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

identity en

You Are Canadian Nisei If . . . Part II

Discover Nikkei published my article titled, You Are Canadian Nisei If . . . on December 9, 2015. There were more Nisei traits uncovered to add to this article. I wonder if there are any more hidden gems regarding Canadian Nisei identity?

  1. Mothers always placed their brooms at the corner of the front door on the porch.  It was a daily routine to sweep the floor.

  2. Every Saturday was wash day in the fifties and sixties. Mothers hung sheets, underwear and shirts on the clothesline. One unique observation that kids made was when 7-day panties were in vogue back then, so they checked …

Read more

sports en

Nisei: Sports Brought “Wa” (Harmony)

The famous Vancouver Asahi baseball teams have been well-documented and the latest, a movie made in Japan called Asahi was the “icing on the cake”. Pat Adachi was the first to write the history of the Asahi franchise in her book titled Asahi: A Legend in Baseball. Jari Osborne followed with a documentary called Sleeping Tigers. Ron Hotchkiss (Diamond Gods of the Morning Sun), Ted Furumoto (More Than a Baseball Team), Norio Goto (Japanese version of Vancouver Asahi), and Ellen Schwartz (Heart of a Champion) continued the Asahi legend with their …

Read more

community en

Nisei: Summer Jobs

“What? I have to travel 400 km to work all summer? I will call family services!” No, no, that didn’t come out of the mouth of a Nisei. They followed their parents’ orders. The Child’s Labour Code was not discussed back in those days. Parents just said, “Mo, ichi-nin mae dakara, ichigo chigiri ni iki nasai. ‘Go Home’ kuo tara hazukashii kara, issho-kenmei hataraki nasai!”—Now, that you are grown up, it’s time to go to berry picking. It’s embarrassing to get fired so work hard. That spelled the end of summer holidays for Nisei kids.

In the …

Read more

culture en

Nisei Saves! Mottainai

I read on the Discover Nikkei website about a Japanese American granddaughter having to clear out her Nisei grandmother’s house when she passed away. To her shock, she found stacks of plastic tofu containers that grandma “treasured” all her life! I’m sure Canadian Nisei grandparents are the same. However, don’t put the blame on them. It’s the mottainai (being wasteful) spirit.

It probably all started when the first wave of Japanese immigrants came to Canada in the early 1900s, and had to start their lives all over again. The families had very little money to buy luxury items let alone …

Read more

identity en

Nisei: Internment Camp Life

Greenwood was the first “internment centre” and Tashme was the last. In-between, there were Lemon Creek, Popoff, Bay Farm, New Denver, Rosebery, Sandon, and Kaslo. Self-supporting camps were East Lillooet, Minto Mine, Bridge River, and McGillivray Falls. Other self-supporting camps like Taylor Lake, Tappen, Blind Bay, Christina Lake, and Grand Forks had much smaller settlements. These were the internment camps in B.C. in 1942–43.

It must have been a shock to go from a bustling city to towns and villages that were slowly becoming ghosts towns. The hastily-built shacks on farmers’ fields looked like old fishing or hunting cabins that …

Read more