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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Nisei: Immigration To Canada

Manzo Nagano is credited for being the first Japanese settler in Canada in 1877, though he was not the first to come to B.C. Japanese sailors were rescued from a shipwrecked whaling boat as early as 1834. In Ann-Lee and Gordon Switzer’s books ‘Gateway to Promise’ and ‘Sakura in Stone’, they mentioned that the first recorded visit by a Japanese national to Victoria was in 1858. By 1860, goods from Japan arrived in Victoria. Charles Gabriel employed a number of Japanese clerks in his store selling Oriental goods. Kisuke Mikuni was one of them. Manzo was known to ...

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Nisei: Yancha Kozo For All Seasons - Part 3

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AUTUMN: Labour Day celebration marked the end of summer in Greenwood and the beginning of a new school year. This was the day for everyone to dress up and take in the parade with marching band, various sponsored floats and decorated bicycles. Police car and fire truck was a must. Children loved hearing the siren. Sacred Heart School floats did well each year and a great pride and joy of the Franciscan Sisters and Friars. Most Nikkei children went to SHS. Everyone in the community looked forward to karinto and chow mein sale. The climax of the ...

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Nisei: Yancha Kozo For All Seasons - Part 2

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SUMMER: No wonder, many of the children couldn’t wait to get out of school in June. This was the time of life for boys and girls.

As mentioned in the previous article, boys played spitball, katana kiri, bang-bang and flashlight team games. Of course, there were games where all children could play, like Kick the Can, Peggi, Jean Tori, Daily Shamble and Hide and Seek.

Summer meant building a dam at First or Second Bridge. Older kids dug up boulders from the creek and piled them high. The water level would go up to make a ...

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Nisei: Yancha Kozo For All Seasons - Part 1

Post-war babies born in the internment camps should be considered the ‘Lucky Ones’? These children didn’t suffer the whole forced removal ordeal beginning in 1942. They were born in Greenwood, New Denver, Kaslo, Slocan City or Lillooet where there were hospitals. There were several Nisei doctors serving in those areas.

As for myself, I didn’t know that I was living in an ‘internment camp’. Greenwood was the first internment site and the Nikkei families were placed mostly in old hotels right downtown. Slocan-New Denver area camps were segregated. Kaslo’s situation was similar to Greenwood. Our parents never ...

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Mio-Steveston Fishermen Dialect

Whenever you hear of Mio, a poor, small fishing village south-east of Osaka in Wakayama-ken, the name ‘Amerika Mura’ comes to mind. To the villagers, Amerika was Canada and U.S. Gihei Kuno’s name became synonymous with Mio-Steveston connection. He was a master carpenter who was trying to raise fund to build a breaker in Mio. By coincidence, he met up with a friend in Kobe who encouraged him to go to Canada. Mr. Kuno arrived in Steveston in 1888 and he was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of salmon along the Fraser River and beyond. He returned home ...

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