Postwar Deportation Attempts

Japanese Canadian Concentration Camps Postwar Deportation Attempts Resettling in Chatham Father's Sacrifice Joining the Civil Rights Movement Chauffeuring the SNCC Leadership Navigating the movement as an Asian Photographing the movement Re-examining Identity Defining "Nikkei"

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Now after the war, the government had some other nasty surprises. They tried to really get all of us deported to Japan. I mean, this was a very, rather sneaky program on their part. They said, the only way you're going to be able to hold your whole family together is if you go back to Japan. A little subterfuge in there, and they really tried to do this. And they were only stopped by a concerted effort by a lot of church groups, by a lot of civil libertarian organizations. Quakers, plus our own fight against it. So by that time, people were really appalled at what had happened to the Japanese. This whole thing of trying to get them sent back to Japan, they said it was repatriation, but repatriation has no meaning to me, because the patriot is Canada to me, and Japan is a foreign country, so what the hell are they doing sending me there?

So deportation is only accurate term for that. So that was our two choices, and we took the second option and settled in Chatham and that's where I grew up. Now that particular period, now everybody is shocked at this whole spectacle of the evacuation of a whole community that was almost overnight dispossessed of the cumulative wealth of a lifetime. Thrust into these camps. But I think it was that period immediately after the war, when the camps broke up and we were forced into isolated, small groups here and there. Plastered throughout the country, and Canada is a very big country.

Date: February 9, 2011
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Patricia Wakida, John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

postwar. deportation Quakers repatriation resettlement

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