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Building Japanese style fishing boats in Canada

They were all built by Japanese boat-builders who learned to build these boats -- some of them might have known that from Japan when they came over, but the majority I think is, are self-taught, or people who apprenticed and realized that they can do it, how to make these Japanese fishing boats. There was one, I went down to Fisherman's Wharf, when we first went to Victoria, that would be back in '84, '85, first went down there to see, to get crab. And somebody said, "You go down Pier 6, Edgy the crab man is down there, go see Edgy." So I went down to see Edgy, and when I arrived at Edgy, I looked at his boat and I said to Edgy, I said, "That is a Japanese fishing boat." And he said, "Yeah, built in 1933," and he says, "It's still seaworthy." It was over fifty years old at that point, but it was still in good shape, it was still working, in good condition. Dirty as heck, but other than that, you can just recognize the way the superstructure is made and everything. It just, and it's hand-built. In those days, they had to hand-build these things, and there were at least, I think there were about four or five Japanese (builders). Up in Prince Rupert area, there would be four or five Japanese boat-building areas, and then on the Fraser River there'd be a whole number of them. They were building these boats.


aquatic sports boats Canada fishing fishing boats

Date: July 25 & 26, 2006

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Tom Ikeda

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Henry Shimizu was born in Prince Rupert, B.C. in 1928 and was interned in New Denver during the war. After leaving the internment camp, he moved to Edmonton where he still resides. As a medical graduate, Dr. Henry Shimizu specialized in plastic surgery and has been active in the medical community by serving in numerous leadership positions. From 1989 to 2002, he served as chairperson of JCRF. He is an artist and has painted a number of scenes from his internment days. His works were exhibited in several communities. For his outstanding contribution to the community, he has received several awards including the NAJC National Award 1999, the University of Alberta Distinguished Alumni Award 2004 and the Order of Canada 2004. (July 26, 2006)

Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Terminal Island / San Pedro

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Margaret Oda
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Margaret Oda

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(1925 - 2018) Nisei educator from Hawai‘i

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Grace Aiko Nakamura
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Grace Aiko Nakamura

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Sister of automotive designer Larry Shinoda

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