• Between 1877 and 1914, 30,000 Japanese immigrants came to Canada.
  • They settled across Canada even though the majority preferred the west coast.
  • Japanese Canadians played an important role in the resource and service sectors, helping to build the economy of Western Canada and British Columbia.
  • 60% were Canadian-born. Almost all were under 30 years of age.
  • In December 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in the U.S.A.
  • At this time, 22,000 Japanese Canadians lived in Canada, 95% of them in British Columbia.
  • Under the War Measures Act, all Japanese Canadians were defined as enemy aliens
  • All were forcibly uprooted from the coast. Most of the men were sent to work camps. 
  • This was the second time that the federal government used the War Measures Act to relocate and confine civilians.
On March 4th in 1942 Sam was sent to a work camp.  His wife and their four children would end up in a relocation camp called Tashme.  Two of their children were born in this internment camp.

Not until 1949, four years after Japan had surrendered and the Second World War had ended, were the majority of Japanese Canadians allowed to return to British Columbia. By then, most had chosen to begin life anew elsewhere in Canada.  During this time, the government had confiscated (taken away) their property and sold it at a fraction of its worth.

When Sam received his Canadian Citizenship he also received this I.O.D.E. document. 

Despite what he and his family went through during the Second World War, both he and his wife were proud Canadians.  Whenever their children asked about the internment period, both Sam and his wife would state their belief that “Canada is the best country in the world.”

After Sam passed away his children lent this certificate to the ROM so that students could learn about the certificate and about this period of Canadian history.

"It is a fact no person of Japanese race born in Canada has been charged with any act of sabotage or disloyalty during the years at war".
– Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King, August 1944

During internment, Japanese Canadians lost $443 million.

In 1988, the federal government provided $21,000 for each individual
directly affected by the internment.

Over the past century five generations of Japanese Canadians have called Canada home.

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