Yusuke Tanaka

Immigrated to Canada in 1986. BA in Sociology from Waseda University. A freelance writer for the Japanese media; a regular columnist for Vancouver-based JCCA Bulletin and Fraser Journal since 2012. Former Japanese editor of the Nikkei Voice (1989-2012). Co-founder of the Katari Japanese Storytellers since 1994. Lecturer on the Nikkei history at various universities in Japan. His translation Horonigai Shori, the Japanese edition of Bittersweet Passage by Maryka Omatsu was awarded The 4th Canadian Prime Minister Award for Publishing in 1993.

Updated March 2020

media en ja

Entertainer in Japan under GHQ occupation: Japanese-Canadian Nisei actor and singer Sally (Satoshi) Nakamura

According to Ken Adachi’s The Enemy That Never Was, there were about 1,500 Japanese-Canadians in Japan at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack (1941). Deprived of a chance to return home, many of them were labeled “hostile citizens” and were relentlessly told by the authorities to change their nationality to Japanese. Among the former members of the Vancouver Asahi who joined the Japanese military were Tamio Noda (died in war) in Wakayama and Ken Nakanishi (wounded in war) in Hiroshima.

With English skills under their belt, there were at least a few Nisei Canadians who got jobs in …

Read more

identity en ja

Songs of Memories of a Caregiver—A House Where the Memories of a Canadian Japanese Family Lived

The Japanese verb Sumu consists of three homonyms which include 住む (to live), 澄む (to become clear), and 済む (to finish). These three homonyms were etymologically derived from the same verb. If you try to put these three on a timeline, then you will see a time flow of past, present, and future; the flow slowly descends in-motion to a halt, or the process of settling in a place, purifying the mind, and the life finishes. People call it  “大往生 (die-oojo)”— a great life and death with dignity.

In July 2019, Kathleen Goring, a Canadian, passed away at …

Read more

sports en ja es pt

Legacy of Vancouver Asahi revived in the life of players and their descendants

As I was reading Yobun Shima’s “Family History of Kenichi Doi, Vancouver Asahi pitcher in 1926” submitted to the series “More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports,” the past 30 years of my life with the Asahi flashed through my mind. This is my memoir of the Asahi.


My journey with the Asahi started with Pat Adachi’s book ASAHI: A Legend in Baseball which was published in 1992. I remember that Pat came to the editorial office of Nikkei Voice one day and handed me a box full of cakes, saying “I have a little favor to ask.” …

Read more

education en ja

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Waves of Pandemics and the Prewar Japanese Canadian Community

The 1918 influenza epidemic swept the world for two years, infecting 500 million people and killing approximately 50 million. The outbreak first infected World War I soldiers on the battlefield, and the pandemic occurred as the soldiers returned home from the war zone, spreading the virus all around the world. Canada was not an exception, and nearly 50,000 Canadians died.

Meanwhile, racism against Japanese immigrants seemed to have toned down during the war (1914-1918). This was partly because Japan’s warships had guarded the Canadian west coast shoreline from German warships based on Yap Island, in compliance with the Anglo-Japan Treaty. …

Read more

sports en ja

Sporting Niseis of 1930s: Posing on Camera - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>


The man called “Tenning-san” refers to Jujiro Takenouchi (1869–1937), who grew up in Kuwana, Mie, graduated from Navy Comptroller School at the top of the class, and in 1898 he was posted in London, England as the military officer at the Japanese Embassy. Lieutenant Commander Takenouchi was in charge of building warships as a preparation for the Japan-Russo War. While there, a great amount of unaccounted funds for expenditure was revealed. At the military tribunal in Japan without his presence, Takenouchi was sentenced 11 years for the deficit of approx. 30 million yen in today’s …

Read more