SEDAI: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project

Sharing the unique history and experiences of Canadians of Japanese ancestry

1977 Centennial

In 1977, Japanese Canadian community celebrated the centennial of the arrival of the first known immigrant from Japan, Manzo Nagano. Cultural activities and events were held in communities across Canada contributing to a renewed sense of ethnic pride. Around the same time, researchers were gaining access to World War II government files and historian Ann Gomer Sunahara discovered documents proving that neither the RCMP nor the military had viewed the Japanese Canadian west coast community as a military threat. Rather the files showed that the uprooting was a political move to accommodate racist politicians in British Columbia. This new knowledge and the renewed interest in Japanese Canadian heritage helped break the silence surrounding the internment, stimulating talk of seeking ‘redress’ to compensate for wartime losses.

Cover: A Dream of Riches

Cover of A Dream of Riches: A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Canada from 1877-1977