The Japanese Garden Society is presenting a month-long commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the removal of all people of Japanese ancestry from the B.C. coast.
As the society explains, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, all people of Japanese ancestry were forced off the B.C. coast. Nearly 22,000 people were sent to detention camps in the Interior as “enemy aliens,” despite most being either naturalized or born in Canada.
A window into this fear-driven period in Canadian history will be provided at the Salt Spring Public Library Program Room during February through the personal stories of those who experienced the uprooting.
The first event is the exhibit’s opening reception on Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. It will see speakers Rose Murakami and Keiko Mary Murakami Kitagawa tell the story of their family’s journey through the history of the uprooting.
The following Tuesday (Feb. 14), at 6:30 p.m., Masayo Hora is the guest speaker, presenting Return to Steveston, My Family’s Journey. For context, a short film describing Steveston and to illustrate Hora’s story will be screened.
On Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m., Brian Smallshaw will give a talk titled The Uprooting of Salt Spring Islanders During WW II.
On Sunday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m., the film Hatsumi — One grandmother’s journey through the Japanese-Canadian Internment, directed by Chris Hope, will be shown.