that park to buy peanut butter, [laughs] . . . Yeah! . . . As a child you remember things, funny things, you know. Well, you remember things that were important.  Several blocks away from Japantown where Eiko lived, Mary, the daughter of a grocery store owner, described her house, which was located at the corner of Georgia Street and Hawks Avenue, where she had lived until she was nine: "We had a living quarter in the back. In old days it was called 'cabin.' It's a row house." Midge, the daughter of a carpenter, lived in the same area as  All but one Nisei women used the term "Hakujin." Literally, hakujin means White person. As the above quote indicates, among Japanese Canadians, the term is often refer to nonJapanese Canadians ("them") as opposed to Japanese and /or Japanese Canadians ("us"). 5 1  103 Mary. She recalled her old home: 700 block East Geogia was exactly where the house was. This is now in MacLean Park, I think. The house across the street is still there, the even [number] side of the Georgia Street is still there, but the odd side has been destroyed and became a part of a park. . . . Hakujin kids, there were some Japanese kids. There were hakujin, Italian, Russian, Ukranian . . . and there was an English girl. We all went down to the corner, at Hawks, Hawks Avenue. It was a wide street at that time, and there was very little traffic. So we used to play games, run across, then, roller skating right on the road. And we all played together, boys and girls. 52  Both Midge and Mary were born in 1930 and grew up in Japantown until the mass evacuation, which occurred when they were twelve years old. Their lives and activities were mostly occupied with going to Buddhist and Christian Sunday schools, Strathcona Elementary School, and the Vancouver Japanese Language School on Alexander Street. Midge continued: I played with non-Japanese kids and many Japanese kids teased me. Oh, some of them were really mean . . . I think many Japanese kids suffered in Canadian schools because many of them could not speak English well. My two older brothers suffered with their lack of English. You see, I was the third child. By the time I grew up my brothers were speaking English. My eldest brother used to read the English newspaper and translated it into Japanese for my mother. He was choonan^k^ [ the eldest son in the family].  The above narrative reveals how the birth order affected the ease with which children acquired English.  Midge's narratives reminded me of Shin-Issei women's comments about their  children's English proficiency. They often indicated that they were very keen to have their older children maintain their Japanese so that they could act as mediators with the outside Englishspeaking world, while the younger ones tended to escape this role. Nisei women were often aware of their position as a channel between the Japanese world of their mothers and the Canadian world into which they, as Nisei, had been born. The eldest child felt this most strongly, as he or she was often expected to mediate between the two cultures. Older children often protected their younger  52 This area was part of an "urban renewal" project - - the MacLean Housing Project - that was proposed by the city in the early 1960s. Four blocks of homes were demolished in 1968. See Marlatt and Itter (1979: 174-180).  104 siblings from the outside world, and tried to spare them the hardships they had themselves encountered. When mothers brought their children to register for first grade, Nisei children often found themselves interpreting on behalf of their mothers.53  Ellen, one of the older Nisei women in my study, was born in 1922 and was the eldest child. She told me how she acquired her English as a young child as the public schools did not accept children who could not speak English.  "There was none of E S L [English as a Second Language]  business you have now. So, we were required to know English before we entered school." She told me how her mother used to take her to the United Church kindergarten on Sixth Avenue and Columbia Street, 54 on the other side of Cambie Street from her house. She then described the Fairview District around False Creek near the Cambie Street Bridge, where many Japanese worked at the sawmills. There was then a small Nikkei community located around Second Avenue. She recounted a change in her environment when she was an eleven-year-old in Grade 6. It was at this time that her family moved into the Powell Street area, which she referred to as  53 Richard Hirabayashi, in his talk at a Seattle conference entitled Nikkei Experience in the Pacific Northwest (May 2000), recalled that his eldest brother, Gordon, was the person who took him on his first day of school, while other classmates were taken by their mothers. 54 Sumida (1935) has written about Japanese assimilation in British Columbia, and he points to Christianity as a prominant factor in this. He suggests that the Christianization of the Japanese was steady among the Nisei generation because their Issei parents, who were Buddhists, were "permitting and even encouraging their children to adopt the religion of Canada" (p. 154). In the 1920s the United Church Japanese Mission Night School was opened to assist Japanese immigrants in adapting to the Canadian way of life, but it closed in 1933 (p. 122-23). This may indicate that, by then, Nisei were old enough to be interpreters for their Issei parents, who were also gaining English skills, and that the English classes were no longer necessary.  105 "downtown."  55  She described "downtown" as "a very different type of community all  together." 6 Her memories of the Fairview district, where she had been born, were of a place of 5  "mostly White people," where she used to play with "White kids." In contrast to this the Powell Street area, where "no white people" lived, was "all Japanese." Ellen was the only Nisei woman who used the English term instead of the Japanese term [hakujin]. Her experiences at the two schools she attended - - Model School, where she took her first six years of elementary school, and Strathcona School - - were also very different. She had a few Japanese classmates in Model School but many more in Strathcona School.  57  Different kind of school altogether. It was, I don't know, it seemed to be about 60 per cent Japanese and 30 per cent Chinese, and the rest were mixed people, Jewish, and Russian, and all kinds of . . . I am not so sure about but it seemed to me that most of the students were Japanese.  Ellen continued to describe her new environment. Even though there were many Chinese in Chinatown, Japanese Canadians did not have much to do with them. Nikkei were scattered all over town and up to Georgia Street, the present Vancouver Chinatown area, and all along Powell Street. She said that the Nikkei were treated differently from the Chinese. Japan had a diplomatic agreement with Great Britain, but this changed after Japan's expansion into colonizing Manchuria  55 See Macdonald 1992:38-43. A map on page 39 shows the commercial land that covered the Japantown area on Powell Street in the 1920s. Indeed, it was a "downtown" when compared with the Fairview area where Ellen used to live. 56 A picture of Powell Street in the 1930s (VPL 21773, in Atkin 1994:68) illustrates the ambience of a lively and vibrant Nikkei community - - a community within which many Nisei lived their daily lives. No one could picture this past neighbourhood from looking at present-day Japantown.  57 The Strathcona School motto was "the School of Many Nationalities and Only One Flag" (Marlatt and Itter 1979:93).  106 and Korea, and then the subsequent activities of the Japanese army in Asian countries. Nikkei received "a lot of backlash here from White people." Ellen's move was due to her grandparents' decision to retire to Japan. They had a store on Powell Street, which they owned with her father. She described how some store keepers on Powell Street operated at that time and explained to me how her grandmother looked after her employees. Employees - - they didn't have many, one or two - - but they always fed them. Some of them were living there; sometimes they came from Japan and they didn't have a place to stay. And this store used to be a rooming-house when the original owners had it. So there were lots of rooms up there. So when my grandmother went back to Japan, there was nobody to do that. So my mother moved to downtown and we all moved with her.  