Following the bombing, by Japan, of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the life of Japanese, both immigrants and Canadian nationals in Canada, drastically changed. Well documented are the horrific, slave-like conditions many Japanese immigrants were forced to endure in the United States, most significantly in California. Sadly, this behavior was not limited to American immigrants of Japanese decent but was prevalent throughout North America. In Canada more than twenty two thousand Canadian citizens and residents of Japanese descent were forced into confinement. They were evacuated from their homes, removed from their landed province and prohibited from returning for almost a decade. Their homes were taken, belongings confiscated and sold for profits which were never returned to their owners.
[...] Some, prompted by the Canadian government, had repatriated themselves and returned to Japan. While Canada, unlike the United States, did not murder any of the detainees, the nation should surely be embarrassed of its horrific prejudice. The irony of this black stain on Canadian social history is not lost. During the period in question, the Second World War, Canada, along with the Allied countries, was fighting against similar removal of social rights they were practicing at home; xenophobia and ethnic superiority manifested to the ultimate extreme. It is important to remember that this evacuation of the Japanese from British Columbia was forced, it was not voluntary. [...]
[...] “Israeli and Japanese Immigrants to Canada: Home, Belonging, and the Territorialization of Identity.” In Ethos, Vol No (Jun., 1999). Pp. 119-144. Neiberg, Michael, S. Fighting the Great War: A Global History. Boston: Harvard University Press Sugiman, Pamela. “Memories of Internment: Narrating Japanese Canadian Women's Life Stories.” In Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol No (Summer, 2004), pp. 359-388. Michael, S. Neiberg. Fighting the Great War: A Global History. Boston: Harvard University Press pg Pamela Sugiman. “Memories of Internment: Narrating Japanese Canadian Women's Life Stories.” In Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol No (Summer, 2004), p Sugiman [...]
[...] In a study conducted many years after armistice in the Second World War, a majority of Japanese detainees in Canada were questioned. The overwhelming response was that they did not hold the government at fault for its actions. They believed they were thought of as replaceable and disposable. This majority did, however, acknowledge that extenuating circumstances permitted this behavior to be accepted, when in any other time it would surely demand outrage. This sampling of people, clearly very forgiving, should never have to have been subject to such disrespect. [...]
[...] From 1941, for each year of the war subsequently, and for almost an entire decade, Japanese immigrants and Canadians of Japanese origin living within Canada were subject to a litany of invasive government control over their lives. They were no longer private citizens. At any point they were subject to interrogation or search. They could be held prisoner without being charged with a crime. More than the job loss and economic plight they were forced into as a result of these practices, Japanese Canadians were subjected to a myriad of civil and social mistreatment. [...]
[...] The British Columbian government sanctioned internment of these Japanese people because it feared community would keep allegiance to their home country and would be working for the Japanese government. By 1941 Japan was one of the Allies greatest enemies. With this decision to remove all rights from the Japanese resident of its country, Canada's government made the assumption that the Japanese would not be able to differentiate their loyalty between their home and adopted countries. In British Columbia this simplistic belief of the Japanese's loyalty was manifested in fear. [...]
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