Life Before the War

Before the war, Yosh had aspirations to become a pharmacist when he was in high school.

First I wanted to be a druggist. In Grade 10 when I was 14 or 15, the teacher said: “You can’t get a job like that.” He didn’t know what to say. By law, you couldn’t be one.

Japanese Canadians were barred from entering many professions like pharmacy and law by virtue of the fact that they did not have the right to vote. Even if they had professional training for example in accounting, they often they were unable to find work.

As a teenager, he worked in a variety of different jobs including delivering Japanese newspapers in order to pay for his education. He was part of the Fairview branch of the Canada Kodokan Judo Club for a short time. He helped his family with their dry-cleaning business, Lion Valet.

Yosh graduated from King Edward High School in 1938 then completed Senior Matriculation the following year. He took some business courses at night school at the University of British Columbia.

Yosh joined his dad’s business because he couldn’t go to university to become a pharmacist.

Scroll to top