Keo Shibatani talks growing up in Vancouver, BC, his family emigration history, and their business. Prior to WWII, his father went bankrupt during the Great Depression. He talks about welfare and their struggles with finding housing. He talks about how his own experiences with Japanese language school and assimilation. Keo talks about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) taking away his father and recalls the chaos of not knowing where he was. Despite that he described how it was a relief to go to Hastings Park in Vancouver because they were given food. After that, his family was interned in Tashme, BC and coincidentally met his father on the way to Tashme. Keo talks about life in Tashme and how the RCMP would differentiate between Japanese and Chinese people using badges. Keo talks about what life was like in Tashme.
He talks about how his father was confident that Japan would win the war and how his father convinced his family to go to Japan after the war. Keo talks about his parents' families in post-war Japan and what Japan was like after WWII. He recalls Tashme as the assembly centre for Japanese Canadians emigrating to Japan after the war. He talks about his family's emigration to Japan after WWII. He talks about his employment at a contractor company and his access to American currency. Eventually, Keo and his younger sister would emigrate back to Canada. He talks about what Vancouver was likes struggling to find employment when he decided to relocate to Toronto, ON. He talks about arriving in Toronto, meeting with friends from Tashme Internment Camp. Eventually, his wife and daughter would join him in Toronto. He talks about his employment in Japan and the start of his insurance career, and his wife's family background. He talks about working at a Jewish-owned insurance agency in Toronto and eventually owned the agency. He talks about not being comfortable in exercising Japanese business customs and taking on predominantly Japanese clients.
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Conference: https://vimeo.com/338041260