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

community en

First Lady Plumber in Canada Is a Nikkei

Anna (Fujimura) Higashi grew up in Woodfibre, B.C. Her grandfather Isaburo Fujimura and son Taichiro, seventeen years of age, came to Canada in the early 1900s. Isaburo was a caretaker of a community bath on Powell Street (Japantown). Taichiro worked for a railroad company that took him to the province of Ontario. Once finished, he returned to Vancouver, but soon after Taichiro left for Powell River to work at the pulp and paper mill. Later, he found work at Woodfibre mill where he stayed much longer.

Taichiro returned to Japan and got married to Tome Hasegawa. He returned to ...

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Canadian Nisei! You Know You’re Old When…

The Nisei—the group who suffered the most during the World War II incarceration of Japanese Canadians and Americans—is now heading into the twilight of their lives. They survived and succeeded because of their resilience, perseverance, and determination. Now, they can enjoy the fruits of their labor as they proudly look back and reminisce about that period in time when they had to overcome great adversity.

I was a very young Sansei growing up in Greenwood, British Columbia, where I had the best view in town. The Issei, most of whom were lonely bachelors, would come to my father ...

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Ema Lake: An Emerging Talent

In the summer of 2016, I was in the midst of planning a major fundraising event to help finance the Nikkei Legacy Park project in Greenwood, BC. The family plaques for those who lived through the internment were paid for by donors. Sakura trees and Japanese lanterns were also donated by families. However, I needed funds for the World War I monument to honor the 12 Japanese Canadian veterans who came to Greenwood. Three were military medal recipients: Masami Mitsui, Yasuo Takashima, and Kiyoji Iizuka. There were three interpretive panels to be made and a large park sign on the ...

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Iwasaki Family of Salt Spring Island

Ray Torao Iwasaki was born in Ganges, B.C. in 1933 and he lived an idyllic life on Salt Spring Island in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. His father Torazo came to Vancouver in 1907. His mother, Fuku, from Shizuoka arrived on the Empress of Vancouver in 1918 to marry Torazo. Ray was surrounded by four sisters, Hideko (1920), Mitsuko (1922), Setsuko (1926), and Tsuruko (1931). The Iwasakis lived on Sunset Drive in a five-room house on a 640-acre spread.

Ray’s father was a marine engineer on a Japanese whaling ship in the 1900’s. His occupation took ...

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Nisei Story: Unexpected Friendship Lost and Found

Teresa Chizu Kurisu lived a normal Powell Street life as a child. She attended Strathcona Elementary School in East Vancouver and went to Japanese Language School soon after with her Japanese Canadian friends. Teresa’s parents were Catholic so she took in church activities with her parents. This was a time when Sister Mary Stella, aka Kathleen O’Melia, established the Japanese Catholic Mission (JCM) on Dunlevy and Cordova in 1926. The Kurisu family was one of the first converts.

Teresa’s father Hisakichi was employed at the Orange Kist soda factory. It was a very steady job. Her mother ...

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