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Interview with Fumi Kono

Title
Interview with Fumi Kono
Accession number
2011.237
Interviewer
Lisa Uyeda
Videographer
Lisa Uyeda
Date of Interview
Language
English
Description
Fumi Kono was born on February 8, 1922 in Vancouver, BC. Fumi talks about her family history in Hiroshima, Japan and their emigration to Canada. When they first moved to Canada, they lived at a rooming house called Tsukamoto's. Her worked at a logging camp and sawmill. Eventually, he saved enough funds to buy a small store on Hasting Street, in the east of Vancouver and Fumi describes the store's and its community. Fumi talks about growing up in Vancouver and social activities attending the United Church as well as going to school ran by missionaries. She also attended Japanese language school. She talks about celebrating Christmas and Easter. Fumi describes her feeling and reaction when she heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Her family's business were affected as customers stopped coming and eventually they had to sell the business when they were removed from Vancouver. Fumi talks about her father hiding from the RCMP when he spoke out about men being sent to road camps. Her family was removed to East Lillooet on the Fraser River in BC. She talks about life there including the Japanese bathhouse and making manju for Halloween. Fumi talks about the RCMP stamping the children to ensure they were still there. Fumi worked as a teacher in the internment camp from 1943 to 1946. At the end of WWII, she remembers the police telling her family that they would have to go to Japan or go East. They commented to her father that the children don't speak Japanese well, so wouldn't be accepted in Japan. After the end of WWII, Fumi and her family moved to Ancaster, ON and then Hamilton, ON. She talks about her life in Hamilton where she worked in the garment industry. In 1948, she moved to Toronto, ON after buying a house. She talked about the Buddhist church and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC). Eventually, Fumi and her siblings completed their university education and went on to have successful careers. Fumi became a teacher in Toronto. Fumi talks about the Japanese Canadian Redress and the community's reception. Fumi went to Ottawa, ON to join the rally for Redress.
 
Clip from Japanese Canadian Experience Post War Conference: https://vimeo.com/344345065
 
Format
Videotape
Video File
Length of Interview
2 hr 13 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
Hiroshima, Japan
Japan
USA
Vancouver, BC
Kitsilano, BC
Fraser Valley, BC
East Lillooet, BC
Hamilton, ON
Ottawa, ON
Toronto, ON
Topic
children
immigration
United Church
education
discrimination
social activity
Japanese language school
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Prisoner of War (POW)
road camps
communities
small business
newspaper
community
Asahi Baseball Team
travel
Buddhism
bathhouse
music
employment
photography
teaching
censorship
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC)
social life
career
odori
nuns/sisters
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
Fumi Kono, interview by Lisa Uyeda, August 25, 2011, 2011.237, Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project Collection, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.