My paternal grandfather died in 1924 when my dad was 4 years old. My dad, his parents, and his younger sister were living in a small fishing community in Canoe Pass in Delta, BC with several other families from their village of Ibusuki in Kagoshima. My grandfather had been a fisherman and died at sea. His body was never recovered. My dad said he remembered running to the dock when my grandfather’s boat was towed back. He said he was so little that he didn’t really understand what was happening. My grandmother had 2 small children and was pregnant with her third. It was decided that it would be best for her to return to Japan rather than try to raise 3 children on her own in Canada. My dad would stay in Japan until he was 16 when he returned to Steveston with his uncle. My grandmother never came back to Canada.
I know very little about that grandfather and only this photo of him remains. Once, when I was living in Japan, my dad’s sister saw me knitting, something I’ve done since I was a child. She commented that she had heard that my grandfather had been a good knitter too. I felt both sad and happy to think that I shared this bond with him.