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The Sedai Project

The Sedai Project is committed to collecting, documenting, preserving and sharing the history of the Japanese Canadians. The Sedai Committee collects and preserves Japanese Canadian history through audio and video recordings, and they continue to search for all Japanese Canadians who were born in the pre-war and war years to come and share their stories with them. Recorded interviews can be viewed on Sedai on Vimeo. For more information, please send enquiry to heritage@jccc.on.ca.

Feature of the month

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It was only in 1945 that Yatabe, along with other nisei men wanting to serve were finally allowed to enlist. Some of them received training at the S-20 Japanese Language School as the British Army were in need of translators. Yatabe also speaks about the nisei veterans who continue to serve in Southeast Asia for the Canadian Intelligence Corp after World War II.

Interviewer: Peter Wakayama
Date: March 31, 2009
Accession number: 2010-017

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One of the common workplace for Japanese Canadians during the early 20th century was in the sawmills. Roy discusses his family living in White Rock, B.C. because his father was working at the sawmill in White Rock. There, housing was provided for single workers and families like Roy’s. Roy also gives us an insight on the laborious work that went into making paper in the sawmills.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: July 29, 2010
Accession number: 2010-044

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Listen to Kay as she talks about her family's history, specifically how her grandfather and father migrated to Hawaii as contract workers in pineapple plantations and how her father transmigrated to Canada as a teenager.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: July 29, 2010
Accession number: 2010-043

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Mary’s father arrived in New Westminster, BC from Shiga-ken in 1897 as a teenager. He worked in various trade including fishing, sawmill, and lumber. Like most issei men, he would marry and with Mary’s mother, have children and form their own family. By 1930, they were able to start a small business with their savings. Listen to Mary as she recalls her family’s business near Granville Street in Vancouver.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: September 16, 2011
Accession number: 2011-259

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Joe Ohori worked for the Canadian Pacific Airlines in the 1960 and was part of a team that was instrumental in cultivating Canada as the destination for skiing especially for Japanese travellers. Listen to Joe as he recalls how his team worked tirelessly to bring Yūichirō Miura, one of Japan's finest skier who took on Mount Everest, when everybody scoffed at their small budget.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: September 13, 2011
Accession number: 2011-258

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Mits Ito speaks about his experience growing up in Mission, British Columbia, from attending Japanese school to playing marbles with his friends.

Interviewer: Mary Ito
Date: March 23, 2005
Accession number: 2010-008

Full transcripts available: jccc.on.ca/sedai-oral-history/

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Sid Ikeda recollects the planning of the Japanese Canadian Centennial celebration during his tenure as president of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. The centennial celebration that brought the Japanese Canadian community together had an enduring influence on the community including the fight for redress and the establishment of the Momiji Health Care Society.

Interviewer: Lorene Nagata
Date: December 23, 2009
Accession number: 2010-023

Full transcripts available: jccc.on.ca/sedai-oral-history/

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Dr. Fred Sunahara was one of the founders of Momiji Health Care Society that was originally established to serve the issei generation in Toronto. In this clip, Dr. Sunahara recounts the early days of Momiji.

Interviewer: Lorene Nagata
Date: December 23, 2009
Accession number: 2010-024

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This video is about Harry Yoshida's issei parents' migration to Canada. He discusses his paternal family's background and his father's education in the United States of America before moving to Canada. 

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: September 10, 2010
Accession number: 2010-060

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This video is about Mary Matsui's parents migrating to Canada in the early 20th century. She talks about how the death of her grandfather in Canada impacted her father's livelihood at the age of 14 and her parent's marriage.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: September 9, 2010
Accession number: 2010-059

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Yoshiye Kosaka describes her mother's process for making sake for the New Years.

Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda
Date: July 26, 2011

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Kunio Suyama was born on the eve of Christmas in 1927. Listen to Kunio describes different celebrations during his youth, from mikan (small variety of tangerines) in his Christmas stockings to making mochi for New Year's celebrations.

Date: August 23, 2011
Interviewer: Lisa Uyeda

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