#MyBaachan 25. Posters

This is an example of the kinds of notices that were distributed in Japanese communities in British Columbia. I have not seen similar posters in Japanese, but maybe I did not know to look at them. I don't know whether my Baachan would have understood this poster, but I suppose word got around soon enough. Austin Taylor was the Chair of the BC Security Commission
He was a businessman who oversaw the operation along with a committee.

japan_notice.jpg

I recently incorporated this image into a painting I made and donated to the Bloom auction at the Nikkei National Museum on April 21.

HaveANiceDay.jpg

#My Baachan 23. POW Camps

 Prisoner of War camps in Ontario were originally set up for German and Italian soldiers captured in Europe. They were also used to incarcerate Japanese Nationals who were leaders in the Japanese Canadian community, and others who protested the separation from their families.  This drawing is based on a photo of Angler, in the winter of 1942. NNM 1994.48.3.a

Prisoner of War camps in Ontario were originally set up for German and Italian soldiers captured in Europe. They were also used to incarcerate Japanese Nationals who were leaders in the Japanese Canadian community, and others who protested the separation from their families.

This drawing is based on a photo of Angler, in the winter of 1942.
NNM 1994.48.3.a

Pura Vida Costa Rica

From San Jose airport, hurtling through the darkness in an official red taxi van, driver tells us the Japanese melodrama Oshin was popular in Costa Rica.
Arriving in the middle of the night, we see local birds carved into the wooden door of our room.
Too early breakfast introduces us to the local staple of rice and beans, along with fresh tropical fruits.
Into the hilly country, satellite dishes top corrugated metal rooftops.
Latte-skinned Rasta man no longer on the ox cart shows how pairs of coffee plants produce more berries.
Often shrouded in mist, elegant tapered peak of now sleeping Arenal volcano looms over La Fortuna.
Down five hundred steps to picturesque waterfall, wade in cool pool among fishies, then back up five hundred steps.
On the long and winding road back, birds with flashes of red or blue flit, a yellow one crawls into a nest atop a telephone pole, and vultures peel a flattened lizard off the hot asphalt.
Wobbly legs stumble into gutter, I scrape my knee like a little kid, but do not cry.
Across large artificial Lake Arenal, butch ferry woman takes us past cormorants and ibises.
Into the misty mountains of Monteverde, a flowery inn with a large mouldy rooms.
For over a kilometre, zip over the canopy like Superman; plummet head first on Tarzan swing, swallowing scream.
Through the wet, verdant cloud forest in my moo cow kiddie poncho, parade along expansive bridges among the treetops.
Hungry, hungry hummingbirds in coats of many colours whiz between sugar water dispensers.
In the dark of night with beams of light, provoke a timid tarantula, wake a torpid toucan, and intrude on a sloth going number two.
The tongue of a green viper, the tail of an armadillo, and the body of a scorpion, fluorescent purple under black light.
At a treehouse restaurant with co-travellers from around the corner and across the sea, feast on platter of local flavours, as drums, guitar, and clarinet play George Michael.
Up, up, up a hill, through the darkness and chilly rain, without the company of a scruffy random dog as earlier in the day.
Down, down, down a hill, to an unexpected butterfly garden with  myriad wings — iridescent blue, intimidating owl eyes and snake heads, warning orange and black, and fearless species that drink crocodile tears.

King crocodile with his large harem hang out in a muddy river beneath a large bridge, while the defeated lay on the banks of the other side.
Out of the hill tops into the frying pan by the Pacific, where water was at a premium.
Tropical white-spotted dolphins frolic at the bow of our catamaran, octopus and colourful fishes nibble at the rocky non-coral reef, as my back unwittingly gets roasted.
Board the steamy local bus to explore Manuel Antonio, and spot agoutis browsing the forest litter, iguanas sunning themselves, and white-faced capuchin monkeys grooming each other in the trees near the busy beach.
And still in my head echoes the boisterous laugh of our irrepressible tico leader Adrie.

#MyBaachan 21. #PearlHarbor #Nikkei #history

 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” according to Franklin Roosevelt, the president of the United States. i still don't get what Japan was thinking. The United States declared War on Japan and Canada joined in. Soon everyone of Japanese descent living along the coast of British Columbia became an enemy alien, whether they were Japanese Nationals, Naturalized citizens or Canadian born. My baachan’s family dry cleaning business was sold off.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” according to Franklin Roosevelt, the president of the United States. i still don't get what Japan was thinking. The United States declared War on Japan and Canada joined in. Soon everyone of Japanese descent living along the coast of British Columbia became an enemy alien, whether they were Japanese Nationals, Naturalized citizens or Canadian born. My baachan’s family dry cleaning business was sold off.

