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Interview with Frank Moritsugu

Title
Interview with Frank Moritsugu
Accession number
2010.029
Interviewer
Lisa Uyeda and Peter Wakayama
Videographer
Lisa Uyeda and Peter Wakayama
Date of Interview
Language
English
Description

In part one, Frank 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

Format
Videotape
Video File
Length of Interview
5 hr 17 min
Period
Pre War
Post War
World War II
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
Event
Redress
World War II
Relocation
Internment
Location
Port Alice, BC
Vancouver, BC
Kitsilano, BC
Powell Street, Vancouver, BC
Yard Creek, BC
Okanagan, BC
Hastings Park, Vancouver
Slocan City, BC
Tashme, BC
Kaslo, BC
Toronto, ON
Hamilton, ON
Japan
Manitoba, Canada
Montreal, QC
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa, ON
USA
Steveston, BC
Topic
family
nisei
church
agriculture
travel
children
Anglicanism
police
mining
employment
sansei
issei
photography
men-only work camps
military
self-supporting camps
baseball
gardening
community
fishing
commerce
internment camps
bathhouse
social activity
children
temple
food
ghost towns
dance
martial arts
sports
Asahi Baseball Team
career
education
employment
issei
Japan
living in Japan
newspaper
Nikkei Voice newspaper
radio
sansei
teaching
work
military
discrimination
Prisoner of War (POW)
Christianity
internment camp
yonsei
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
deportation
festivals
language
detention camps
religion
Momiji
Nikkei Voice newspaper
Number of Physical Tapes
7
Permission
For uses other than research or private study, researchers must submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast form.
Citation
Frank Moritsugu, interview by Lisa Uyeda and Peter Wakayama, June 18, 2010, 2010.029, Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Collection, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.