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A major reinterpretation of the internment of Japanese Canadians.


In 1942, the Canadian government forced more than 21,000 Japanese Canadians from their homes in British Columbia. They were told to bring only one suitcase each and officials vowed to protect the rest. Instead, Japanese Canadians were dispossessed, all their belongings either stolen or sold.

The definitive statement of a major national research partnership, Landscapes of Injustice reinterprets the internment of Japanese Canadians by focusing on the deliberate and permanent destruction of home through the act of dispossession. All forms of property were taken. Families lost heirlooms and everyday possessions. They lost decades of investment and labour. They lost opportunities, neighbourhoods, and communities; they lost retirements, livelihoods, and educations. When Japanese Canadians were finally released from internment in 1949, they had no homes to return to. Asking why and how these events came to pass and charting Japanese Canadians’ diverse responses, this book details the implications and legacies of injustice perpetrated under the cover of national security.

In Landscapes of Injustice the diverse descendants of dispossession work together to understand what happened. They find that dispossession is not a chapter that closes or a period that neatly ends. It leaves enduring legacies of benefit and harm, shame and silence, and resilience and activism.

Contributors include: Eric M. Adams (Alberta), Will Archibald (Union of BC Indian Chiefs), Nicholas Blomley (SFU), Kaitlin Findlay (UVic), Matt James (UVic), Arthur Kazumi Miki (C.M., O.M.), Audrey Kobayashi (Queens), Ariel Merriam (UVic), Eiji Okawa (Western Washington), Yasmin Railton (Nikkei National Museum), Heather Read (Royal Ontario Museum), Josh van Es (UVic), and Trevor Wideman (SFU).

“Uprooted, interned, dispossessed, dispersed, and exiled. This volume brilliantly tracks the appalling excesses of Canadian white supremacists and the resilient responses of Japanese Canadians. As the authors of this remarkable book conclude, we all walk atop the sediment of landscapes of injustice.” Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa

“This outstanding and eminently readable volume increases by an order of magnitude our knowledge and understanding of the tragic persecution of Japanese Canadians during World War II. It should be a model for similar studies of other systems of persecution and property deprivation both north and south of the Canada-US border.” Eric Muller, University of North Carolina

Jordan Stanger-Ross, associate professor of history and the project director of Landscapes of Injustice at the University of Victoria, is co-editor of Witness to Loss: Race, Culpability, and Memory in the Dispossession of Japanese Canadians.

Part of the Rethinking Canada in the World Series (number 5 in series)

496 Pages, 6.5 x 9.5 | 47 photos, 4 maps, 1 table, 3 diagrams | Paperback, Cloth, eBook

Click here to order: McGill Queen’s Press

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