Chuck Tasaka

Chuck Tasaka is the grandson of Isaburo and Yorie Tasaka. Chuck’s father was 4th in a family of 19. He was born in Midway, B.C., and grew up in Greenwood, B.C. until he graduated from high school. Chuck attended University of B.C. and graduated in 1968. After retirement in 2002, he became interested in Nikkei history. (This photo was taken by Andrew Tripp of the Boundary Creek Times in Greenwood.)

Updated October 2015

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Nikkei Chronicles #8 — Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Unsung Heroes of the Japanese Canadian Internment

In present day Canada, the high profile Nikkei we hear of so often are people like David Suzuki, Joy Kogawa, Muriel Kitagawa, Thomas Shoyama, Santa Ono, Raymond Moriyama, Art Miki, Mary and Tosh Kitagawa, and athletes like Paul Kariya (hockey), Nathan Hirayama (Rugby 7), Vicky Sunohara (Olympic hockey), Special Olympic skier Brian McKeever and the Hall of Fame Vancouver Asahi baseball team (1914-1941).

From 1942-1949, during the forced relocation from the B.C. coast beyond the 100-mile radius east to various internment camps, who were the unsung heroes? This is my list.

Nikkei Women:

When the federal government of Canada ...

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MAINICHI GAMAN: Broom, Mop, and Apron

For many centuries, women fought for gender equality, especially in the political forum. As early as the late 1800’s, women in Canada struggled to gain stronghold for the “Right to Vote.” Most politicians were adamant that women’s place should be in the home, having babies, raising them, cook for their husbands, and to keep the house tidy. Nevertheless, women in Canada could run for political office.

One woman who spear-headed this movement was Nellie McClung. She and four other women delivered a petition containing almost 40,000 signatures in support of women’s right to vote. On January ...

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75th and 76th Anniversary of the Greenwood Nikkei Internment Ceremony

Back in 1971, then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau declared that Canada would adopt a multicultural policy that recognizes and respects a diversity of languages, customs and religion. In 2015, Trudeau's son Justin, who also became Prime Minister, stated that “Diversity is Canada’s Strength” and over the past few years, there has been a push to encourage inclusion of all ethnic communities.

In British Columbia, the provincial government initiated a project to recognize the accomplishments of once marginalized ethnic groups, including new historical markers and signage. In 2016, road signage marking numerous Chinese Canadian historical sites was completed ...

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Canadian Nikkei’s Pilgrimage to J.A. Internment Camps - Part 3

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TOPAZ MUSEUM-DELTA, UTAH

After Moab, we drove straight west to Delta where the Topaz Museum is located, although to our disappointment the museum appeared to be closed. We stopped next door at the Delta Historic Museum where two ladies assisted us. Apparently, a volunteer there got her schedule mixed up. Again, luck was on our side and the lady opened the door to the Topaz Museum.

I didn’t expect Topaz Museum to be so complete, with wonderful displays of paintings by various artists in the camp. Topaz officially opened on September 11, 1942 and over the ...

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Canadian Nikkei’s Pilgrimage to J.A. Internment Camps - Part 2

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NEXT STOP: PORTLAND

Our next stop was in Portland, Oregon to visit their magnificent Japanese Garden. When Nobuo Matsunaga, the former ambassador to Japan to the U.S. visited this garden, he proclaimed it to be, “The most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan.” The garden is twelve acres and nestled in the West Hills of Washington Park overlooking the city. Designed in 1963, this garden has a Flat, Tea, Strolling Pond, Natural, Hidden and Zen Garden. Their gallery, gift shop and restaurant were also great places to browse.

One added attraction ...

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