Yusuke Tanaka

Immigrated to Canada in 1986. BA in Sociology from Waseda University. A freelance writer for the Japanese media; a regular columnist for Vancouver-based JCCA Bulletin and Fraser Journal since 2012. Former Japanese editor of the Nikkei Voice (1989-2012). Co-founder of the Katari Japanese Storytellers since 1994. Lecturer on the Nikkei history at various universities in Japan. His translation Horonigai Shori, the Japanese edition of Bittersweet Passage by Maryka Omatsu was awarded The 4th Canadian Prime Minister Award for Publishing in 1993.

Updated March 2020

identity en ja

Songs of Memories of a Caregiver—A House Where the Memories of a Canadian Japanese Family Lived

The Japanese verb Sumu consists of three homonyms which include 住む (to live), 澄む (to become clear), and 済む (to finish). These three homonyms were etymologically derived from the same verb. If you try to put these three on a timeline, then you will see a time flow of past, present, and future; the flow slowly descends in-motion to a halt, or the process of settling in a place, purifying the mind, and the life finishes. People call it  “大往生 (die-oojo)”— a great life and death with dignity.

In July 2019, Kathleen Goring, a Canadian, passed away at the age ...

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sports en ja es pt

Legacy of Vancouver Asahi revived in the life of players and their descendants

As I was reading Yobun Shima’s “Family History of Kenichi Doi, Vancouver Asahi pitcher in 1926” submitted to the series “More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports,” the past 30 years of my life with the Asahi flashed through my mind. This is my memoir of the Asahi.

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My journey with the Asahi started with Pat Adachi’s book ASAHI: A Legend in Baseball which was published in 1992. I remember that Pat came to the editorial office of Nikkei Voice one day and handed me a box full of cakes, saying “I have a little favor to ask.” She ...

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education en ja

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Waves of Pandemics and the Prewar Japanese Canadian Community

The 1918 influenza epidemic swept the world for two years, infecting 500 million people and killing approximately 50 million. The outbreak first infected World War I soldiers on the battlefield, and the pandemic occurred as the soldiers returned home from the war zone, spreading the virus all around the world. Canada was not an exception, and nearly 50,000 Canadians died.

Meanwhile, racism against Japanese immigrants seemed to have toned down during the war (1914-1918). This was partly because Japan’s warships had guarded the Canadian west coast shoreline from German warships based on Yap Island, in compliance with the ...

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sports en ja

Sporting Niseis of 1930s: Posing on Camera - Part 2

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Tenning-san

The man called “Tenning-san” refers to Jujiro Takenouchi (1869–1937), who grew up in Kuwana, Mie, graduated from Navy Comptroller School at the top of the class, and in 1898 he was posted in London, England as the military officer at the Japanese Embassy. Lieutenant Commander Takenouchi was in charge of building warships as a preparation for the Japan-Russo War. While there, a great amount of unaccounted funds for expenditure was revealed. At the military tribunal in Japan without his presence, Takenouchi was sentenced 11 years for the deficit of approx. 30 million yen in today ...

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sports en ja

Sporting Niseis of 1930s: Posing on Camera - Part 1

In 1930, Vancouver’s Asahi baseball team won the Terminal League Championship for their second time. Thereafter, Asahi won the championship of the Burrard League three times straight starting in 1938 before coming to a halt after the Pearl Harbor attack, after which the members were sent to road camps, internment camps, or POW camps.

The whole local Japanese Canadian community was into the baseball craze. It was a decade that started with the world crisis and ended up in war crisisNikkei fishermen were deprived of their fishing licenses, the racism became rampant as the imperial Japanese army intruded ...

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