In part one, Frank Akira Moritsugu introduces himself, his background, and his family background. He discusses his experience in traveling different Vancouver communities with convenience due to his father’s car. Frank discusses his experiences in grade school and his experiences in Kitsilano. Frank talks about how the other Japanese in the community had affected him, specifically regarding dialects of Japanese. Frank discusses his employment after university. He discusses the availability of Japanese cuisine around his area and community. Frank talks about what their family decided to do once the war broke out. Frank talks about the bathhouses that they constructed at the family camps. Frank further discusses family camp structure, and comparisons to the American system. He talks about the ease of access to equipment like radios. Frank discusses the reason he believes the Mounties at his camp were friendlier than the ones he had encountered in BC. He further discusses the use of camera in the camps. Frank discusses how he learned dance, and the social dances he attended during the internment period, and how this led to lectures from his Judo sensei, calling it improper practice. Frank described a major incident that happened in his camp that almost hit by a Japanese worker, causing the workers to go on strike. Frank discusses leaving the camp for Toronto, ON to work in copyediting at the New Canadian, and then later agriculture. Frank discusses his employment as a Magazine writer for Saturday Night, post-war. Frank discusses his involvement in the Canadian army. He was deployed to Europe as a Japanese to English translator. Frank works as a Japanese translator, specifically being recalled to translate the term “atomic bomb”. Frank talks about discrimination and racism that he encountered while in service.
In part two of the interview with Frank Moritsugu, he begins his story in 1946 after returning to Canada after serving in the Army. He shared his experiences as a student at the University of Toronto which was the foundations for his exceptional career in journalism. Moritsugu recalls his memories working for the Nikkei Voice, The Toronto Star, Canadian Homes and Garden magazine, the Montreal Star amongst many other bylines in a variety of publications inside and outside of Canada. Frank was a journalism teacher before he retired. Frank shares his perspectives and stories on being the first Japanese Canadian in many of these industries, and how his work shaped his view of the world and his role within it. After retirement Frank contributed to many projects, including a documentary on the Asahi baseball team, a book of stories from teachers about the forced dispersal [Teaching in Canadian Exile], and others. His interview concludes with his vision for future generations of Japanese Canadians and a story about the day he spent as a cowboy.
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Conference: https://vimeo.com/336908816