Yo Oya

Nikkei (neek-kay)

Japanese term meaning ‘of Japanese descent,’ referring to Japanese immigrants and their descendants.

Powell Street, Vancouver

Powell Street neighbourhood

Through the 1890s, the Nikkei continued to settle in the Powell Street neighborhood as earlier residents of the area moved to build homes and businesses to the west. The Nikkei established themselves along Powell Street, Alexander, Jackson, Cordova and Gore. Some men had wives already; others went to Japan and returned with brides.


Portrait of Yo Oya, 1888. Japanese Canadian National Museum collection.