Yoshimi Susan Maikawa

Yoshimi Susan Maikawa (nee: Yoshimi Suyama) was born in Cumberland, British Columbia, Canada (1931). Due to the War Measures Act implementation in 1942, her family was herded from their parent’s home to Hastings Park in Vancouver accommodated in horse stalls for six months; forced internment to Slocan tent living; Lemon Creek detention camp for four years; exiled to war torn Japan in 1946; and back to Canada in 1955. She graduated from Kita Kyushu Daigaku Tanki Daigaku Bu in 1954 majoring in English and Teachers training.  Once in Canada she went back to school to become a Certified Early Childhood Educator at Loyalist College, Belleville.  She has worked for the Ministry of Social Services Belleville Day Nursery and at the Hastings County Board of Education, Belleville, Ontario, employed mainly as an Educational Assistant until her retirement in 1998. At present, she still volunteers couple days a week to help students’ academic learning at nearby Mountain View Elementary School, Collingwood, Ontario. She has a keen interest in the Art (philosophy) of IKEBANA. She obtained an Instructor of Ikebana 3rd grade certificate around 1973 in Toronto. She is a member of IKEBONO IKEBANA SOCIETY OF TORONTO, ON.

Updtaed May 2010

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Ba-chan’s Story: Thoughts and recollections of a Japanese Canadian growing up in Canada - Part 3

Part 2 >> 

In the early 50’s my older brother, Kunio and my two older sisters, Masayo and Meiko ventured back to Canada despite what my parents kept saying to us “Wait until you all graduate with proper education.” In 1955 at age 23, I also decided to return to Canada. Did I leave Japan through careful thinking? I was always sitting on the fence and with the eventuality of the American Forces leaving, I could not imagine myself fitting into the reality of life in Japan. My deep childhood memories and dreams of a life in Canada lured me ...

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Ba-chan’s Story: Thoughts and recollections of a Japanese Canadian growing up in Canada - Part 2

Part 1 >> 

When Japan surrendered in August 1945, some Issei parents strongly believed that Japan lost the war through a deadly weapon but was not defeated in a spiritual sense. After the war the Canadian government gave everyone a choice to remain in Canada and be moved inland or to return to Japan. My parents really had to weigh the pros and cons of these choices. The most prominent factors were, no savings left, no jobs and no house to go to. Their cultural roots were in Japan. There also was a language barrier and there were the many restrictions ...

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Ba-chan’s Story: Thoughts and recollections of a Japanese Canadian growing up in Canada - Part 1

Introduction*

Ba-chan’s Story (Grandmother’s Story) all began because Dr. Midge (Michiko Ishii) Ayukawa, Historian; former Board Member of the Japanese Canadian National Museum; and a former Lemon Creek family friend asked me to participate in “Changing Japanese Identities in Multi-cultural Canada Conference.” Midge was the chairman and part of the organizing committee for the conference held at University of Victoria, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives on August 22–24, 2002. The guidelines for the “Oral History Panel” were to be based on turning points of my identity due to changing events and people influences during the course of my ...

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