Due to the nature of her family business, Ellen was quite aware of discrimination toward the Japanese at that time. She told me about her uncle, who was sent to study pharmacy in the United States in order to manage the family business. However, because he was unable to practise his profession upon his return to Vancouver he went to Japan and started his own business there. They called it a drug store but it really wasn't a drug store because they were not allowed to dispense drugs or prescriptions. This was because of discrimination . . . You couldn't even join the Pharmaceutical Association because they said that "we will not accept you because you don't have [a right to ] vote." So it was a vicious circle, you see: if you didn't belong to this association then you couldn't practise. She later described how she felt as a high school student growing up in the 1930s in Vancouver, and she expressed her frustrations as an adolescent living in "segregated" worlds: We were not allowed to do just like Caucasians . . . No vote. We had no power. We were all scared. Oh, yeah. The British looked down on everybody. They would never socialize [with us]. No. It was impossible. Teachers treated us equally,58 but that was inside the class. But outside . . . we couldn't. There is no point to it. You couldn't go around socializing with anybody else. Maybe you could with your own group . . . Over the years we were looked down all the time; we couldn't do anything, so we were all 58 See Ashworth 1979: 91-132.  107 scared. Oh, yeah. We were all scared. There was always this feeling of discrimination against Japanese, yeah, not just Japanese, against Chinese, too, yeah. They didn't treat Orientals well, or these Indians. Because this was British Columbia . . . we wouldn't be speaking Chinese, or Japanese on the buses just like the Chinese do now, you know. They don't care . . . No, we didn't talk, we didn't talk Japanese. No. We were scared. Oh yeah, it was really scary. Because we have to go to school, we used to take a bus to go to school.  Lillian, another older Nisei, was born the same year as Ellen. She recollected her childhood living in the 1920s and 1930s, with her maternal grandparents and relatives living nearby: My mother had her own parents living in Vancouver, Collingwood. They had a huge acre of farmland near Boundary Road and Kingsway. It's up there. And there were Japanese, quite a few Japanese families there, sort of from the same part of Japan - - Shiojiri, Nagano-ken. My grandparents had a big farm, lots of vegetables and everything. I used to go every weekend, a whole family, so all came together every weekend and we had a good marvellous time . . . Across the street there was another cousin. We all shared a good time together, and my grandfather had an ofuro [ Japanese bath], an outside ofuro, and that was quite a treat. So we enjoyed the Japanese traditions, too. We ate lots of Japanese food. I remember every New Year, when they had different people visiting us. There was a spread, spread of Japanese food, all those good treats. And Christmas, only the family would get together around the turkey, you know. More like, a Christmas tree and toys, more like a family affair. New Year's [celebration], relatives visiting, just like in Japan . . . It was a very traditional up-bringing [that I had], 9 I think so. 5  Lillian claimed to not experience any direct discrimination. Yet she remembered vividly how she sensed it as a child and a young adult in the city or on the street: "Just that 'look' - - yeah. I knew that we were not completely accepted." She then continued to talk about how things had changed when she returned to Vancouver with her family in the early 1950s: When we were children growing up, the Caucasians were, I would say the British people were the dominant race here. And I think, and I believe, they were quite racist. They looked down on the Chinese and the Japanese and maybe any other race . . . But when the war ended and when we came back in the fifties, it was different. . . Yeah, yeah. Their  59 Later in our conversation she indicated that she and her husband try not to interfere with their children's lives: "Not too much, just like our parents . . . They have their own lives."  108 attitude was much more accepting, and even today, although there must have been some reason, their whole attitude towards the ethnic races is much more accepting. They haven't got that snobbish attitude. Yeah. Well, new immigrants from England are much more open and not as traditional as they used to be in the past. The British Empire went down, you know. That must have been the reason. Then the world became more global, a whole [new] society. The world is getting more global, and we must accept our differences. I believe that, that we must in order to survive.  Ellen and Lillian both had feelings about racial discrimination and spoke of how they grew up in Vancouver "being scared."60 However, A y a , several years younger than Ellen and Lillian, says that the social environment within which she grew up was nothing like that of her children's. She told me how "insecure" she had felt growing up and indicated that the environment within which her children grew up was similar to that of the hakujin kids who had "all the advantages in the world."  61  Aya, who was born in 1930, was the second daughter of a New Westminster  strawberry packer who believed his children were Canadians and did not insist on sending them 62  to the Vancouver Japanese Language School. A : I always felt, uh, insecure, because, why did I have to be born Japanese? Because, you see, hakujin kids had all the advantages, you know. Their parents came along, their parents 60 Were they scared because they sensed something from their parents? Was it the same thing that made Hanako, an Issei Japanese language school teacher, fear for her students? Were the younger Nisei shielded from the reality of discrimination by their parents and older siblings? Aya, who lived away from the Nikkei community, did not really experience what Ellen and Lillian experienced. And she did not attend the Vancouver Japanese Language School on Alexander Street. 61 Sansei women, however, did not see their environment as their mothers saw it. Many of them had said that they did not feel part of mainstream Canada and they were still experiencing discrimination in the 1960s and early 1980s. This stands in contrast to Makabe's (1998) insistence that Sansei were "truly Canadian." I shall discuss this in the following section. 62 For information on the Fraser Valley strawberry industry as well as agricultural industries in general in the 1930s, see Nakayama 1921; Sumida 1935; and Ayukawa 1996 b:142179.  109 all came. Of course my parents never showed up, things like that. I always felt that I was an outsider . . . They [her parents] came to a Christmas party, a Christmas concert, I remember, at night. Hall full of people, and things like that. We went together. I remember that. None of the Issei showed up. Y: Because they were too busy and because of language? A:Yeah, they wouldn't be able to, uh, discuss [with teachers] how their kids were progressing, those kind of things, you know? There was no point in them [coming] . . . Felt some kind of uh, you know, I don't know what to say, but you see, when all the other kids' parents came and they [her classmates] were making all the fuss, you know. It would be kind of nice to show [my parents]... Something was missing. 63  Midge, a contemporary of Aya's, described how, in her early days, she participated in a parade as a ochigosan [a celestial child in a Buddhist procession] at the opening of a Buddhist temple: "I have a picture of me in the parade as Ochigosan, a grand opening of Otera Buddhist temple." This temple was at the corner of Prince and Cordova Streets. She explained that the building no longer existed but that her father and his associates had built it. According to her, while it was being built her father used to stop his work and chat with her whenever he saw her walking to the Vancouver Japanese Language School. She was always eager to attend any school, even a Baptist kindergarten. She recalled her Bible class: M:There was a family nearby, Japanese family, who became very interested in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and then they decided to have a bible class for the local kids, you know. So, an English woman from the Church had a bible school. We all went - - Italian, Ukranian, everybody. Every Saturday afternoon. And then one day I missed. She asked me, "Where were you?" so I replied, "I went to a movie." This teacher said to me, "Don't you know God cannot look after you in a building like that?" Just like that. Y: How old were you? M : Well, I don't know. I must had been seven years old. This woman saying, "Don't you know God cannot look after you at a place like that. You shouldn't go." Very strange, you know. But I still went.  