Michael Kenji Abe

Michael Kenji Abe is a third generation Japanese Canadian, born and raised in Ontario, Canada. His grandparents immigrated to Canada from Kyushu, Japan in the early 19th century. His father’s family came from Beppu, Oita. His father was born in Port Alberni and interned in Lemon Creek and settled in Hamilton, Ontario after the war. His mother’s family emigrated from Obuchi Village in the Fukuoka area of Kyushu beginning in 1907. Michael spent 6 years in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan and has resided in Victoria, British Columbia since 1993 with his Japanese wife, Izumi and two children, Kento and Natsuki. (いずみ,健人、夏姫) He is the past president of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and is currently the Project Manager for Landscapes of Injustice at the University of Victoria.  He enjoys golf, shodo, and sumi-e in his spare time.

community en ja

Paldi—The Town That History Plum Forgot

My mother, Ruth Abe (nee Toyota) was a young girl when her family was uprooted and sent to Popoff and New Denver during WWII. She was the second youngest of 14 children born to Shoshichi and Kiriye (nee Obuchi) Toyota. They lived in the sawmill town of Paldi, between Duncan and Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island. Next door was Shoshichi’s brother, Daigoro who, incidentally, was married to Kiriye’s sister, Hanayo. There are often stories of picture brides meeting their husband for the first time and what happens if they don’t match up well. In this case, the ...

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