SEDAI: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project

Sharing the unique history and experiences of Canadians of Japanese ancestry

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sedai Corner – Leaving Behind Answers

Although the brunt of this year’s harsh winter weather is hopefully past us, the loss of family, friends, and community members in recent years as well as more recent months, brings to the forefront the place and role of leaving behind a record. If we leave behind answers, future generations will be able to find that much more meaning behind the questions which will inevitably be posed. And finding a meaningful way to record and preserve your memories and history, can be an experience that also brings much laughter and creates wonderful new memories.

Sedai would like to thank Mitsy Kuwahara for the contribution of her time and memories of her late father Shigeuki “Shig” Yoshida, the warmly remembered Boy Scout Leader in Tashme. Shig Yoshida remained in the warm collective memory of several of Sedai’s interviewees, and through preserving his legacy, we hope to honour his contribution to the community.

Also, as mentioned last month, the JCCC’s annual Sakura Gala would like to highlight and honour the countless Jewish Canadians who showed great humanity to many Japanese Canadians resettling east of the Rockies following WWII. To those who have already stepped forward with letters and phone calls, we give our thanks! This piece of Canadian history has gone largely unacknowledged – many Canadians in and outside of the Jewish Canadian population have little knowledge of this time period nor this historical gem of Canadian multicultural acceptance, and we hope to pay proper tribute to those who pushed aside racism during a difficult period of time.

And for those who may have anecdotes or recollections that could aide the JCCC and Sedai in better understanding the connections that were made between the Jewish Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities, we eagerly invite you to step forward and contact us. And as always, if you or a loved one have memories (however many or few!) which you feel should be recorded and preserved, please contact Elizabeth Fujita, Sedai Project Coordinator, at elizabeth.fujita@jccc.on.ca or 416 441 2345 ext 303.

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