Internment as Art


On stage at the Firehall theatre, I was intrigued by this half hour panel ranging in experience and perspective, moderated by Sally Ito, a scholar, poet and translator with whom I'd done a reading. I'd seen Matt Miwa interview his elders about their experiences at Hastings Park and Tashme. Afterward, I saw Yoshie Bancroft perform in The Japanese Problem, a theatrical interpretation she created about being incarcerated in Hastings Park. Jay Rubin translated Haruki Murakami, but here he spoke of his novel about Japanese Americans during the War. I'd read Joy Kogawa's Obasan and her most recent Gently to Nagasaki.

Powell Street Festival


At Oppenheimer Park, I fortified myself with a BBQ Salmon dinner and a spam musubi. Enthusiastic volunteers helped me set up my Story building workshop and brought families to participate, as a shamisen bluegrass band performed at the Diamond Stage. Nearby, people lined up to dress as giant sushi and sweaty people paraded a big ornamental omikoshi. I was privileged to read my picture book Peach Girl with poet and scholar Sally Ito on the Street Stage with announcers in English and Japanese. Heard Nisei jichans share internment stories, then Katie Malia joke about mixed expectations. So many Nikkei delights.

Kichirano Walking Tour

We had a sunny day and about a dozen people arrive on time for the Walking tour I was giving about the community of Japanese Canadians who lived in Kitsilano  before the Second World War. Hardly any buildings remain from that time because of redevelopment, so we rely on archival photos, stories and wit. Even though my family did not have direct connections to this neighbourhood I was still able to make connections between their experiences and those of others in this area. Some of the participants also shared their own knowledge, which made it an interesting opportunity for me.



I was at a wonderful BBQ yesterday a woman was drawing caricatures. So I thought I would try one.