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 …

continue a ler

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 …

continue a ler

sports en ja es pt

Vancouver Asahi: a rede invisível que envolveu jogadores e descendentes

Ao ler “A história de família de Kenichi Doi, arremessador do Asahi Vancouver”, de Yobun Shima, que concorreu na série “Mais do Que um Jogo: Esporte Nikkei”, tive momentos de flashback em que eu pude recordar os 30 anos de convivência com o “Asahi-gun”. Este é um apanhado das memórias desse tempo.

* * * * *

A lenda do “Asahi-gun” começou em 1992, com a publicação do livro “ASAHI: A Legend in Baseball” de Pat Adachi. Lembro que certo dia Pat apareceu na minha sala de editor do “Nikkei Voice”, disse: “Tenho um pedido a lhe fazer” …

continue a ler

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. …

continue a ler

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 …

continue a ler