Photo above: Mio mura today
My father was from Mio and my mom was from a little village nearby, Ikeda. My dad was 16 or 17 when he emigrated. And my mother was 19 or 20. My father was born in 1899 so it must have been around 1916 when he immigrated.
He was really proud of the fact that he had his British citizenship. He said it was really hard to get it in those days. But because he was not going back to Japan, he thought he’d better get it. He always remembered his lawyer’s name: Nicholson, [who later became] a member of parliament. You know [in the Japanese community] people voted for NDP, in those days it was the CCF. But my dad always voted Liberal because of Nicholson.
My dad was a fisherman before the war. [When we moved to] Greenwood, he worked for the CPR. He did labour work in a gang to fix rails.
I was about three when my father purchased a shack in Steveston. He was working for his brother, who owned two fishing boats.
I remember visiting my cousin up the street. They had a house with an upstairs. My cousins were much older than me. I thought it was a huge house but when I talked to my cousin years later, he said it was just a big room on the main floor and two rooms upstairs. I don’t think many people had a living room or a dining room.