SEDAI: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project

Sharing the unique history and experiences of Canadians of Japanese ancestry

Post-World War II

In 1967 new immigration regulations allowed immigrants to enter Canada based on factors such as skills and occupational demand rather than being determined solely by country of origin. This brought many new immigrants from countries outside of Europe, especially from Asia. But, unlike other Asian countries, Japan has sent relatively few recent migrations to Canada. Of the total population of immigrants who arrived in the country after 1970 less than half a percent were from Japan.

Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson

New beginnings: Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson officially opens the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto on June 7, 1964 and in an historic speech, refers to the internment of Canadians of Japanese descent as a ‘black mark’ on traditional Canadian fairness. (JCCC Archive)

Despite their small numbers, the new immigrants add much to the richness of the Canadian population. The post-WWII immigrants are similar to the first arrivals in that they are predominantly young adults who have families after they come to Canada, but unlike the early immigrants, they are highly skilled professionals and workers from Japan’s industrialized, urban middle class. Furthermore the gender difference is very different from the earlier immigrant streams. Women currently make up the majority of the new arrivals from Japan. They are typically highly educated and often find work in the arts or social service sector. They tend to settle in major Canadian cities and marry men of non-Japanese background, further increasing the multi-ethnic nature of the contemporary Japanese Canadian community.

Nisei Baseball Team

Honest Ed’s Nisei Baseball Team 1956, Western City Senior Baseball Champions, Toronto. Ed Mirvish, a Jewish entrepreneur, sponsored the team. (Sub Miike)