Her Bible school teacher sometimes took the class to "this big church" somewhere in Vancouver  63 In our later conversations, she indicated how she tried to participate in her children's school activities so that they would not feel "something missing" as she had when she was a child.  110 and let them recite the Lord's Prayer in Japanese in front of a congregation who thought that "these little heathens [would be] saved by this." I think her name was Mrs. Barclay. Isn't that funny? But, my father used to say, "It doesn't matter what church you went to, because there is only one God." Yeah. That's why he allowed all this, "waruikoto narawan karatte •tii^oA/^'b o T [ you won't learn anything really bad]. Later on, I took my kid brother to Otera no j3#0[Buddist] Sunday school.  Midge's father's openness toward Christianity reminded me of Ellen's comments about how the Japanese accepted the help of Christian missionaries because many of them spoke perfect Japanese learned during their sojourns in Japan. She remembered Methodist missionaries who worked on Powell Street helping the Japanese to integrate by teaching them English, cooking techniques, and other necessary skills to learn housekeeping at that time. Many young Japanese women went to live with Canadian families. Just like the Japanese in Japan at that time, who were eager to adopt Western cultures and technology, many immigrants were attracted to Christian churches, a channel to learn Western cultures, and often had no objections to being helped by them. Sumida writes of the steady Chirstianization of the Japanese (1935:159). Some Buddhist Issei were not only eager to intergrate into the Canadian culture but also encouraged their own children to do so.  64  At the same time, Nisei were compelled to attend Japanese language schools and retain and acquire their parents' language and culture as Ellen and Lillian had described that they were "forced" to attend the Vancouver Japanese Language School after their regular school day ended.  64 We can also observe a slight transformation in Buddhist services in Canada. Otera: (temple) became "Buddhist Church" and began to offer services that were similar to Christian services.  Ill Yet they felt that they did not really learn Japanese. 65 Midge, unlike her brothers, was not forced to attend the language school; nonetheless, she was very eager to do so. She was.the only person in my study who said that she enjoyed studying Japanese as a child. M : I loved Japanese School. I was yutoosei M^£%. [head of the class] every year. Y: So your mother was very proud. M : Yeah, because my other brothers were horrible in Japanese school. Oh yeah, they hated i t . . . But I really liked it. In fact, you see, if you were born in June, you can't go to Japanese school till you are six, so I was almost seven by the time I started. By then I knew Book One and Book Two. I knew them all. I had my brothers' [old text books] and I liked studying them. I remember my mother and father having a "conference" with some friends: "What are you going to do with her? Are you going to put her in Grade 1, or Grade 2?" . . . I really liked Japanese. And of course it made my father and mother happy, so, I did study more. I did all the time, and I enjoyed doing it.  Thousands of miles away from the Pacific west coast, there were small Nikkei communities. Fumiko was born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the eldest child of a couple from Miyagi Prefecture. This is how she began her story: All right, I'll start. My name is Fumiko and I was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1929. M y father originally came to Canada as a bachelor in 1919 from Miyagi-ken. Do you want me to say all those things? She described her family life in a small Nikkei community in the Depression-era Prairies. She remembered that there were many gravestones with Japanese names (dating from 1914) in an abandoned city cemetery.  Only recently did she connect those gravestones to her childhood  memories of elderly single Japanese men living in banku hausu (bunk houses).  Those men  worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in its early days, and her father worked for a CPR Hotel.  65 Both women were eager to improve their Japanese. Ellen obtained her B A degrees in Japanese and music at the University of British Columbia when she returned to school in the 1960s. Lillian is presently attending Tonari Gumi's Japanese conversation class so that she will be able to communicate with the Shin-Issei who attend her church.  112 There were a few [Japanese] families, only four, five families in Moose Jaw; in Regina forty miles away, maybe a dozen families. Once a year we'd meet half way and we'd have picnics, games, origami, watermelon, you know. That's how we got together. 66  Fumiko noted that people spoke Japanese at these get-togethers and indicated that she herself spoke only Japanese until she began public school. She claimed that, even though she had lost her Japanese language skills, Japanese food still played an important role in her life. She described how the culture of Japanese food was maintained in Moose Jaw. But the food, we had! Yes, the food we kept. We had cultural things like oshogatsu *3IE^[the New Year's celebration] hinamatsuri [the Doll's Day/Girls D a y ] . Mother always set out the dolls. So they worked on quite a bit of culture. My mother would cook Japanese food . . . And she used to take us to a field to pick karashi fat? Lfwild mustard plants] or something with yellow flowers to make otsukemono HeofM^O [Japanese pickles]. Always otsukemono&Wfa • We always had that, and they got the food. They always got shipments of food from Vancouver, I think [from] Furuya, or something. I didn't quite know [how my parents had done it]. Once a year a whole 100pound sack of rice, barrel of miso, shooyu, takuwan, yeah. We were never short of Japanese food. Facinating, isn't it? 67  68  During oshogatsu j o i E J ^ [New Year's], omochi: JQ%tj[rice cakes], ozooni: jo$t=#: [special dish for the New Year's], drinking sake fg, all those things. They would make the rounds. Then my father and friends make rounds visiting their friends' houses. She also told me that her mother experimented with Western food as well: For Christmas, oh yeah, my mother had a whole thing. Cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes.  She referred to suika wari, a game involving the breaking of watermelon. This game is one of the main attractions at the Powell Street Festival. In Japan, however, this game is played on the beach rather than in a park. 6 6  6 The Girls' Festival is celebrated on March 3. It is also a seasonal festival called momono-sekku featuring peach blossoms. The dolls, which represent members of the ancient imperial court, are displayed on tiers of shelves, covered with red cloth, in the home of the family that has a young girl. 7  6 8  See Suenaga's Shigaken imin to Nikkei kinu shooji gaisha "shirukorainaa" no soogyo  [Immigrants from Shiga Prefecture and the Operation of Japanese Canadian Silk Company: Silukorainaa] (1998). The Japanese Bazzaar (Oriental Importing Company) was established in 1926 in Calgary and, in the 1920s, operated eighteen stores in the Canadian midwest.  113 She [mother] picked up [how to prepare these dishes] in Moose Jaw because there were family friends who were already there. One of my mother's friends had made hakujin friend and she passed on to my mother. She had made the tradition. Great lemon pie, great apple pie, canning. 69  Impact of the War There was no curfew in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but Fumiko pointed out that she had to register as an "enemy alien" when she turned sixteen. Her father lost his job at the hotel where he had worked for twenty years and had to begin to work as a cook. Nonetheless, the war did not have as heavy an impact on Fumiko as it did on most Nisei in British Columbia. The war affected Nisei women very differently according to their age. Generally, they experienced the same traumas as did Issei women: dislocation and relocation, loss of community, and family disintegration. The older Nisei experienced loss of educational opportunities and, thus, future careers. Nisei women endured the loss of their identity, their nationality, and their ethnicity (Kadota 1996). Depending on their age at the time of the war, each Nisei woman remembered different struggles.  Ellen  recalled: [When the] war came, everything was topsy turvey, everything came upside-down. Yeah, I was only twenty when it happened. I was twenty-one when I got married . . . Everybody disappeared, so I went along with them. Well, there was no community left because of the war.  