Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941 is a fascinating investigation of Japanese migration to Canada prior to the Second World War. It makes Japanese-language scholarship on the subject available for the first time, and also draws on interviews, diaries, community histories, biographies, and the author’s own family history.
Starting with the history of the feudal fiefs of Aki and Bingo, which were merged into Hiroshima prefecture, Ayukawa describes the political, economic, and social circumstances that precipitated emigration between 1891 and 1941. She then examines the lives and experiences of those migrants who settled in western Canada. Interviews with three generations of community members, as well as with those who never emigrated, supplement research on immigrant labour, the central role of women, and the challenges Canadian-born children faced as they navigated life between two cultures.
This book is a must-read for scholars of migrations, diaspora, and transnationalism, and will also be of great interest to general readers who wish to learn more about the lives and experiences of Japanese Canadians.
About the author
Michiko Midge Ayukawa lives in Victoria, British Columbia, and has published widely on Japanese Canadian history.
Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada 1891–1941Few books have been written about the history of the Japanese in Canada. Michiko Midge Ayakawa, whose father came to Canada from Hiroshima in 1912, hoped to discover her family history, and that of others through this study. She draws on interviews, diaries, community histories, biographies of three generations and her own family history, producing a fascinating investigation of Japanese migration to Canada prior to WWII. She examines the reasons why they immigrated, their social backgrounds, their region of origin in Japan and their lives in Canada. The author also provides a history of the political, economic and social circumstances that precipitated the emigration between 1891 and 1941. Readers will gain an understanding of past and contemporary Japanese-Canadian relations.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.