My Family History

I’m a mixed race yonsei living in Alberta. I don’t know the account of our family history extremely well. They had a chicken farm in Surrey. Like the other families, that land was stolen and sold off, and the family was moved to work on sugar beet farms in Alberta. My grandfather was the oldest, and there were 6 children. When he was a teenager, their father passed while in internment from some kind of illness. At that point my grandfather became the head of the family. This changed his life and outlook a lot, he carried a lot of responsibility at a young age. They settled in Winnipeg when internment ended. He married my grandmother in 1949 when she was able to travel from Japan. He worked as a carpenter, and put his brothers through medical school. One of them was the first Japanese Canadian to graduate from his university. They became successful and well known in their communities and professions, I still hear their names now. Because my grandfather supported all of his siblings, once established, they supported he and my grandmother. The families still do, she is 94 and has outlived them all, but her extended family respect her and by extension, my grandfather too.

Carley Okamura

View posts by Carley Okamura
I am a yonsei living in Edmonton, Alberta, which is where I grew up. I have played Japanese drums (taiko) for 20 years, and am involved with the local EJCA.
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