A Japanese Canadian Child-Exile: The Life History of Basil Izumi

This series is the life history of Basil Tadashi Izumi, who was born into a Japanese Canadian Anglican family in Vancouver shortly before World War II. At the age of six he was uprooted with his family from their life in Vancouver and was subsequently interned in several camps near Lake Slocan. At the end of the war his family was exiled to Japan, but three years later, at the age of twelve, he returned alone to British Columbia where he has lived ever since.

Because the Japanese Canadian Anglican church in Vancouver, namely the Holy Cross Church (called Holy Cross Mission until 1970), has played such an important role in his life all the way from his earliest childhood to the present, Parts 1 and 2 will give a very brief historical overview of the relationship between the Anglican Church and Japanese Canadians, focusing especially on some events that are particularly relevant to Basil’s life history. Basil’s story will then begin from Part 3.

community en

Part 2: The Realization by Anglican Japanese Canadians That They Had Lost Their Church Properties

Rear Part 1 >>

In April, 1949, approximately four years after the end of the war, the ban on Japanese Canadians returning to the coast was lifted and some started moving back to the Vancouver area. Unlike before the war when most lived in or near Steveston or the Powell Street area, many of these returnees ended up living scattered in various parts of the city.

Consequently, some of the Anglicans among them began to attend non-Japanese Canadian Anglican churches located near their homes,1 while yet others attended churches of other Christian groups. Those Anglicans who did move back to ...

Read more

community en

Part 1: Historical Overview of the Japanese Canadian Anglicans to the End of World War 2

Christian missions came quickly to the early Japanese immigrant community in Vancouver. The earliest known missionary activity among them was conducted by an itinerant minister from the United States, Matsutaro Okamoto, in 1892. Three years later he was succeeded by Goro Kaburagi, who eventually affiliated with the Methodist church. It seems that Christianity spread rather quickly and a large number of the Japanese Canadians came to identify themselves as Christians, although there were various levels of devoutness and commitment.1 The Methodists, who in 1926 would amalgamate into United Church of Canada, were to become the largest Christian group in ...

Read more