Kanzo and Misuyo Kurushima with their daughter Ritsuko in Vancouver in 1929. Tsugio Kurushima’s parents and older siblings were sent to a internment camp in Slocan in 1942. (Photo courtesy of Tsugio Kurushima)

Japanese Canadians reflect on internment hardships

Luncheon in Victoria on Sunday to feature guest speakers

More than a dozen survivors of the Japanese-Canadian internment camps during the Second World War are coming forward to share their experiences, 75 years after families were ripped from their British Columbia homes and shipped across the country.

Greater Victoria residents will share their stories at a luncheon Sunday (Sept. 10) hosted by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, which aims to remind Canadians of this dark part of our country’s past. Tsugio Kurushima, president of the society, said the event is a chance to honour those who experienced this hardship.

“Their rights were trampled, and they were treated as enemy aliens,” he said.

“It’s a [significant] chapter in Canadian history, one that’s not well-known. Time is marching on and the people who actually went through this experience are getting on in age and won’t be here much longer.”

Kurushima’s parents were interned with his older siblings in Slocan, B.C. before they moved to Winnipeg, where he was born. Internment camps are seldom discussed by Japanese-Canadians, he said, because most would rather “forget about it and move on.”

But the camps are something that everyone with Japanese-Canadian heritage has a connection to, and it’s a part of history that cannot be forgotten. “Within the Japanese-Canadian community, they always talk about where your family was interned, so it’s a very common link that we have.”

Also at the luncheon will be a presentation by Jordan Stanger-Ross of the Landscapes of Injustice at the University of Victoria, a project that investigates the history of the forced dispossession of Japanese- Canadians.

Internment camps ran from 1942 to 1949, four years after the Second World War ended. Japanese-Canadians were detained by the Canadian government and relocated to farms and camps in the Interior and across Canada. Their movements were restricted and their personal property sold to fund the camps that imprisoned them.

The luncheon will take place at the Ambrosia Event centre at 638 Fisgard St. on Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $15 (or $7.50 for children five to 12) and includes a buffet lunch. For more details, email internmentanniversary@vncs.ca or call Patti Ayukawa at (250)-858-8445.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

 

Tsugio Kurushima is president of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society. Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS

Just Posted

Presentations shine light on new school in Colwood

Brookes Westshore on schedule to open September 2018

Belmont senior girls volleyball team heads to provincials

Team set its sights on repeating as champions

City of Colwood considers plastic bag ban

Bylaw must be brought forward for public input before adoption

Widow of chef killed by SUV gives birth to twin boys

Khushal Rana was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Gorge Road last month

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

Royals blown out of home rink by visiting Hurricanes

Victoria allows most goals in a WHL game since 2011

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vic High students take Saanich-reared comic’s words on mental illness to heart

School counsellors see uptick in visits after Kevin Breel relays his depression story

Parking concerns won’t stall affordable housing project in Saanich

Council approves 73 units for low to moderate income-earners near Uptown

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

Most Read