When the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred all the Nisei women in my study were living in Vancouver. They did not have to move into the Pacific National Exhibition Park TO before their  69 Her mother's cooking tradition is alive and spreading all across Canada. From 1988 to the late 1990s Fumiko has regularly contributed "Japanese Canadian cuisine" recipes in the JCCA Bulletin. D. R. Nagata has now taken her place. 70 "Hastings Park," or the Pacific National Exhibition Park (PNE), was used as a temporary holding place for the Nikkei who lived along the Pacific coast of British Columbia.  114 departure to various relocation destinations. Eiko, whose family had close ties with her Steveston relatives remembered: Before we were relocated, we went back to Steveston because my dad was the youngest brother. So we packed everything in Vancouver and went to Steveston and joined up with my uncle, the oldest, and we moved together . . . So, as a result, they [her parents] didn't have very much, but my uncle persuaded them to move to a self-supporting place . . . So my father went with his brother. So we all went together.  Midge's family remained in Vancouver without her father while waiting for the relocation order. During that period she sensed her mother's struggle to manage the family without her husband, who was sent to one of the road camps right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After her father was sent off to the road camp her eldest brother, who was in Grade 12, quit school even though her mother tried to persuade him to complete his studies as he was only a few months away from graduation. Unlike her father, her mother could not "force him to go" to school. She told me that her eldest brother was wagamama (selfish) so "he quit" and never did finish high school: She [mother] is very stoic . . . There was a lot of stress. Because I remember when my father was gone, my oldest brother was acting up. I remember he and his friend one day were out past the curfew and a policeman brought them back. Boy, was she ever mad. She was so mad at my brother about that, "what are our neighbours going to say?" You know, it's very Japanese. Midge told how one day, after walking around for a long time, she ended up somewhere in downtown Vancouver where she sat and ate "a muffin or cupcake or something" for lunch. This was when her mother took her and her younger brother shopping. "We just sat there." Her mother did not say a thing and Midge knew something was terribly wrong. I got mad at my brother [eldest]. I said to him, "It is all your fault." I was only twelve, not quite twelve. "You're the one causing all these problems." He looked at me as though I were crazy, I remember. I was really mad. I could sense what the problem was. I said, "It is all your fault!" It was a very stressful [time].  115 She also remembered that, while her family was waiting for the relocation order, a couple of families lived together in a house. These families were without their fathers, who, due to the road camp program, were sent off as able-bodied "enemy alien" males. 71 Not knowing when the family would be sent away or where they would go, her mother went to the Mass Evacuation Group to request that they all be sent together. The request was soon granted. They had twentyfour hours to pack up. Her brothers and mother did the packing with the help of her father's boss's son, who somehow knew that they were leaving. They were sent to Lemon Creek.  Under the self-support program three Nisei women spent the war years with their parents and relatives, two in Minto, British Columbia, and one in Montreal, Quebec. Lillian, whose father was "quite a successful business man" who owned a store on Granville Street near Hastings, moved with her family to Montreal, where she continued her studies. L:Well, we were all going to school, a whole family was going to school, with the rest of the Japanese people. They gave us very limited time. So, my dad rented the house to another hakujin family, and we stored our diaries and jewellery, and cutlery in a special room. But it was all gone . . .[In Montreal] we continued to lead a quite normal life because we all continued our school. Y: At McGill? L: McGill is one university that refused us. I remember going, trying to register, and [ being told] "no." It was quite clear cut. Yeah, my brother-in-law was admitted only because they thought his name was a Ukrainian or European, and they let him go for one whole year. When they discovered he was Japanese, they made him leave; so he continued his course at the University of New Brunswick in the Maritimes.  Although they had more "freedom" than their friends in the government camps in the interior  71 These included both native-born and naturalized Japanese Canadian citizens as well as Japanese nationals between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Midge indicated that her father was called back to Vancouver to help build temporary camps in Hastings Park and then in Slocan. She remembered that, after hearing that the government needed carpenters, her mother went to the "office" (of either the Mass Evacuation Groups or the Brtish Columbia Security Commission) to ask that her husband be allowed back as he was a carpenter and could be useful.  116 of British Columbia, there were many sad stories associated with their situation. Lillian witnessed how hard it was to get jobs in Montreal, especially for the Nisei who had been going to school at that time. For women there were very few decent jobs. You know, girls get anything they can get a hold of, and I know of one very respectable woman in our community. She had to go housekeeping in Montreal. I don't think I should mention her name because everybody knows her, a respectable person. So she was raped by the man of the house. She was found hanging in a bathroom because she felt so bad. So that is a part of the tragedy in the Vancouver Japanese community. People really didn't know. Oh, sad. Jobs were so scarce they had to do housekeeping to survive.  Eiko, the youngest of the Nisei women of this study, remembered a sudden change in her life as a young child, when she left Vancouver in 1942.  She described her life in a self-supporting  camp in Minto. I was in Grade 1 in Strathcona and in Grade 1 in Nihonjin gakko 0 : £ A # 4 & [Japanese language school], then I moved . . . I know lots of things but I don't really know what was going on. Even when I was in Minto I didn't know what really was going on. We had a lot of fun, you know, yeah . . . [Laughs] We were in the middle of the mountains, and every day we went hiking on the mountains, snow gliding. My family, and all the Japanese families, made the whole place into a vegetable garden. Fences - - they built fences - - and everybody farmed to make food. Yeah. So, it looked like a Japanese village. My mother would wear a thing on her head and one of those aprons [Japanese style], you know. They were all in the garden, working all day, and talk, chattering with neighbours, because there was nothing to do. She recounted how she and other children followed her "fun uncle," who used to sing choina choina  "f-s^ -^(Japanese folk melody)], and how every day they would listen to a  short-wave radio at the hotel. Eiko told me how her uncle used to take notes so that he could inform his friends in town about Japanese news. She then told me how she enjoyed watching Japanese films. I remember, Japanese films used to come, maybe they were old films circulated in different towns [relocation camps]. I remember going . . . somebody in town would do shibai [Japanese play], you know, that kind of thing. Somebody would read it, yeah, the [silent] film would be on and he would [read the scripts]. I never heard somebody talking about these things . . . The whole town had a hobby. I think because Minto was a self-  117 supporting place, there was more freedom there. The other places were like camps and everbody kind of lived together. We had our own home and we had our own garden.  Interestingly, Ellen's memories of living in Minto as a young adult were very different from Eiko's. She explained to me why she went to Minto and how she moved around the region to wherever she and her husband, a mechanic, could find a job. Gosh, I don't remember how many people were there, my father was looking around for a place to go to . . . They went to Minto because Austin Taylor [one of the British Columbia Security Commission officers involved in the mass evacuation program] said that there is an abandoned mine there, used to be a gold mine, you see. And there were houses there. And also, before you get to Minto, there is a place called Bridge River, and there were houses there because they had bunkhouses for the men who were building the dam there. So there were enough houses between Minto and Bridge River to have some Japanese there. So this is why we went up there, to be self-supporting. Ellen's family did not remain long in Minto.  