Japanese fishermen town in Steveston, Canada

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Steveston was the big -- Steveston, I don't know if you know where that is, that's just south of Vancouver. And it was a big, it's a town that was, oh, in those days, it would be, five or six, four or five thousand people. It was quite a large community of mainly Japanese. Even to this day, they have a number of streets named after Japanese people because they somehow developed gardens or something that sort of commemorated that area, and they were known that way. And the Steveston area did have a large number of Japanese fishermen. It became probably the biggest salmon catching, or salmon product. Salmon was, the biggest product that came out of there (...), and the majority of the people that were doing all the catching were Japanese. And like I say, they had the advantage of being ethnic in terms of... and on the other hand, there was this, there was always this sort of feeling that they were, to some degree cheating because they worked too hard. They would work, they would fish longer, wait until they really got everything, then they'd bring it... they used to have a term called "high boat." A high boat meant that, a fisherman who had a high boat, that he caught a large number of salmon and he would bring 'em in. You would think that it would be a "low boat" because the boat would be way low in the water. But they used to call 'em high boat, and every year, they would talk about, "So-and-so had a high boat," and they were always Japanese fishermen that got a high boat. And to some of the resentment that, of course, developed over the years was because of their ability as fishermen.

Date: July 25 & 26, 2006
Location: Washington, US
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Canada fishing

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