By Anu Sahota
In May 1960, CBC Television's Explorations aired Japanese-Canadians: Exodus, a two-part documentary study of Japanese-Canadians. It traced their origins in Japanese villages like Mio Mura (footage of which is featured); their immigration to such communities as Steveston, B.C.; the discrimination and prejudice they encountered; their internment and loss of property during the Second World War; and their eventual re-establishment and assimilation after the war. Host Bob Quintrell spoke with Dr. George Ishiwara, a Vancouver dentist who discussed the limited opportunities in the professions for those who didn't yet have the franchise.
The program also featured a young couple who expressed only a vague connection to their Japanese heritage - not too unusual since by 1960 many Japanese-Canadians were second or third generation and were likely no more in touch with ancestral customs than second or third generation Canadians might be today.
Interestingly, as Peter, the gentleman in the following clip puts it, being Japanese was very much "in vogue" in the early 1960s. He points to a Japanese influence in theater and contemporary music and architecture (the latter appreciated in the designs of Arthur Erickson, for example). By 1960,