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: Nikkei Connection to McLean Mill

Did you know that there was a very small settlement of Japanese Canadians at the McLean Mill in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in the early thirties?

Reading the Parks Canada backgrounder article and excerpts from Jan Peterson’s book, Twin Cities: Port Alberni, sent in by Maureen Hamagishi, R.B. McLean Lumber Company was a small family-run business that operated from 1926 to 1965.

Robert Bartlett McLean operated a sawmill business in the Cloverdale and Fraser Valley area for ten years. With the dwindling timber supply, he decided to join in on the Alberni lumber boom. Mr. McLean acquired ...

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Nisei: Yancha Kozo For All Seasons - Part 4

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WINTER: Winter fun almost equaled summer activities except for the below zero temperature. Skating, sleigh-riding, skiing, building snowman, igloo, shinny hockey, ice carnival and football in the snow kept the children busy.

Looking out the window and the children seeing the snow that fell the night before, they joyously jumped out of bed to put their winter clothing on. That was the scene that repeated most days in the Boundary-Kootenay district of British Columbia.

Back in the fifties, toys were hard to come by so children had to be resourceful. Skis? They were made out of cedar ...

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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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