This is from a talk I gave at the Vancouver Maritime Museum on February 15, 2018, as part of a speaker series associated with their Lost Fleet Exhibition on the Japanese Canadian fishing boats confiscated during World War II. I'll add a slide a day or so til I'm done.
Baachan was what we called my paternal grandmother, Taki Nakamura.
She was 4’7” and raised eight children.
She was vegetarian and smoked roll-your-own cigarettes.
She lived 91 years, through most of the major events in Japanese Canadian history.
But I can’t really say I knew her that well.
She didn’t speak much English, and I didn’t speak much Japanese.
As a kid, whenever we visited, she would offer me Vicks cherry-flavoured cough drops, which I usually accepted happily.
Every Easter, she sent me and her many other grandchildren, chocolate Easter bunnies.
This is my attempt to understand her life and times.