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Further, the proceeds of these sales were doled out as allowances to Japanese Canadians who were struggling to support themselves while interned.
The Nikkei were foresters and fishermen, miners and merchants.
Except for the industrialists who profited from cheap Asian labor, much of white British Columbia regarded the Japanese Canadians with suspicion, if not rabid hostility.
And slightly over 1,000 who had sufficient funds established so-called self-supporting camps where they essentially paid for the costs of their own internment. I do not believe the Japanese are an assimilable race.
Toward the war’s end, Japanese Canadians were forced to “choose” between a further uprooting to the unknown territory of Eastern Canada and exile to Japan, a country that many had never before visited. Such positions, as critics such as Tsurukichi Takemoto realized, were not merely the regrettable isolated actions of some Canadians who panicked at a time of war.
Some 12,000 Japanese Canadians were sent by train to live in hastily constructed shacks and abandoned buildings in various parts of the BC interior: Greenwood, Sandon, Kaslo, New Denver, Rosebery, Slocan City, Bay Farm, Popoff, Lemon Creek, and Tashme.
Approximately 4,000 were sent to labour on sugar beet farms in Alberta and Manitoba. The man has filled in his signature and his thumb print.
Unlike the United States, where families were generally kept together, Canada initially sent its male evacuees to road camps in the B. interior, to sugar beet projects on the Prairies, or to internment in a POW camp in Ontario, while women and children were moved to six inland B. towns created or revived to house the relocated populace.
There the living conditions were so poor that the citizens of wartime Japan even sent supplemental food shipments through the Red Cross. Not until 1949, four years after Japan had surrendered, were the majority of Nikkei allowed to return to British Columbia.
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