Surrey’s Japanese Community in the Archival Spotlight
The history of Surrey’s Japanese Canadian community is the subject of a free, virtual Surrey Archives session coming up on Thursday, November 3.
Surrey, BC – The history of Surrey’s Japanese Canadian community is the subject of a free, virtual Surrey Archives session coming up on Thursday, November 3. Lorene Oikawa, Past President of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, will highlight local Japanese immigrants, their descendants and how they have shaped the local landscape and community for over a century. Participants are welcome to ask questions and share stories as well.
The lasting impact of internment and incarceration will be addressed, with 2022 marking the 80th anniversary since the Canadian government used the War Measures Act to forcibly uproot, dispossess, and incarcerate nearly 22,000 citizens of Japanese descent living in BC. While the Second World War ended in 1945, internment/incarceration continued until 1949.
Japanese Canadian farmers specializing in poultry and strawberries in the early 1900s were a core part of Surrey’s community, leaving a legacy today. In fact, Newton’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood gets its name from the crop farmed by the many Japanese Canadians who settled there decades ago. Whalley’s new Inouye Park also bears the name of the local Inouye family. Zennosuke Inouye is believed to be the only Japanese Canadian to have his land returned post-internment after writing 80 letters to government officials.
To take part in the Microsoft Teams session entitled Japanese Canadian History in Surrey, call 604-501-5100 or visit surrey.ca/arts-culture/surrey-archives. Whether you have lived in Surrey your whole life or have just moved here, you are bound to learn something new.