Bye Day

Quite the pi day. Einstein’s birthday. Stephen Hawking passed away. Is that coincidence or some ploy? If you have enough things happening, some of them will be weird. Sir John Sulston, the Nobel prize-winning pioneering genome scientist, also passed away recently. He happened to be the father of a fellow scientist in the Scientist in Residence program, whom I had unwittingly emailed about bug boxes while she was in England at the funeral. And I heard a former prof, ornithologist and evolutionary biologist and good guy, Jim Rising, also passed away. Sadly, every combination can be found in pi.

#MyBaachan 20. Registration Card #NikkeiHistory

 In the spring of 1941, RCMP began registering people of Japanese descent along the BC Coast. This was before Pearl Harbor, but Japan had invaded Asia and into the Pacific. The registration cards were different colours depending on your status Japanese Nationals — yellow Naturalized Canadian — pink Canadian Born – white All cards included a photo, finger-print and other personal details. They had to be carried at all times. My baachan was still a Japanese National. This recreation of the front and back of her registration card is based on another actual card in the collection at the Nikkei National Museum (NNM 2011.16.5.1)

In the spring of 1941, RCMP began registering people of Japanese descent along the BC Coast. This was before Pearl Harbor, but Japan had invaded Asia and into the Pacific.
The registration cards were different colours depending on your status
Japanese Nationals — yellow
Naturalized Canadian — pink
Canadian Born – white
All cards included a photo, finger-print and other personal details. They had to be carried at all times. My baachan was still a Japanese National. This recreation of the front and back of her registration card is based on another actual card in the collection at the Nikkei National Museum (NNM 2011.16.5.1)

#MyBaachan 19. Move to Victoria #NikkeiHistory

 In 1940, not long after her husband passed away, my baachan’s eldest son bought a dry cleaning business in Victoria to start a new life. He got married and they soon had a child, but he still looked after my Baachan and the youngest siblings. They lived in an apartment behind the dry cleaning shop. This is a drawing, not of their dry cleaning shop, but of the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria where you can still go for high tea, based on a photograph from around then (NNM 2013.57.2.1.85)   

In 1940, not long after her husband passed away, my baachan’s eldest son bought a dry cleaning business in Victoria to start a new life. He got married and they soon had a child, but he still looked after my Baachan and the youngest siblings. They lived in an apartment behind the dry cleaning shop.
This is a drawing, not of their dry cleaning shop, but of the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria where you can still go for high tea, based on a photograph from around then (NNM 2013.57.2.1.85)

 

#MyBaachan 18. #SaltSpringIsland #NikkeiHistory

  In 1924, my Baachan and the family moved to Salt Spring Island on the recommendation of Mr Horrow, a friend from when Shinkichi worked at a railway tie mill. This image is based on the family’s first photo taken in 1928. The baby who looks like he could use a diaper change is my father, George, or Hichiro, which means seventh kid. Only five children, however, are in the picture. Two of the older girls were still in Japan with the Yanagihara family. When they eventually returned to Canada to rejoin the family, their papers said their last name was Yanagihara, resulting in some delay at their re-entry. My baachan was busy looking after the children, and helping with the vegetable farm and selling moonshine. Shinkichi also worked in a mill  and running a laundry. While logging, he also found a cascara tree, which he was able to sell to a company interested in its supposed laxative properties. They made enough money to buy a Model T Ford. People didn’t get enough fibre back then I guess.  In the mid 1930s, Shinkichi became ill with throat cancer. He had to be fed through a hold in his torso. He went back to Japan where he died in 1938.


In 1924, my Baachan and the family moved to Salt Spring Island on the recommendation of Mr Horrow, a friend from when Shinkichi worked at a railway tie mill.
This image is based on the family’s first photo taken in 1928. The baby who looks like he could use a diaper change is my father, George, or Hichiro, which means seventh kid. Only five children, however, are in the picture. Two of the older girls were still in Japan with the Yanagihara family. When they eventually returned to Canada to rejoin the family, their papers said their last name was Yanagihara, resulting in some delay at their re-entry.
My baachan was busy looking after the children, and helping with the vegetable farm and selling moonshine. Shinkichi also worked in a mill  and running a laundry. While logging, he also found a cascara tree, which he was able to sell to a company interested in its supposed laxative properties. They made enough money to buy a Model T Ford. People didn’t get enough fibre back then I guess.

In the mid 1930s, Shinkichi became ill with throat cancer. He had to be fed through a hold in his torso. He went back to Japan where he died in 1938.