Japanese Canadian Citizens’ League delegation in Ottawa

Chinese exclusion act

The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923, known in the Chinese Canadian community as the ‘Chinese exclusion act,’ was a law passed by the federal government of Canada banning almost all Chinese immigration to Canada, repealed in 1947.

Great War

Also known as World War I, the First World War, and "The War to End All Wars," it was a global military conflict that took place mostly in Europe between 1914 and 1918.

Nikkei (neek-kay)

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

Facing Racism


Through the heyday of the Asahi club Nikkei persevered, undaunted by hardship, tensions, and discrimination encountered. In 1914, they joined en masse to serve Canada, offering their lives in the Great War. A generation later, they again sought the right to vote, in a time marked by anti-Asian laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act.


Japanese Canadian Citizens’ League sends a delegation to Ottawa to lobby for franchise for Japanese Canadians, 1936. L-R: Samuel I. Hayakawa, Minoru Kobayashi, Hide (Hyodo) Shimizu, Edward Banno. Tatsue Okamoto Collection. Japanese Canadian National Museum.