June 5, 2012
Dateline Toronto: the Keisho Conference Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Japanese Canadian Internment
By: Greg Robinson
On the weekend of March 31-April 1, I traveled to Toronto to attend the Keisho Conference at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. The conference, organized by the Heritage Committee of the JCCC (with help from Sedai, the Japanese Canadian Legacy Project) was designed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japanese Canadian confinement. There were a few hundred Japanese Canadians in attendance, plus some non-Japanese. On the morning of the first day, we were seated in the large Kobayashi hall, which was dotted with round tables and chairs for the occasion. I sat with a friendly contingent of Nisei women from Hamilton, Ontario.
The conference started with plenary presentations. There were some great opening remarks by emcee Lorene Nagata (who had organized the Heritage Committee’s fall 2010 conference), an official welcome by JCCC president Gary Kawaguchi, and a virtual tour through Sedai’s website and activities with staffer Lisa Uyeda. The morning’s big event was the sneak preview of Chris Hope’s very moving documentary film Hatsumi: One Grandmother’s Journey Though the Japanese Canadian Internment.