Chuck Tasaka

Chuck Tasaka is the grandson of Isaburo and Yorie Tasaka. Chuck’s father was 4th in a family of 19. Chuck 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

food en

Cumberland Chow Mein, Denbazuke, Karinto? It's Canadian Nisei Food!

How can you tell a Nisei by looking at the food they eat? Have you heard of Cumberland chow mein, denbazuke, or karinto? In the case of Japanese Hawaiians, you have heard of and most likely have eaten Spam sushi. Spam sushi became popular after World War II when the Nikkei 442nd soldiers returned from Europe, and having Spam as their staple diet, they invented this type of fusion sushi. The other creation is their breakfast where a fried egg and hamburger patty is served on top of the hot rice. I’m sure soya sauce was sprinkled on the ...

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war en ja es pt

Greenwood, B.C.: First Internment Center

Greenwood, British Columbia, in Canada became the first internment center when Nikkei people were uprooted and “relocated” from the coast of B.C. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and shortly after Canada declared war on Japan when Hong Kong, a British Commonwealth, fell to the Japanese army. This started a chain reaction of government decisions to remove the Japanese Canadians from the coast. With the War Measures Act enforced, Japanese Canadians were helpless. Maybe that’s where the term “shikata ga nai” came to be. It can’t be helped. Those who protested were sent to POW ...

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community en

Winter Holiday, Nikkei Way

When the Canadian government finally gave the Japanese Canadians the freedom to have equal rights as all Canadians in 1949, they were able to choose their destination. The Nikkei families scattered across Canada. Some moved to the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Others moved to Ontario and Quebec. However, some internment towns like New Denver and Greenwood had many families plant their roots with jobs in the local sawmill and logging. Therefore, Christmas and Oshogatsu festivities were probably determined by geography. I’m sure some families still maintained the osechi ryori custom.

In Greenwood, there were many families ...

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You Are Canadian Nisei If...

Most Yonsei (4th generation Nikkei) and Gosei (5th) are most likely living very comfortable lives with their parents. There may be a Lexus, Acura, and an Infiniti parked in the driveway. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. For sure, a Honda Accord, Toyota 4-Runner, and a Nissan Note could be seen in the neighbourhood. The household will have a TV in nearly every room and the children will have an iPhone stuck permanently in their hands, listening to their iPod or viewing YouTube on the iPad. For the Nisei grandparents in the house, they’re probably saying, “I can’t…. I ...

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community en

Berry Picking in Mount Lehman

Good evening, I was asked by Stan to speak on behalf of the berry pickers. However, I had to think it over for awhile because I felt that I would not be able to give a broad cross-section of the berry pickers’ experiences. You see, I was a late comer by berry pickers’ standards. Most of my sisters, brother, and their friends preceded me, and they left Greenwood at age 10 and 11 to earn money for their families. They went to Magna Bay, Cawston, and Mt. Lehman. As you can see, our parents did not abide by the Child ...

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