Archival Documents: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians

by UVIC Public History 2017 Grad Student Project

The BC Archives holds many documents that relate to the dispossession, internment, and exile of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. Our playlist contains documents recently uncovered by Landscapes of Injustice research assistants and images that have been digitized in previous efforts.

Miners at the Awaya Ikeda Mine, Haida Gwaii
The owner of the Ikeda Mine, Arichika Ikeda, died in 1939 but the ownership of his mine came under the jurisdiction of the Custodian in 1942. His wife, Kaoru Ikeda, interned in Slocan, was made to release her rights to the property as well as their family house. She died after four years of internment in the spring of 1946. [BC Archives H-04580] Learn more about this image at BC Archives here.

Halford Wilson’s Scrapbook
A scrapbook donated by Alderman Halford Wilson contains newspaper clippings, advertisements, and annotations made by the author that show his racism towards Japanese Canadians. This documents illuminates the racist climate of the 1940s in which the dispossession of Japanese Canadians occurred. [BC Archives-ms0012, box 3]

Japanese Tea Garden in Esquimalt
Hayato Takata and Yoshitaro Kishida opened the garden on July 11, 1907. Two Takata brothers started to run the garden as a family business in 1922. The Takata family was interned in 1942. Their houses and the garden were vandalized and destroyed. The rest of their belongings were sold off by the government. [BC Archives-E-01902] Learn more about this image at BC Archives here.