Workers at Hastings Saw Mill

Otasuke Kaisha (oh-tah-sue-kay kye-shah)

The ‘helping hand company,’ which was the nickname given to Hastings mill by early immigrants employed there in the 1870s.

Powell Street, Vancouver

Hastings Mill – Otasuke Kaisha

The Asahis’ community grew out of the first Japanese immigrants who arrived to work at Hastings Saw Mill on Burrard Inlet in the 1870s and 1880s. Mostly single young men, they worked in the mill at the foot of Dunlevy Street and lived in nearby rooming houses in the earliest part of the city of Vancouver.


Workers at Hastings Saw Mill, Vancouver, 1892. From Toyo Takata, Nikkei Legacy, 1981.