The war continued and their resources  diminished. Her parents were not ready to retire as they had two school-aged sons. Their savings soon ran out, and they began to work at a sawmill near Devine. Ellen told how her younger brothers (just like Midge's older brothers) had a difficult time continuing their studies because the government did not provide secondary education for them.  People worked at sawmills if they  could, and her husband had a job repairing logging trucks. M y husband is a mechanic, he fixes trucks. There were no mechanics in Bralorne. Nobody could get their car fixed, so we got a job in Bralorne. Then because there was a school in Bralorne my two brothers came up to go to high school because there was no high school where they were. I told them, "I don't think this country school is any good; you'd better go to a better school." My aunt was in Hamilton then, so she said, "you come to Hamilton." They went there for a year. So, they've been all over the place. Ellen and her husband "just went wherever there was work." A young mother with three boys, she spent over a decade working in the Cariboo region. She happily recalled how, in 1949, she voted for the first time in her life. She was the only woman in my study who mentioned this historical event. I remember being in Bralorne when we got the vote. Yeah. I went to vote for the time  118 when we were living in Bralorne. It was a really good feeling, yeah. It was forty-nine, long after the war was over . . . We were able to come back [to Vancouver] in 1949. We didn't have any money; nobody had any money by then. So we had to work. In order to make money to return to Vancouver, Ellen, like many Issei women in the prewar days, took a job as a cook in a sawmill. It was hard to "go into the bush" with three children. Her job was hard, but she figured that Issei women had survived much harder times than those she was experiencing. I was in Bralorne for six years. This fellow Andy Devine said, "We're going to start a sawmill. How about you going up there to start this cook house?" And, I said, "Well, I don't know about that." I had three kids by then, you know. It's not easy to go into the bush to do things like that. I said "Oh, I guess we'd better do this because we're not saving any money going back to town at all." This is what I did . . . Y: So you cooked for the camp people? E: Oh, yeah. I hired a Chinese cook and I did a lot of work myself. But it was hard work . . . well, it was a camp full of houses, so there were lots of families living there, but these [fellows I cooked for] were just single men. There were about ten to fifteen people.  In 1958 Ellen's parents returned to Vancouver to help her brother, who graduated from the University of British Columbia with a pharmacy degree, start up a drug store - - a "real one" this time. Her oldest son had been living with her parents and attending high school in Vancouver. By 1960, Ellen felt it was time to return home.  Aya, whose family moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, remembered working there with her parents and her siblings on a sugar beet farm. She told me that, even now, just the thought of gardening reminds her of that time. Sugar beet farm was hard, hard work, you know. They [my parents] had to have our help in order to fill the contract, you know. The contract was for I don't know how many acres. After school, we worked. Oh, many times we didn't get back to school until, uh, the beginning of November. September and October we stayed out because we had to finish the crop before winter came. Yeah, so it was a hard time. After four years on a sugar beet farm, in 1946 her family moved into the city of Lethbridge, where  119 her father worked as a carpenter. There she met a Nisei man and married him. Her husband was a brother of a friend of hers from her British Columbia days. After a short stay in Lethbridge, Alberta the couple moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. Mary also spent the war years on a sugar beet farm in Alberta, and she stayed there until her family was repatriated in 1946.  Her experience, however, is quite different from Aya's. Unlike  Aya's job, which consisted of helping her father on the farm, Mary's job consisted of managing the house in place of her mother who was in Japan. A few years prior to the outbreak of the war her father had started a hotel business. In the spring of 1941 her parents and younger brother went to Japan to attend her elder sister's wedding. Her father returned to Canada in November of that year, but her mother remained behind in Japan. At a relatively young age Mary was challenged with the daily chores that fell to the woman of the house. This is how she remembered her new life in Cornville, Alberta: Suddenly you don't go to school, suddenly you have to cook. I was very upset. I did not know how to do it. At the hotel, we had helpers; we had the cooks, a Japanese couple to cook. Suddenly I had to get up at five o'clock in the morning, then to make breakfast... I told myself "I'm not sticking around." I was twelve years old . . . How to make bread, I did not know what to put in it. My brothers, they could work at the sugar beet farm. Two older brothers helped my father.  E i k o and her family moved to Manitoba after staying a couple years in Minto, a selfsupporting camp in British Columbia. She told me how hard it was for her parents, who had never farmed before. They then moved to a small town outside of Winnipeg. Japanese Canadians were not allowed to live in the city of Winnipeg at that time. She told me about a dream that she had just before the end of the war. In it, we clearly see her identification with Japan. The Japanese war ended while we were there. I remember that because as a child I had a memory of having a dream. In the sky where there was a flag coming out, you know, and the Japanese flag came out. And then for some reason, I can't remember exactly what the dream was about. But I knew that we lost the war. We had lost the war, right? Yeah, because I mean, like, because Japanese people, we were very anxious, because if we lost  120 the war [then] what would happens to us? So, as a child I was really afraid. Yeah. Well, adults talked about it all the time, what's going to happen n e x t . . . back to Japan or go east of Rockies? You know, that kind of thing?  When she was eleven, Eiko's daily chores on the farm included making stacks of sandwiches to deliver to her parents in the field. Resentfully she added, " M y brothers were playing. I did everything."  Her younger sister was nine years her junior. Just like Mary, so with Eiko: the  household became her sole responsibility. Years later, her father's oldest brother, who lived with them during that period, recalled how good Eiko was at helping her family: "Eiko wa Eeko datta" i^f3  &  fcotc  [Eiko=Eiko was a good child], he remarked at a family gathering.  While her cohorts were on prairie farms, Midge spent the war years at Lemon Creek, British Columbia, until her family left for Hamilton, Ontario, in 1946. Her recollections of those war years were focused on her school activities. She indicated that, at the beginning, there was no school in Lemon Creek; however, once it was built she remembered having had very "good teachers."  72  She told me how lucky she was to be able to continue her schooling. She compared  herself with her second oldest brother, who had just finished Grade 9 in Vancouver at the time of the relocation. It was hard for her brother to continue his studies since the government did not offer high school education for the children of internees. Midge remembered her brother asking her parents for money so that he could take private correspondence courses.  Her comments  reminded me of Ellen's younger brothers, both of whom found it difficult to continue their studies because they were being "moved around" so much.  See Frank Moritsugu and the Ghost-Town Teachers Historical Society (2001) for full accounts by students and teachers. 7 2  121 Showing me her albums, Midge was nostalgic about her days at Lemon Creek.  