The importance of recapturing our history

A huge loss as a result of the internment is the non-existence of a full expression of the history of the JC immigration story. So much of the history has been lost and remains unknown. An example is the story of Vancouver’s Japantown and also of the many other once thriving BC JC communities that are now gone….obliterated. How can we pass on our history if we do not know it ourselves?

We as a JC community do not commemorate our history. PSF and Nov 11 are the only regular events that are partial reminders of our past. Could it be that we are so dispersed that we are forgetting our history? Have we forgotten the racism and social injustice?

Americans are just that much more aggressive in the way they recognize their past compared to Canadians. It’s a shame we don’t commemorate significant events in our history in the same way as they do. Our kids don’t know the history. So in a couple of generations from now it’ll be gone.

This disparity between Japanese American and Japanese Canadian history shows up in a lot of other places too like museums. The Japanese American museum in Los Angeles is a remarkable place as are the museums in San Jose, Honolulu and other smaller places. We need some grassroots activism in Canada to correct this discrepancy.

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