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Anti-Japanese sentiment at the time of World War II

I*: Were you still in, at university when the war started?

Yes, I was at university when the war started, and at that time, at that time there was a lot of discrimination news in the papers, and usually it was from two politicians, and I guess it was because the Japanese didn't have the franchise in those days. One was Alderman Halford Wilson in the city council, and he was always saying something anti-Japanese, and the other was Howard Green, he was a conservative MP in Ottawa. And the reason I remember him 'cause he was a prominent United Church member and very prominent in the, in the news for the church things and the... then in the paper, he was always in the, saying something about the anti-Japanese in Ottawa in the parliament. But counteracting that, not many people, politicians spoke up for the Japanese, but there was a, when I was going to the university, there were a professor named Henry Angus, and he was, in his very thoughtful way, encouraged the students to ignore the anti-Japanese feelings in those days, and he really encouraged the Nisei students at university to, to go about their studies and try to not get too discouraged over the discrimination.

I: What do you remember about the start of the war? At the start of the war, I remember that we were all expected to go into the Canadian Officers' Training Corps at the universities, and we were all handed uniforms. And every, every... well, two or three times a week we went on marches and different exercises that we had to do, and did what we called some military training. There was a Colonel Shrum, he was a Physics professor, he was a colonel, and he was the head of the Canadian COTC training at the University of British Columbia.

*"I" indicates an interviewer (Teri Yamada).


Canada discrimination interpersonal relations racism World War II

Date: September 24, 2004

Location: Toronto, Canada

Interviewer: Teri Yamada

Contributed by: Sedai, the Japanese Canadian Legacy Project, Japanese Canadian Cultural Center

Interviewee Bio

Fred was born in Hiroshima, Japan on July 28, 1918. When he was 9 months old, he came to Canada with his mother to join his father in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was educated in the public school system and in 1939, enrolled at the University of British Columbia in Commerce and Finance.

With the evacuation of the Japanese from the west coast at the start of World War II, Fred moved to Calgary, Alberta to complete his degree by correspondence. His family was interned in the interior town of Slocan, British Columbia. In 1943 Fred moved east to Toronto, Ontario, working various jobs to help relocate his family to Toronto.

Fred worked at Canadian Tire, a Canadian retail store icon, for 45 years and became the Vice President of Finance and corporate Treasurer. Fred is heavily involved in the Japanese Canadian community and was a founding member of the Momiji Health Care Society to provide a seniors home for the Nikkei community. A widower, Fred is still very active in sports, the community and his family.

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Hawaiian Nisei who served in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

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An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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