73  She  remembered how hard it was for everyone when the repatriation paper came around at the end of the war and their parents had to decide whether to go back to Japan or the east of the Rockies. Like the Issei women in the previous section, Nisei women also remembered how families were torn apart and how they never recovered from this event. According to Midge, many of her friends were still too young to be independent and reluctantly went along with their parents' decision to repatriate to Japan (Kage 1998). "Oh, it was so sad," she said. And she told me of many broken hearts and friendships. For those who remained in Canada, when postwar closures of government camps forced some familes to move beyond the Rocky Mountains, they were separated from the friendships and communities that they had spent four years building.  While Nisei women in British Columbia were struggling with being separated from family and friends, Fumiko's experience was quite different. She was the only person in the study who benefited from the effect of the war. She felt that meeting many Nikkei of her age "improved" her "social life." [In] each grade, there would be one Japanese, one Chinese maybe, and then, of course, my sisters. Oh, we were about the only Japanese. But, this is a dramatic point. In 1945, when the war was over, all these unleashed Japanese Canadians came to Moose Jaw. A large number. There is a big airforce camp, people from Angler, people from Tashme, all met in Moose Jaw whether to be shipped off to Japan or to go east, or wherever. They were mainly from Tashme. Oh, it was fascinating . . . I didn't feel lonely anymore, you know. It was like meeting my own. Only, the thing was they spoke Japanese very well and they looked at me and said, "Oh, she can't speak Japanese!" . . . Some stayed, five, six families decided to stay in Moose Jaw. That improved social life, [especially for] the teen years . . . oh, definitely. All my hakujin friends had gone off with boys . . . that was a great disappointment. Yeah. And that was when you were separated. We all played together but as soon as we became  Since HomeComing'92 in 1992 there have been many Nikkei "reunions." See also Ortner (1997). 7 3  122 teens in high school, we paired off. Suddenly, lots of Japanese. We had dances, tennis together; you know, all those normal things. Yeah, together.  The Postwar Years: Starting Over Starting life anew and putting down my roots again.  (Lillian)  In the early 1950s Lillian, with her young family, left Montreal and went to Vancouver to start a new life. Her parents remained in Montreal. In Vancouver her husband worked with her brotherin-law in her father's ladies' clothing business for a few years. Later, he returned to the University of British Columbia to take accounting courses.  Upon completing them he began importing  Noritake and Panasonic products. Lillian told me that "he was quite successful and used to go to Japan twice a year for business." While her husband's business prospered, Lillian was busy at home raising four children, just as her mother had done in the prewar days. Mary, who was repatriated to Japan with her family in "the last repatriation boat" on "the Christmas Eve in 1946," came back to the Vancouver in September 1950, with $200 in her pocket.  She had earned this money by working as an interpreter/translator at the American  military base in Japan.  She told me she returned because she "did not want to be stranded in  Japan." At that time, there was a small Nikkei community in Vancouver. In the 1950s, Nisei, "about twenty to sixty people got together" for "socials," often organized by a United Church group. The group got the Nisei church to offer services in English, but the Issei church continued to hold services in Japanese. Mary was the first member of her family to return to Vancouver, and she slowly began to  123 bring back her other family members,? starting with her older brother and his family. Finally, in 4  1958, her mother, father, and her youngest brother joined her. The whole family was together again in Canada. That same year her own family moved back to Vancouver, having left the company housing at the Great Northern Cannery in West Vancouver, where her husband worked as a mechanic.  Her second child was six months old. For a while Mary's family and her  extended family lived together in a big house on Victoria Drive. She told me how her own young family managed to live in the diningroom area while they rented out the rest of the house. Mary's narratives of the early 1950s were centered around her search for work. She indicated that she often took several jobs simultaneously. Even though people no longer referred to her as a "Jap,"  75  it was still difficult for her to find work in postwar Vancouver.  I learned shorthand, English composition, went to school seven to eight in the evenings . . . Made up a resume to apply for a job . . . I telephoned for a job. But as soon as I got the appointment they would say, "oh, its taken." I got smarter. I phoned and asked them whether the position was available. " O h , yes." Because I was always looking for something better, as soon as I got experience I looked for another job - - . secretary, and other jobs, you know.  E i k o ' s experience of moving to Winnipeg in the early 1950s was very similar to Fumiko's experience in Moose Jaw: she met other Japanese Canadians of her age, and this made her feel at home. I never knew anyone else my age . . . So when I moved to Winnipeg, [it was] Christmas in Winnipeg, I remember. Our family was invited by the Buddhist or the United Church, I think it was by Buddhist Church, . . . I think it was for, a J C C A [Japanese Canadian Citizens Association] picnic. And I went with my family. And I met, for the first time, other Japanese Canadian teen-age kids. It was a revelation for me. Because until then, I, I  This practice is called yobiyose. The Canadian govenment did not allow Japanese Canadians to return freely since they had been stripped of their Canadian citizenship and had to return as Japanese nationals. In order to do this, they had to be sponsored by someone. 7 4  Mary told me how surprised she was at being called a "Jap" in 1946 when she went to see her father's hotel while waiting for their ship to take them to Japan. She wondered how people knew that they were Japanese rather than Chinese. 7 5  124 had no idea what they were like, you know. Because I only knew my parents. Yeah. So when I met them, I was meeting people like myself, and I really had a lot of fun with them. Yeah. And, so I . . . was very lucky, luckier than other people. In fact, before I was married I was very much involved with the Japanese community. Yeah, I went to the United Church. I went to that church after the war. M y father was a Buddhist but there was no Buddhist church so my parents encouraged us to go to the United Church, you know. So in Winnipeg I continued to go to church. 76  In response to the demand from the growing Japanese Canadian community there, a Japanese consulate opened in Winnipeg on April 1957. Eiko told me that she went to many functions in her youth and pointed out that the Winnipeg Japanese Canadian community was small but well grounded and very supportive of its members.  77  She went on to tell me how people organized big  concerts, plays (geki), songs and shibai (Japanese plays). She also remembered that, whenever there were weddings, people in the Winnipeg Japanese Community were always prepared to perform and entertain their Japanese Canadian community members. After the war Eiko's family moved to Winnipeg. Finding a job was difficult for any Canadian, and it was even harder for Japanese Canadians. Eventually her mother got work at a textile factory and her father at a tannery. Many Nikkei women worked for textile factories in Winnipeg and the owners of such factories profited from their labour as they were very good seamstresses. ® Eventually her parents bought a house in "a slum district" of Winnipeg. Every 7  weekend she dreaded having to clean the house for the boarders who were renting rooms there.  Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizen's Association Newsletter, vol 7, 1954 shows that Eiko was one of the executives, the person responsible for keeping records (Iciroku shoki pflHitfE) during November 1954 to October 1955 (Sasaki 1998:211). 7 8  See Sasaki (1998) for information on the postwar Nikkei community in Winnipeg. Manitoba J C C A had its fiftieth anniversary in 1996, attracting over 250 Japanese Canadians. 7 7  Kang's study indicates, in the 1990s, 56 per cent of older Nisei women still worked for the garment industry in Winnipeg as they had during the immediate postwar period (1996:111). 7 8  125 Her assignment was to clean all the bathrooms. After school she also cooked her family's supper and looked after her siblings.  She told me that she was the second oldest in her family, even  though she always behaved as though she was the oldest.  