Posted in Yonsei

Getting to gosei

My great grandparents were the most recent generation to have lived in Japan. On my Bachan’s side, my great grandmother had to eat sweet potatoes because the family couldn’t afford rice, despite it being their livelihood crop. She braved coming to a foreign country alone, without the language, to make a life with the husband...Continue reading

Posted in Gosei, Yonsei
Backyard on a grey day, showing a clothesline, on which laundry is hanging to dry. The grass below and trees in the background are a deep green. There is also a shed in the background that is dark brown, beside which there is a parked car. The image appears to be from roughly the 1960s.

A Slip

My family’s history is a slip tucked under a dress to make self into something else, a thing less driven, less raged less gutted, milked, less ink on the page, some thing to transform being into body, body into subject, subject to sew, a certain seed, to make go, make go like this, to and...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Family history

I am the youngest child of the youngest child. My grandparents never spoke about their past with me; I learn about it in bits and pieces through parents, cousins, aunts. As a university student, I studied Japanese Canadian history and kept stumbling across things that looked familiar: Steveston; Buddhist Church. I started to look very...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

How Do We Identify?

Our history and relationship with our ethnicity is unique because we are both Chinese and Japanese. Especially when we were younger, we felt more defined by the Chinese side of our family history. Since we look more Chinese than we do Japanese, people tend to judge us based on the Chinese stereotypes. This has impacted...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Grandma’s Impact on Us

Our grandma, Yukiko, was warm, caring, and loved us unconditionally. She never spoke Japanese to us or talked to us about our roots, but since we were young we thought nothing of it. Our grandma was a product of all that she experienced in her life, and while she took pride in being Japanese, she...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Our Family History

Our grandparents were born in the 1920’s in Vancouver BC. Their parents had immigrated to the Canadian West Coast from Gunma, Nagano, and Hiroshima. During the war, our grandmother and grandfather along with their families were interned in Tashme. Both of them were young adults during the time of the internment and had finished high...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

The Power of History

Why does Japanese Canadian history matter today? To me, Japanese Canadian history matters because it is my history. My family’s history. My great-grandparents moved to Canada and because of that decision, three generations later I call myself Canadian. I carry the language, culture, and legacies of my ancestors inside me. To the community, Japanese Canadian...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Reflections on Intermarriage

Photo: my paternal great-grandparents in Moose Jaw, date unknown. From left: George Chohei Endo, Tomie Endo, Dorothy Greenaway, Mel Greenaway. It’s one of the most fascinating things I notice at Japanese Canadian events – there are inter-racial families everywhere! It’s easy for me to believe that within all racialized communities, Japanese Canadians have the highest...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Family History

Photo: George Chohei Endo and Tomie Endo with their first daughter, Doreen Fumiko Endo, my paternal grandmother, circa 1931, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan I will start with my grandmother. She was a nisei – her parents moved to Canada from a small town near Sendai in Miyagi-ken, and they settled in Saskatchewan. My grandmother was the...

Posted in Yonsei


My grandmother, Connie (Kanako) Komori, is a nisei Japanese Canadian who grew up in West Kelowna. Connie used to travel several hours north from our home in Kamloops to Valemount in the fall to pick matsutake. She walked in pine groves towards the hummocks that mushrooms make when they push their fleshy caps towards the...Continue reading

Posted in Yonsei

Story about Intergenerational Trauma

In 2019 I went to a pan-American conference of JC communities. It was held in San Francisco, and featured a youth panel which presented discussions and topics from young delegates. We discussed virtual obon, and other ways to connect with each other over distances. An older local attendee criticized the youth representatives about the focus...Continue reading

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