Priest, retired, From Rev. Tim Nakayama
Diocese of Olympia
The Episcopal Church U S A
W 2317 N. 56 St. Seattle
Tel/Fax (206) 524-5965
The Rev. Timothy M. Nakayama
October 31, 2003
Thank you for your interest in the house between Granville and Cartier Streets on 64th Avenue W., Marpole, Vancouver, that has brought you to read this message.
In the mid 1930's my sister Joy, my parents and I had moved from Kitsilano to live in that
house, but in 1942 we were removed by the Government of Canada to the gold-mining "ghost town" of Slocan City deep in the mountain forests of the Kootenays at the headwaters of the Columbia River system.
With the end of the war we were not allowed to return to the West Coast of B.C. The
"protected area" from which we were banished was left in place. Also because all our properties had been auctioned off by the government's :Custodian of Enemy Alien Property" while we were in "camp", none of us Japanese Canadians had places of our own where we could return. However, a policy of "emptying the camps" as soon as possible began. One sixth of the population was deported by "repatriation" to Japan. Our family was uprooted again at the end of August 1945 and we were sent further from the coast - "East of the Rockies" - to Coaldale, Alberta.
In 1949 the governmental action that had removed us was replaced by legislation that opened up
Canada to fairer immigration policies for people of the world, and allowed Japanese Canadians
freedom of movement back into coastal B.C. from which we had been disallowed for seven
long years. However, most of the people were short of resources, weary of additional moving, and stayed where they had become resettled.
Since 1966 because of church work among Japanese Americans I became a resident of Seattle.
Most people in the USA are somewhat aware of the Japanese American experience of incarceration. On the other hand most are surprised when they hear of the internment of Japanese Canadians. That does not fit their image of a compassionate Canada.
Can the house where we once lived now become a place to learn about freedom and human
rights? Our experiences as people of Japanese Ancestry in North and South America need to be known so that these tragedies may not be repeated.
(The Rev.) Timothy M. Nakayama.