Her elder sister, who was a few years  her senior, was a Kika-Nisei, having been sent to Japan to live with her widowed grandmother when she was about eight. She returned to Canada a decade later, and Eiko looked forward to this homecoming. I think she turned nineteen when she came to Canada. I was still going to school, but I went to Vancouver to meet her even though I had never travelled [alone] in my life. My mother packed a few things [for me for the trip]. Because my mother could not speak English [she couldn't go herself]. My father was working. It was a few years after the war. I was fifteen or sixteen; I remember I was still going to high school. So I remember going to Vancouver to meet her . . . A two-day trip. Yeah, it was quite . . . yeah, you know, I just sat in the coach. It was quite an adventure for me. When her eldest sister finally joined the family, however, Eiko still remained responsible for her siblings as her elder sister lacked both the cultural and linguistic skills to take over her responsibilities as the eldest daughter. She needed time to adjust to her family after having been away for over ten years. Eiko remembered how different she and her elder sister were from each other. Her elder sister has been raised as an ojosan j 3 $ | £ A/(a young lady) and was used to being waited upon, unlike Eiko, who had been "raised to do everything," including making supper and helping her mother at home. Her sister tried very hard to fit into the family and her Canadian life. The two sisters were supportive of one another. Eiko told me that she was always too tired for school and her school work suffered. When she completed Grade 11 she decided to leave high school and started to work as a secretary. Her salary went toward paying off the mortgage.  Midge stayed at Lemon Creek until 1946, and then moved to a German prisoner-of-war camp before she moved to Hamilton. They chose to move to Hamilton because her second brother had  126 a connection with a friend who was already living there.  She told me that Hamilton was  "welcoming Japanese more than Toronto at that time" but that it lacked housing. Her family had a very difficult time finding accommodation. Her two older brothers had been sent ahead to search for a suitable place for her family. Summer had gone and September was coming; it was a long wait for the family in Lemon Creek. Midge remembered how anxious they were to hear good news from her brothers: M : A few days after school had started, Yoshi [her second eldest brother] finally found a house, and I remember going with my father to the railroad station, wiring money to him for a down payment. Y: So your family had money to buy a house? M : No, my father had a little bit of money, it was just for a down payment. In Hamilton, Midge enrolled in Grade 12 while her younger brother went into Grade 5. She was at a loss in the big city on the first day of school, trying to find a way to the high school by bus according to her brother Yoshi's directions. Yoshi took the youngest brother with him to register for school. Adjusting to life in the city after several years of living in a government camp in British Columbia was not so easy. Yet Midge's main concern was for her school work. Oh, I did, I had a hard time adjusting. My courses were all mixed up. After I registered I wrote to my old math and science teacher, who was a conscientious objector during the Second World War, in Lemon Creek . . . He wrote me back and said "You need your algebra." This was because "Grade 11 Math was just a little bit of geometry and a little bit of algebra. You don't have your algebra so you'd better take your algebra. But you have a full schedule. What you have to do is go to the algebra teacher, and tell [him/her] you'll study on your own and write a Christmas exam. But you'd better go to see the principal first." I went to see the principal. He was C. MacLean. And I went to see him and I said, "I understand I need to take Grade 11 algebra but I can't work it into my schedule. Would you let me study on my own and let me write an exam? He looked at me and he said "I don't want another failure because of people like you." "Because of people like you" he said . . . "Another failure." I mean, I mean I was so shy, but I just, I remember saying to him, " Will you let me try? If you let me write a Christmas exam and an Easter exam, and I've done badly, I wouldn't write the June exam." June exam is the one that is recorded. So he said, " O K . " And I got a first class in Christmas, and a first class at Easter, so I  127 knew I didn't have to write the June exam and so didn't bother studying.79  Midge also had problems with her English. She realized that her English had deteriorated during her "ghost town" days, when she spoke a mixture of Japanese and English with her friends. She told me that for quite a while she was afraid to even open her mouth: We were using a mixture of Japanese and English because everybody spoke it. Oh, we thought it was funny, these funny Japanese words, especially people from Mio M u r a , they spoke funny Japanese, "aa, ikora, ikora", "let's go." Ikoral Because that was what they said. Yeah, it is just an example. We used to use really horrible [Japanese], and then you know, English was very badly affected. Japanese words kept popping out. 80  Later in our conversations Midge told me how she and her husband discussed language usage and chose to speak only English to their children so that their children would not suffer what they had experienced. However, she somehow kept using a few Japanese words and phrases with her children. The most important phrases, such as "Abunail  [watch out]!" were spoken in  Japanese. "Abunail They knew exactly what I meant."8i Like Eiko's parents, Midge's father had a hard time reestablishing his life. It was very difficult for him to support the family, especially after her eldest brother (the family's main breadwinner) married in 1949. Midge and her second brother were in college, while her youngest brother was in high school. Life in Hamilton was hard for everyone. Not having access to a Nikkei community where he could use his expertise in carpentry, her father, who was in his mid-fifties, tried various  79 At that time in Ontario schools, students who did well in the first two terms were exempted from the final exams. The majority of Japanese Canadians in Steveston, British Columbia, came from this village in Wakayama prefecture before the Second World War. 8 0  Midge uses this phrase with her grandchildren. And she had often observed her children, Sansei, use it with their children, Yonsei. She indicated that her children find their action "funny" whenever they catch themselves doing it and talk about it. 8 1  128 jobs - - washing dishes and working in a cannery. Eventually, under another Japanese, he began to work as a gardener during the muggy Ontario summers. When he first started looking for work, her father tried to do carpentry with a Nisei man, a contractor; but he quit because he refused to make shelves and cupboards from "raw green lumber." Midge's mother also had a hard time finding a job. Midge remembered taking her mother around the city job hunting. Eventually, through a Japanese neighbour ( who had owned a dry cleaning business in Vancouver before the war), her mother found work doing alterations for a dry cleaner. With regard to her educational opportunities, Midge often said how lucky she was compared to her brother, who finished high school while in Lemon Creek. At that time the closest university accessible to him was the University of Manitoba. She remembered his asking her parents to let him go to the University of Manitoba, but her parents thought Manitoba was too far away. So instead of going to university he went to work at a sawmill near Lemon Creek, British Columbia. Several years later in Hamilton, Ontario he was finally able to return to his studies. I think he had the hardest time. When he went to Hamilton, he wanted his Grade 13. I just went into Grade 12, right? So he started to work all day in a foundry, it was International Harvest, it was hard and hot [work]. He worked all day. So did my other brother [the eldest]. Then he went to night school, where he took nine high school subjects. He worked so hard, then, in those days . . . the whole province wrote the same exam. He got sick and he did very badly in some. That was the time when the veterans were going back to university, so it was very hard to get in unless you were an exceptional student. Despite all these adversities, her brother perservered and eventually became a successful meteorologist. Midge's path was much smoother than her brother's. It seems that this was at least partly due to her mother, who encouraged her to continue with her studies, while her father reluctantly allowed her, the only daughter, to go to university. He finally agreed to let her go to university after his former boss saw an article in a local community newspaper about Midge receiving a scholarship. He wrote her father a letter suggesting that he let her go to university.  