Canada’s Tainted History: Inhumane Living Conditions for the Japanese

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The Japanese living in Canada during World War II (WWII) faced one of the harshest and inhumane living conditions in Canadian history. One unidentified woman remembers, “it was terrible, unbelievable. They kept us in the stalls where they put the cattle and horses.” Before WWII, the Japanese were targeted for their culture. An example is the Anti-Asiatic League that was created to limit the number of Japanese men that could immigrate to Canada. Canadians did not want the potential competitors in farming and fishing. 22,000 Japanese Canadians were interned during WWII, even though 14,000 had been Canadian born citizens. This was because the Japanese had bombed Canada’s ally, the United States. With this in mind, the Canadians viewed the …show more content…

Subsequently, 1,200 fishing boats, newspapers, and schools were shut down. The Japanese had already faced many problems, but the situation would only get worse as time went on. Gradually, the problems continued for the Japanese people. Thus, the introduction of the “Custodian of Alien Enemy Property” that allowed the Canadian government to sell the confiscated property of the Japanese. Shizuye Takashima, an internee, remembers, "I have to pay taxes, but have never been allowed to vote. Even now, they took our land, our houses, our children, everything. We are their enemies." The only things not taken were the things they could carry under the 68 kilogram weight limit. Despite earlier promises to the Japanese, the property was sold to pay for storage, handling, other camp costs, and the rest was rewarded in inadequate allowances to the Japanese. Similarly, the Japanese were also robbed of their hard-earned bank money, stocks, and bonds. As a result, their fishing boats were also impounded. The white fishermen were able to get more fishing done without the Japanese in the way. Generally speaking, the Japanese lost all they worked for. For this reason, it was impossible for them to return to their original homes. Even so, they did not retaliate… Gaman, the act of obeying obligations and duties, was a part of the Japanese culture. Now that

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