Return to BC

My family came back to B.C. in 1951. They decided to come back instead of staying in Alberta because there were a lot of Japanese who moved back to Vancouver as well as Steveston and they wanted a Buddhist minister. The Buddhist congregation in Kelowna had an established temple as Japanese in the interior did not have to evacuate. They had built a house for our family on the temple property. My father had to serve all of B.C. as the only Buddhist minister. I can remember my father attending a funeral in Vancouver and upon returning home there was a phone call that “so and so” died. He had to drive back to Vancouver the following day. It was very hard on him as the highways were very winding and weren’t as good as they are now.  My family moved to Steveston in 1958.

I didn’t notice any bitterness in my family about returning to BC. We never felt that way. Shikataganai. Whatever comes, you should accept it. My grandmother, on dad’s side was very arigatai [thankful].  She would try to make the best of things. I remember her saying to the entire village: Omairi shimasho yo. Omairi ikooyo. She would invite neighbours to come with her to the otera. After I started working, I used to send my father money because he helped me through university. I would send $100 out of my $300 a month salary. He used to send that money to the otera in Tottori.

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