129 Apparently news of her scholarship was known not only in the Hamilton Nikkei community but also in the Toronto Nikkei community. Midge quoted me parts of the letter: "sonnani yoku dekiru musume dattara daigaku ni ikasetara iidesho [if she is bright, why don't you let her?]" So her father told her, "Yes." "Ueno-san said ikasenasai. aa, ittemo ii" [ Mr. Ueno said 'Let her go', so you may go]. She told me that not many "girls" went to university at that time, especially "girls" from the Hamilton Japanese community. Often her mother's friends asked her why she was sending her daughter to university. M : It was my mother who used to put ideas in my head, I think. Yes, it was. Y: How was your father? M : No, no, no. I think they expected jinan [the second son], Yoshi, to be the educated one just like in Japan. Choonan [the eldest son] takes over, jinan gets an education. Because he was a good student, I think [they expected] jinan to get an education, yeah. M : So when I started to go to university, the Japanese community was saying to my mother, onna daigaku ni ikasete do surutsumori! [ What are you thinking of sending your daughter to university]? My mother said "Well, shooganai. ikitaitte yuukara shooganai" [I cannot help it. She wants to go].  Her mother's dream to have a physician daughter, however, did not come true. Midge went to see a career counsellor in her undergraduate program at McMaster. When she told this person she intended to pursue her dream and become a obstetrician (which is what mother wanted her to be), he asked her: "Does your father, does your family, have money?" When she replied " N o , " he simply told her that she could not become a doctor. Midge was not discouraged, however. She did graduate work in chemistry and upon receiving a masters degree in science in 1953, she became the first woman scientist at the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa,82 where she worked until a few months before she had her first daughter in 1956.  She married a Nisei who  She explained to me that they created a special category for women. "It was lower than for a BSc male, and I had MSc. They created a special category, which was lower, to hire females . . .that was the way it was in those days." 8 2  130 was working in another department at the NRC. There were quite a few Japanese Canadians in Ottawa, and they used to socialize together, "bowling on Sundays" and going to "dinners at Chinese restaurants."  Midge added that they were careful not to be seen as a big group and  always asked the restaurant to reserve a special room for them.  83  Fumiko was another Nisei woman who yearned to pursue a career. Unlike Midge, however, she did not get any encouragement from her mother.  84  Although she wanted to be an artist, no  one encouraged her to pursue her dream. "There is no money in it. Don't," was the advice she received. Her mother told her to be more "practical" and to go to some commercial or technical school. After high school she worked at a Chinese grocery store to save money for school. In 1953 she left Moose Jaw to study art. However, her career was put aside when she met her future husband, an artist and writer, whom she met through a friend in Regina. She stated simply: By the time I met my husband, everything went down, artistically, you know. Artistically. Twenty-five, I got married. My life changed. She described how her marriage to an artist, a non-Japanese man (he was of English, Scottish, and Irish heritage) sent her parents into "great shock" even though earlier her mother had confided to Fumiko that she was not going to force arranged marriages upon her daughters. Her mother was unhappy that she was left "with no choice but marry my father."  Yet her mother was very  83 The behaviour of the Hamilton Nisei was a product of the wartime restrictions the government forced on Japanese Canadians. They did not want to be visible and watched by others, as they felt too self-conscious. 84 Although her mother did not encourage her to go into arts, it seems that she had some positive influence from her father. She described him as a very gentle and quiet man who " left most of the things" to her mother. He loved to read history, took his children canoeing, and he made "fantastic onigiri" (rice balls).  131 disappointed with her daughter's marriage, to a non-Japanese Canadian. 85 Fumiko explained that there were not many Japanese Canadians where she lived, and many of them thought her a "little strange" because she liked arts and classical music. She and her husband had "things in common," however, and they were married in 1954. They worked in Regina for a couple of years and, in 1957, they left for England. We wanted to travel. That time we felt the whole Canadian society a bit stifling. John [the first child] was born in England in 1959. Late 1950s, Canada was a very boring place. When we hit London, that was very exciting. The Beatles . . . people were being very creative. Fumiko's husband was a documentary film writer, but it was very hard to make a living in London. In 1962, when her husband found a job with the National Film Boad in Montreal, she returned to Canada with her children. After a couple of years in Montreal they moved to Toronto, and in the late 1960s she finally arrived in Vancouver. Her husband got a job at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where one of his classmates from art school, Roy Kiyooka, was working. When I mistakenly used the word "return" instead of "come," Fumiko corrected me right away and made it clear that she did not "return to Vancouver" as had many other Nisei but, rather, arrived in Vancouver for the first time.  Aya lived in Regina for twenty-four years before her move to Victoria in 1978. She began to describe Regina's Japanese Canadian community by stating "how cold Regina was." Not so many [Japanese Canadians]. About sixteen families, you know. Older people are  I had a similar experience with my mother when I told her of my decision to marry a non-Japanese. Fumiko's marriage preceded mine by more than two decades, and her mother had been living in Canada for a long time; yet our mothers reacted similarly towards our choice of husbands. It is also interesting to note that my husband said that, had his mother been alive, she would have been very upset about his Japanese wife. 8 5  132 dying off. There have been a few immigrants. So it was a very close-knitted Japanese community in Regina. Yes, we had picnics, we had Christmas parties, New Year's parties, then we had a bowling team, and things like that. So, if there were any kind of [functions], weddings and funerals, people would phone and I would go.  She added that people in Moose Jaw who arrived from "ghost towns" were often invited for picnics. Her children went to private Japanese classes initiated by "an immigrant lady" [a ShinIssei] who wanted to teach Japanese to her son and invited other children to join in. When Aya and her husband moved to Victoria in the late 1970s they were accompanied by their two younger daughters, the youngest of whom was twelve years old and the other a high school student. The older children remained in Regina.  Connecting with the Past Although she had not had much contact with Nikkei communities since her marriage, Fumiko slowly began to associate with the Nikkei community in Vancouver after her family moved to Vancouver in the late 1960s. Living in co-op housing in the Chinatown area also increased her contact with other Japanese Canadians and Shin-Issei in the area. She told me that "When the Centennial Project came up, I felt right. I thought it was a good idea". She felt like talking with Shin-Issei, even though she could not fully understand the sociocultural differences between herself and them. However, she felt a bit uncomfortable with Nisei. We [Nisei] are similar. Lots of similar kinds of food we eat, social civilities, enryo [reserve and modest], shikataganiai [cannot be helped]. But also [they are] very afraid, when they are doing things, that somebody is looking at them and disapproving. Do you know what I mean? If we do this, what would our neighbours think?. . . I was trying to get away from that. In our earlier conversation, Fumiko told me how surprised she was to find a caption under her school year book picture that read: "Silence is Golden." "Somebody else put it there because I did not say anything. Now