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Chuck Tasaka


Chuck Tasaka is the grandson of Isaburo and Yorie Tasaka. Chuck’s father was 4th in a family of 19. Chuck was born in Midway, B.C., and grew up in Greenwood, B.C. until he graduated from high school. Chuck attended University of B.C. and graduated in 1968. After retirement in 2002, he became interested in Nikkei history. (Profile photo courtesy of Nelson photographer)

Updated October 2015

Stories from This Author

The Ironies of the Japanese Canadian Internment History: Part 2—Discovering Japanese Canadian History

June 2, 2023 • Chuck Tasaka

Read Part 1 >> For too long, I lacked understanding about Japanese Canadian history and why World War II internment had happened. Even when I retired in 2002, I was still too busy coaching to research this history. I told myself that when I turned 65, I would dive deeply into this project. That was in 2010. I read voraciously, but there weren’t too many books on Japanese Canadian history. I studied Chinese Canadian, First Nations, Native American, and Japanese …

The Ironies of the Japanese Canadian Internment History: Part 1—My Family’s Life in Greenwood

June 1, 2023 • Chuck Tasaka

I was once so naive and ignorant about Japanese Canadian history. For many years, I neglected to dig deeper to learn about my personal family history as well as the larger injustices inflicted on Japanese Canadians.  I was born in 1945 in Midway, British Columbia, just 9 miles west of Greenwood. In 1946, my family moved back to Greenwood, and that’s where I grew up. It was there that I was detained in a theoretical Canadian “internment camp” for Japanese …

Nikkei Chronicles #11—Itadakimasu 3! Nikkei Food, Family, and Community
Canadian Nikkei Comfort Food

Sept. 4, 2022 • Chuck Tasaka

I previously wrote an article on Nikkei food that was uniquely Japanese Canadian: kan-ba-lando chow mein that evolved in the coal mining town of Cumberland, B.C., and Denbazuke from New Denver internment camp. Fuki is symbolic of Japanese immigration. In the late 1800’s, when poor people from rural villages came to Canada or Amerika, for some reason they brought this insignificant root that is grown on the hillside of Japan. My theory is that perhaps these villagers thought that there …

Greenwood's 80th Anniversary Commemoration

Aug. 12, 2022 • Chuck Tasaka

Mission Accomplished. Greenwood’s 80th Anniversary of the Japanese Canadian Internment Reunion Concert, held on July 16, 2022, was a resounding success! With people shaking hands, embracing each other with hugs and big smiles all around, there was that ambience of camaraderie and friendship. The Japanese Canadian Survivor Health and Wellness Funding goal was achieved. How significant was this event held in the first internment ‘camp’ in British Columbia? First of all, there were some 23,000 Japanese Canadians in Canada at …

United Church’s Role in Greenwood

April 26, 2021 • Chuck Tasaka

I have written extensively on the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement’s Japanese Catholic Mission connection with the Japanese Canadians in Steveston and Vancouver’s Powell Street Japantown. Of course, they were the ones responsible for bringing the mostly Catholic Japanese Canadians to the first internment site of Greenwood in 1942. The United Church groups were to be sent to internment camps in Kaslo, Tashme, New Denver, and Slocan area, however, the government decided to send the overflowing United Church members …

Sacred Heart School Yearbook Memoirs - Part 2

April 2, 2021 • Chuck Tasaka

Read Part 1 >> 1945-46 Yearbook A message from Mayor W.E. McArthur Sr.: Most of you are of Japanese origin, and although you are Canadians in every sense of the word, you had to undergo hardships which were caused by the hatreds which sprung up during the war. During the past four years, you have stood up under this burden in a manner which is very creditable. As the Mayor of the Town, I have found you to be very …

Sacred Heart School Yearbook Memoirs - Part 1

April 1, 2021 • Chuck Tasaka

In my previous article, I wrote that Greenwood became the first ‘internment camp’ in British Columbia, thanks mainly to the collaborative effort of then Mayor W.E. McArthur Sr. and Franciscan Friar Father Benedict Quigley to bring mostly Catholic Japanese Canadians and their friends and relatives to Greenwood in 1942. The Franciscan Sisters established Sacred Heart School when the federal and provincial government was debating as to who was responsible for funding education. B.C. government was a definite ‘no’. As a …

Mystery ‘Graffiti’ Revealed

Dec. 24, 2019 • Chuck Tasaka

Former Nelson Star editor, Greg Nesteroff, on January 21, 2015, wrote an article on names of Japanese Canadians scratched on the wall of the old ‘Slocan Hall’ or Legion/Oddfellows Hall. This building was undergoing renovation to expand the kitchen. As the contractors were peeling off the asphalt of the building, they could see the names of Japanese Canadians who were probably young teens during the internment years around 1944 or 1945. Only a handful of names were legible. The clearest …

Nikkei Chronicles #8—Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations
Unsung Heroes of the Japanese Canadian Internment

May 7, 2019 • Chuck Tasaka

In present day Canada, the high profile Nikkei we hear of so often are people like David Suzuki, Joy Kogawa, Muriel Kitagawa, Thomas Shoyama, Santa Ono, Raymond Moriyama, Art Miki, Mary and Tosh Kitagawa, and athletes like Paul Kariya (hockey), Nathan Hirayama (Rugby 7), Vicky Sunohara (Olympic hockey), Special Olympic skier Brian McKeever and the Hall of Fame Vancouver Asahi baseball team (1914-1941). From 1942-1949, during the forced relocation from the B.C. coast beyond the 100-mile radius east to various …

MAINICHI GAMAN: Broom, Mop, and Apron

Dec. 13, 2018 • Chuck Tasaka

For many centuries, women fought for gender equality, especially in the political forum. As early as the late 1800’s, women in Canada struggled to gain stronghold for the “Right to Vote.” Most politicians were adamant that women’s place should be in the home, having babies, raising them, cook for their husbands, and to keep the house tidy. Nevertheless, women in Canada could run for political office. One woman who spear-headed this movement was Nellie McClung. She and four other women …

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