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Vancouver: Hiroshima Immigrants & The Triumph of CItizenship | May 22

Ayukawa-book.jpg
Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941 by Michiko Midge Ayukawa


Japanese Canadian National Museum and University of British Columbia Press co-present
a book launch, book signing and author talk

Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941 by Michiko Midge Ayukawa
and
The Triumph of Citizenship, The Japanese and Chinese in Canada, 1941-67 by Patricia E. Roy

Thursday May 22, 2008 | 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Free, RSVP via e-mail or phone 604.777.7000 ext.109

Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941 is a fascinating investigation of Japanese migration to Canada prior to the Second World War. It makes Japanese-language scholarship on the subject available for the first time, and also draws on interviews, diaries, community histories, biographies, and the author’s own family history. Starting with the history of the feudal fiefs of Aki and Bingo, which were merged into Hiroshima prefecture, Ayukawa describes the political, economic, and social circumstances that precipitated emigration between 1891 and 1941. She then examines the lives and experiences of those migrants who settled in western Canada. Interviews with three generations of community members, as well as with those who never emigrated, supplement research on immigrant labour, the central role of women, and the challenges Canadian-born children faced as they navigated life between two cultures. Michiko Midge Ayukawa lives in Victoria, British Columbia, and has published widely on Japanese Canadian history.

The Triumph of Citizenship explains why Canada ignored the rights of Japanese Canadians and placed strict limits on Chinese immigration. In response, Japanese Canadians and their supporters in the human rights movement managed to halt "repatriation" to Japan, and Chinese Canadians successfully lobbied for the same rights as other Canadians to sponsor immigrants. The final triumph of citizenship came in 1967, when immigration regulations were overhauled and the last remnants of discrimination removed. The Triumph of Citizenship reminds all Canadians of the values and limits of their citizenship. Patricia E. Roy is a professor emerita of history at the University of Victoria and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

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