Touched By Dispossession

As our project evolves, we have gathered stories of individual and communities that were touched by dispossession. We are grateful to the contributors and we are honoured to to share these with you.

Do you have a story?

Family Stories #23 Rage at the Plunder

Family Stories #23 Rage at the Plunder

Submitted by Kate Michi Ettinger I came to this resource a bit sideways. Shortly after redress in the early 90s, my Mum started a family history project focused on her grandfather, Koichiro Sanmiya, a business leader in the early Canadian Japanese community in...

Family Stories #22 A World War I Vet Loses his Farm

Family Stories #22 A World War I Vet Loses his Farm

By David Iwaasa I have spent most of my life examining my family history and know quite a bit, especially on my father’s side.  I know a lot of names, dates of birth, when and where they died, etc.  However, I don’t know as much on my mother’s side and this is where...

Family Stories #21 Reconciling the Past with Music and Visual Arts

Family Stories #21 Reconciling the Past with Music and Visual Arts

Reconciling the Past with Music and Visual Arts By Annie Sumi As a mixed-race, yonsei artist living in Canada, Landscapes of Injustice has played a vital role in helping me to deepen my relationship to my ancestors and my “story”. Growing up, I had a peripheral...

Family Stories #20 Custodian Case File 1556: Heijiro Hiraoka

Family Stories #20 Custodian Case File 1556: Heijiro Hiraoka

Custodian Case File: 1556: Heijiro Hiraoka I never knew my paternal Issei grandfather - Heijiro Hiraoka was born December 1, 1883 in Oshima-gun, Yamaguchi-ken, Japan. He passed away on December 5, 1953 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The only original document source I had was...

Family stories series #19 Four Families, four journeys

Family stories series #19 Four Families, four journeys

Four families, four journeys My name is Stephanie Kawamoto. I am a yonsei and a descendant of the Kawamoto, Koyanagi, Hyodo, and Kagetsu families. I grew up hearing about my mom’s side of the family, especially Hide Hyodo Shimizu and Eikichi Kagetsu, but not much...

Letters of What Was Lost  Family stories series #18

Letters of What Was Lost Family stories series #18

Hirasawa/Fujimagari Family SharingMy name is Tamiko Hirasawa. I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario and I am currently living in Nanaimo BC. My late father was George Hirasawa.  His family lived in Strawberry Hill, Surrey BC prior to 1942. My mother is Yukiko Joyce (nee...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #12 The Case of Akira Namba

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #12 The Case of Akira Namba

This article in our series on the four claims highlights Claim #2: Dispossession is hard work. It comes from Isabelle D. Tupas, an undergrad at KPU and practicum student volunteering at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. Claim #2 states that the...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #9 Preserve’d in History

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #9 Preserve’d in History

Claim series 9 Michael Abe Preserve-d In History Landscapes of Injustice Claim #1 Killing of Home Here is an entry in the series on the four claims that is food-related. The forced uprooting and dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s destroyed a...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #8 Without a Trace

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #8 Without a Trace

In our continuing series on the Four Claims, this story follows the provenance of a small but important piano. Claim series 8 Michael Abe Without a Trace Claim #1 Killing of Home Without A Trace By Michael Abe With the invention of the incandescent light bulb in the...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #7 The Case of George Tamaki

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #7 The Case of George Tamaki

Claim series 7 Kaitlin Findlay George Tamaki Continuing in our series of short essays relating to the four claims of Landscapes of Injustice. This essay explores claim # 3: Reasoning Wrong. In the 1940s, officials found ways to justify their actions. While racism was...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #6 Rebuilding of Community

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #6 Rebuilding of Community

Claim #4 Dispossession is Permanent. The internment era was far too long-seven years, most of them after WWII had ended. But dispossession lasts forever. The lands, possessions, and opportunities lost can never be fully restored. Here is a submission by Project...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #5 Examining the Sato Fonds

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #5 Examining the Sato Fonds

This article in our series on the four claims highlights Claim #2, Dispossession Required Sustained Work. It comes to us from Laura Saimoto from the Vancouver Japanese Language School, one of our partner institutions. Congratulations to the hard work to have their...

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #4 The Story of Cinderella

Landscapes of Injustice Claim Series #4 The Story of Cinderella

Claim series 4 Kaitlin Findlay Eiko Henmi Continuing in our series of short essays relating to the four claims of Landscapes of Injustice, this one comes from Research Coordinator, Kaitlin Findlay Claim #2: Dispossession is hard work. In Canada, the dispossession...

Share Your Story

Your stories of dispossession are important to us.

If you have a story of an individual, family, or community that was touched by dispossession, we would love to be able to share it with visitors to our site.

Do not worry if your story in incomplete. Important pieces of this history exist as fragments, half-remembered accounts, or rumours within communities. This site is a forum for sharing and working together to fill in the details of these partial accounts of the people who were directly impacted by these events.

Submit your story here: