Alongside many others in her community, Tsurukichi had been interned in Greenwood, a former “ghost town” in the interior of British Columbia and one of several similarly isolated sites used by the federal government. ] Democracy means no racial discrimination, or is it the very opposite[?
For roughly 22,000 Canadians of Japanese descent, regardless of social class, sex, age, and generation, it turned out that race superseded citizenship. ] What historical conditions precipitated Tsurukichi’s anger? What prompted some Japanese Canadians to liken their treatment at the hands of the Canadian government to those enacted by the most brutally racist regimes of the era? The Government’s wartime treatment of Japanese Canadians was supported by hundreds of legal enactments, most of them made possible by the gave the cabinet of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King the power to regulate all persons “of the Japanese race” through Orders-in-Council: that is, declarations of law that bypassed debate in the legislature and proved resistant to judicial challenge.
As well, the internment resulted in the separation of families, forced labour for men, and for some, incarceration in prisoner of war camps in northern Ontario.
When the government declared Canada’s west coast a “protected area,” the entire Japanese Canadian population was uprooted.
Tensions mounted and early in 1942 the Ottawa government bowed to West Coast pressure and began the relocation of Japanese nationals and Canadian citizens alike.
While this forced resettlement mirrored the wartime policy of the American government, in Canada there were some important differences.During the period of detention, the Canadian government spent one-third the per capita amount expended by the U. By then most had chosen to begin life anew elsewhere in Canada.Their property had long before been confiscated and sold at a fraction of its worth.Some 12,000 Japanese Canadians were sent by train to live in hastily constructed shacks and abandoned buildings in various parts of the BC interior: Greenwood, Sandon, Kaslo, New Denver, Rosebery, Slocan City, Bay Farm, Popoff, Lemon Creek, and Tashme.Approximately 4,000 were sent to labour on sugar beet farms in Alberta and Manitoba. The man has filled in his signature and his thumb print."..government notice, from the newly established British Columbia Security Commission, announced a policy of wholesale evacuation of Japanese Canadians from the so-called coastal defense zone..." Keeping British Columbia White, Stephen M.Beckow The evacuation of the Japanese Canadians, or Nikkei Kanadajin, from the Pacific Coast in the early months of 1942 was the greatest mass movement in the history of Canada.Further, the proceeds of these sales were doled out as allowances to Japanese Canadians who were struggling to support themselves while interned.Tsurukichi’s letter highlights one woman’s resistance to the forced sale of her family’s property.The Second World War internment of all “persons of the Japanese race” serves as a powerful reminder to all Canadians that the rights of citizenship can be legally revoked and that the history of our country is not one of racial harmony. I certainly think you’re just like the Fascists confiscating people’s property, chasing them out of their homes, sending them out to a kind of a concentration camp, special registration cards, permits for traveling [sic].In September 1946, a Japanese Canadian woman named Tsurukichi Takemoto wrote officials to protest what she had experienced since Canada’s entry into the war in the Pacific (7 December 1941). Don’t you think this is the method used in dictatorship countries[?