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Interview with Gloria and Mits Sumiya

タイトル
Interview with Gloria and Mits Sumiya
Accession number
2010.062
Interviewer
Lisa Uyeda
Videographer
Lisa Uyeda
Date of Interview
Language
English
Description

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

 

Format
Videotape
Video File
Length of Interview
3 hr 8 min
Period
Pre War
World War II
1930s
1940s
Event
World War II
Relocation
Forced Removal
Attack on Pearl Harbour
Internment
Location
Japan
Vancouver Island, BC
Vancouver, BC
Hastings Park, Vancouver
New Denver, BC
Slocan City, BC
Bay Farm, BC
Sandon, BC
Ontario, Canada
Toronto, ON
Angler, ON
Topic
family
employment
education
Japanese language school
community
social activity
small business
bathhouse
logging
work
transportation
The Great Depression
food
discrimination
internment camp
Buddhism
housing
ghost towns
road camps
British Columbia Security Commission
teaching
nisei
War Measures Act
religion
Christianity
Prisoner of War (POW)
military
curfew
travel
language
transportation
Number of Physical Tapes
4
Permission
For uses other than research or private study, researchers must submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast form.
Citation
Gloria Sumiya and Mits Sumiya, interview by Lisa Uyeda, September 16, 2010, 2010.062, Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Collection, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.