In part 1 of the interview, Frank Tadao Shimada talks about his family emigration history and their lives before emigrating to Canada. Frank grew up on Powell Street in Vancouver, BC. He talks about his childhood activities. After that his family moved to Cassiar (now Highway 2), he talks about feeling isolated and their family having to purchase a family car for commute. Frank talks his family's coffee shop where they sold baked goods, including food for celebrations like New Years, Christmas, and birthdays. Frank continues talking about celebrations like Girls' and Boys' Days while being isolated from the Japanese Canadian community. He talks about attending Japanese Language School, and his public schools. He also recalls playing baseball and watching the Asahi Baseball Team. Frank was a batboy for the Asahi Baseball Team. His brother was sent to Japan, where he worked in the music industry. Frank talks about propagandistic music. He remembers hearing about the attack of Pearl Harbour from a paperboy and also being discriminated against at school. During WWII, his family was removed to a self-supporting camp at Christina Lake, BC. He talks about his family's employees being treated like prisoners of war because they were Japanese citizens. He remembers being worried about leaving the store cat. He talks about what life was like in Christine Lake including the Japanese bath there. At one point, he was conscripted into working as a forest firefighter.
Interview with Frank Tadao Shimada
Date of Interview
In Part 2, Frank talks about his mother passing away and the end of WWII as well as reactions to Japan losing the war. His family relocated to Toronto, ON and establish a restaurant. Frank lived in Hamilton, ON while he attended McMaster University after the University of Toronto rejected him. Frank talks about his employment at the McMaster laboratory and was part of the team researching on polio vaccine. He travelled to Africa and Japan for work during the Cold War and talks about dealing with government propaganda. Frank met his wife at a church event. He talks about the early beginnings of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) and his wife's volunteering for events like the caravan. He also talks about his lack of involvement with the Japanese Canadian Redress and the reasons for that.
Length of Interview
2 hr 5 mins
World War II
World War II
Attack on Pearl Harbour
Christina Lake, BC
New Denver, BC
Powell Street, Vancouver, BC
Asahi Baseball Team
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC)
Prisoner of War (POW)
Number of Physical Tapes
For uses other than research or private study, researchers must submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast form.
Frank Tadao Shimada, interview by Lisa Uyeda, August 5, 2011, 2011.217, Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Collection, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.