Strongest memory from the wartime years

I don’t have many memories from that time. However, I remember my mother saying that she had to take me to the sugar beet fields with her. I can kind of remember those days when my sister and I were left under the shade of trees. Many of the sugar beet workers came from the same area in BC and my mother knew the families. There was one grandmother, Baba-san, who was supposed to look after us with her two granddaughters. For some reason, one day my mother decided that she wasn’t going to leave us with her. She took us to the fields. On that day those two granddaughters drowned in a pit. After that she would always take us to the fields with her. It was better to be left by the side of the fields, even though we were four and two, than to be worried about us.

In Manitoba, there were few Asians, particularly Japanese.  Throughout my school years, there were no other Asians in my classes.  I always felt different but tried to blend in. From a young age, my sister and I were introduced to the Anglican church and attended for years. Our parents were Buddhists but I guess they figured something was better than nothing. They never went but they allowed my sister and I to go with neighbours.

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