Gloria Sumiya was born on August 10, 1925 in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She talks about her parents emigrating to Japan because her father's family was forced to sell land they owned in Japan. Her father came to Canada so he could find employment and send money back to his family in Japan to save the estate. Her parents found that they liked Canada and decided to settled permanently. Her parents were dairy farmers and she lived on the farm for her first eight years. After that, they moved to Royston on Vancouver Island as the Japanese Canadian community was larger there. Her father worked at the sawmill. She went to the local school as well as Japanese Language School. Gloria was in grade eleven when World War II began. Gloria's father was removed to a road camp while the rest of her family was removed to Hastings Park for two and a half months before being transferred to Sandon, B.C. Gloria talks about her experience in Sandon where her family were would reunite with her father.
Mits Sumiya was born on November 22, 1922 on Bowen Island in British Columbia. His father emigrated to Canada in 1905 and worked as a house boy, where he learned English. After that he worked in lumber. Prior to leaving Canada to find a bride, Mits' father purchased land in BC to ensure he could return. After Mits turned three, they moved to Grace Creek, BC. Mits talks about growing up in Grace Creek and his experience being the only Japanese Canadians in the area. In 1927, they moved to O'Brien Bay, BC because there was a logging camp. They lived in a float house which had a Japanese bath in it. Mits talks more about his childhood and activities like fishing. There weren't any other children around and it was very isolated. After that, they moved to Vancouver, BC and his father bought a rooming house business. Mits talks about his experience going to school. During high school, Mits worked at a bowling alley to save up money to attend university. Mits attended University of British Columbia and he completed his first year when the WWII broke out. Mits talks about how all Japanese Canadians in the cadets had to turn their uniforms in. When Mits refused to go to road camp, he was imprisoned in a cage by RCMP officers, who turned him over to the military and sent to a Prisoner of War Camp. Mits talks about being a POW at Angler, Ontario.
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Conference (Mits Sumiya): https://vimeo.com/349458181
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Conference (Gloria Sumiya): https://vimeo.com/337513183
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Post War Conference (Mits Sumiya): https://vimeo.com/344347446