The JCCC is closed to the public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Learn more
Please read JCCC Vaccine Policy Announcement from the board
To support the JCCC during this time of closure, click here

Interview with Byron Tanaka

Title
Interview with Byron Tanaka
Accession number
2011.040
Interviewer
Lisa Uyeda
Videographer
Lisa Uyeda
Date of Interview
Language
English
Description

Byron Tanaka was born in Cumberland on Vancouver Island, BC and grew up in New Westminster. He talks about his parent's immigration history and background including his father's education. He talks about his paternal family's history in Japan, crest and genealogy. His parents was asked to come to Canada to establish and teach at the Queensborough Japanese school. He talks about the Great Depression (people quitting school to get jobs) and discrimination in wages. Hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Byron's father was detained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). He talks about the RCMP confiscating all the information about his parents' family history, the RCMP's charges and accusations against his father. The family did not know where Byron's father was taken to and only later, they found out he was sent to Angler, ON as a prisoner of war and later, his father was removed to Petawawa, ON. The rest of the family was interned in Kaslo, BC and then Tashme, BC. After the war, Byron relocated to Toronto, ON and he talks about the discrimination he faced. Byron talks about getting a loan from his Jewish employer and how they helped the Japanese Canadian community in Toronto. Byron expressed his opinion on the Japanese Canadian Redress.

 

Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Post War Conference: https://vimeo.com/336901060

Format
Videotape
Video File
Length of Interview
2 hr 37 min
Period
Pre War
Post War
World War II
1930s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
Event
Redress
World War II
Relocation
Forced Removal
Attack on Pearl Harbour
Internment
Location
Cumberland, BC
Japan
New Westminster, BC
Angler, ON
Toronto, ON
Kaslo, BC
Topic
education
family
Asahi Baseball Team
boat works
military
children
religion
clothing
marriage
Jewish community
housing
The Great Depression
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
discrimination
employment
sports
United Church
fishing
travel
housing
marriage
British Columbia Security Commission
Number of Physical Tapes
3
Permission
For uses other than research or private study, researchers must submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast form.
Citation
Byron Tanaka, interview by Lisa Uyeda, February 9, 2011, 2011.040, Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Collection, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.