Local Japanese


Ancient Japanese Culture:

Ancient Japanese Culture contributes lots of unique culture to the world, such as pottery, the largest wooden buildings at the time of their construction, and the world’s first novel, called “The tale of Genji.” The Japanese believed that two gods dipped a jeweled spear into the sea, creating their islands.


They ate red beans, Japanese sweet potatoes, bamboo shoots, aubergines, cucumbers, burdock, onions, spring onions, yams and radishes. They seasoned this with salt, mint, garlic, vinegar, and fish broth. One of the main dishes is millet. They ate this raw, boiled, steamed, or [pickled]. 


From ancient times, Japanese people wore separate upper and lower garments or one-piece garments. There were lots of patterns on their clothing. There was the Kimono Pattern, a shape representing prosperity and good luck or the changing of the seasons. 

Immigration to Canada:

The first wave of Japanese immigrants arrived in Canada between 1877 and 1928. Some of the reasons why they moved were because they were looking for peace and prosperity. They were encouraged to prove their loyalty by moving “East of the Rockies”. Or they could sign papers agreeing to be “repatriated” to Japan after the war was over.  The flight over the ocean that they crossed would today have taken 10-14 hours. They would have had to travel across the North Pacific Ocean. 

Most of them settled in British Columbia. They worked the railways, in factories or as salmon fishermen on the Fraser River. Beginning in early 1942, the Canadian government detained and dispossessed more than 90 percent, with 21,000 living in British Columbia. The flight over the ocean that they crossed would today have taken 10-14 hours. They would have had to travel across the North Pacific Ocean. 


There were two main types. One was a pit-dwelling house, and the other was raised above the ground. Buildings were made out of woven bamboo and earth. 


The first Japanese Culture was called Jomon which meant ‘Rope Pattern Culture”. These were a group of hunters who decorated their pottery with rope.

Japan Modern Day:

Modern Japan is described as adaptive and technology-oriented. Most of them are offended by the Internment Camps, but are loyal to Japan. 

Internment Camps:

Japanese Internment Camps were first established during WW2 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. One of the reasons why he established these camps was because of the bombing of Pearl Harbour by Japanese forces. From 1942, to 1945, it was policy that any Japanese descendants, American or not, would attend Internment camps. Japanese Canadians were stripped of their homes and businesses, then sent to internment camps and farms in British Columbia as well as in some other parts of Canada. Roosevelt died on April 13, 1945, due to a heart attack in France. The last Internment camp closed in March, 1946. However, President General Ford repealed Rooselvelt’s order in 1976 and 1988. Congress issued a formal apology. In the Internment Camps, they took away their freedom and their livelihood. 

They were allowed to live in a family group. There were a total of 26 Internment Camps in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and [New] Brunswick. This affected about 120,000 people. The camps were isolated, surrounded by barbed wire fences, and patrolled by guards. All through this awful treatment, most of the Japanese people cooperated. By 1906, there were over 13,000 Japanese railroad workers. They did all the labor for the railroad across the country. That’s why the location of this Japanese Internment Exhibit is located by the train display.  

After Internment Into Society:

The last Internment camp closed in March 1946. With the end of their Internment, they began to reclaim or rebuild their lives. Those who still had homes waiting for them, returned to them. However, President General Ford repealed Roosevelt’s order in 1976 and 1988. Congress issued a formal apology, and awarded $20,000 to over 80,000 Japanese Americans for their treatment.

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Future Exhibit Plans:

In the future for this exhibit, we would like to see some changes. This includes new landscaping and a Japanese Garden. Also a new sidewalk and kiosks. In the meantime, we have a poster to display some information and plans.

Local Japanese