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Japanese Canadian

From Academic Kids

A Japanese Canadian is a Canadian of Japanese ancestry. Japanese Canadians are largely concentrated on the west coast, especially in and around Vancouver. Other major cities such as Toronto also have large Japanese Canadian populations as well. Japanese Canadians are not a large section of the population in 2001 there were 85,230 (about 26,000 of whom are of mixed heritage), making them about the thirtieth largest ethnic group in Canada.

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History

The first Japanese settler in Canada was Manzo Nagano, who lived in Victoria, British Columbia (a mountain in the province was named after him in 1977). The first generation, or Issei, mostly came to Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley from fishing villages of the islands of Kyushu and Honshu between 1877 and 1928. Since 1967, the second wave of immigrants were usually highly educated and resided in urban areas.

After the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan (Second World War), in 1942, Japanese Canadians were interned by the federal government as security threats by evoking the War Measures Act. 20,881 were placed in detention camps. 75% of them were Canadian citizens. A parallel situation occurred in the United States. (See Japanese American internment.)

Until late 1940s, Japanese Canadians -- both Issei and Canadian-born Nisei -- were denied the right to vote.

Those born in the 1950s and 1960s in Canada were Sansei, who mostly have little knowledge of the Japanese language. Over 75% of the Sansei have married non-Japanese.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, documents on the Japanese Canadian internment were released, and redress was sought. In 1986, it was shown that Japanese Canadians lost $443 million during the internment. 63% of Canadians supported redress and 45% favoured individual compensation. On September 22, 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney provided $21,000 for each individual directly wronged, that is, by 1993, almost 18,000 survivors.

Prominent Japanese Canadians

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