‘They were just gone’: presentation in Duncan on project delving into history of Japanese Canadians

Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives hosting a presentation by the Landscapes of Injustice project team

One day, Japanese Canadian students like Tayeko Fukakusa were just gone from their schools and communities. (Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives)

On Friday, July 26, the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives is hosting a presentation by the Landscapes of Injustice project team, in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery Society. The presentation, running from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Island Savings Centre is about the dispossession of Japanese Canadians.

“They were just gone.”

More than 140 people of Japanese ancestry were taken from the Cowichan Valley after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. School children suddenly disappeared from their classes, and friends were shocked by their sudden absence. They were sent to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds at Hastings Park in Vancouver, housed in animal barns, and eventually sent to internment camps in B.C.’s Interior. Duncan resident Mary Rambold (nee Spencer) donated an autograph book from her school days to the museum that included the names of Japanese Canadian friends, like Tayeko Fukakusa.

“They were just gone,” said Mary.

Landscapes of Injustice is a multi-year research project focusing on the dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s. The project has past the midway point and is transitioning from the research phase to the knowledge mobilization phase.

Project Manager Michael Abe will give an overview of the project, outlining the research that has been undertaken and inform the audience of the plans to disseminate the results of the primary research to the Nikkei community and the general public.

Curatorial postdoctoral fellow Yasmin Railton will speak on the progress of the nationally travelling museum exhibit currently being created from Landscapes of Injustice research. She will share examples of a recent community consultation initiative designed to promote public engagement with the exhibit and this difficult history.

To complement the current exhibit The Suitcase Project by Kayla Isomura, Research Coordinator Kaitlin Findlay, will present reflections from Drs. Jordan Stanger-Ross, Heather Read, and herself on the Landscapes of Injustice Oral History Collection and how Japanese Canadians described belongings, whether lost or preserved, in their interviews. They found that stories of things were more often stories about people and relationship than simply thing’s themselves.

For more information, please contact museum curator Kathryn Gagnon at 250-746-6612 or email cvmuseum.archives@shaw.ca.

Just Posted

Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass

Farm stand open 6 days a week, and home delivery is available everywhere from Mill Bay to Chemainus.

Future looks bright for Dancing Dandelion Farms in North Cowichan

Producing both flowers and veggies, this couple have plenty to keep them busy

Search continues for missing Colin Court at Cowichan Lake

RCMP still hoping someone will come forward with further information

Cyclist hit and seriously injured on TCH in Duncan Friday

Initial findings are that the cyclist rode across four lanes of traffic on the TCH

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

UPDATE with VIDEO: Daughter calls for animal safety measures after fatal accident on Cowichan’s Hwy. 18

“Safety studies and improvements to Highway 18 are vitally important”

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Most Read