SEDAI: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project

Sharing the unique history and experiences of Canadians of Japanese ancestry

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SEDAI: Do you know why your father and mother came to Canada?

Rose: Well, I guess they wanted to make money and go home which, ne, instead of making money they got further and further into a hole so they couldn't go back to Japan.

SEDAI: And what did they do in Vancouver?

Rose: Vancouver? Boarding house on Alexander. They called it Hiroshima but if Dad had succeeded, we wouldn't have been rich but at least we would have been able to go home to Japan to say that here we are but how can you go back to Japan in debt, right and everybody's like that, so we stayed.

SEDAI: And then, did you, did you, were you evacuated to Hasting Park, during, when?

Rose: No, was not in Hasting Park.

SEDAI: Not in Hasting Park? Did not go to Hasting Park?

Rose: Never went to Hasting Park.

SEDAI: And where did you go then?

Rose: Right from home to ghost town to, where was I, to Slocan, from Slocan I went to, No, because we had a home in Vancouver, a lot of people came out to Vancouver without a home, they were shipped out to like, where was I, to Hasting Park but we did not have no second home to go to so they kept us where we stayed. Not a good place.

SEDAI: So, you stayed at the home and from there you went directly to Slocan?

Rose: Yes


Rose: Where we were, we got a room on Powell Street rooming house.

SEDAI: And then, when you were in Slocan, what did you do in Slocan?

Rose: Another job, another sales job, you know cause they have to have stores.

SEDAI: So you were working in a store?

Rose: Yeah.

SEDAI: And how did you find the internment camp?

Rose: Huh?

SEDAI: And how did you find the internment camp, the housing and the food?

Rose: Oh, they sent you there. You were allotted to a place, you know.

SEDAI: And did your family go with you?

Rose: Yes.

SEDAI: Your father and mother?

Rose: Ah hun.

SEDAI: Father went too with you?

Rose: Ah hun, At that time cause all the younger fathers were shipped away, ghost towns. It was older, older fathers. In fact I had no father, it was my brother in law which was, who was my brother in law?

SEDAI: Weren't you with your brother?

Rose: Hun?

SEDAI: Weren't you with your brother?

Was it your brother? Was your brother?

Rose: My brother was an old man, I mean, he was, not allowed to go to a house , it was these old men over 60 or young kids, yeah.

SEDAI: Now after Slocan, where did you go? After Slocan, where did you go?

Rose: After Slocan, Toronto. No, we were all right because, because we were no menace and no, its people that they thought were, you know, bad. If we would do anything for, against the community then we were screened but look at the young kid and old man and what can they do, so we were o.k.

SEDAI: Did you, were you sponsored, how did you, did you have a place to come to when you came to Toronto?

Rose: Yes

SEDAI: And who sponsored you?

Rose: My uncle, not my uncle, my nephew, George Sato.

SEDAI: Oh, George Sato sponsored your family here, So George was here before?

Rose: Yes, he was here before, he was working here.

SEDAI: How did you feel about coming out East?

Rose: Hun?

SEDAI: How did you feel about coming out East?

Rose: Coming out? I didn't want to come.

SEDAI: You didn't want to come?

Rose: Oh no, it was forced.

SEDAI: Would you have rather stayed in B.C.?

Rose: Yes, at that time.

SEDAI: At that time.

Rose: But now... [shakes her head]

SEDAI: Why did you think you wanted to stay in B.C.?

Rose: B.C, because I, yeah, we knew everybody, we weren't scared of anybody but here we didn't know where we were going to go, who we were going to meet, what kind of work we were going to get, you know what I mean, oh yeah.

SEDAI: So when you came to Toronto, what did you do?

Rose: Ah, sewing.

SEDAI: Sewing?

Rose: 52 cents an hour, no 50 cents an hour.

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