Skip to content

Internment and Redress

BoatsThe photograph to the right shows Japanese fishing boats seized by the government and corralled at Annieville Dyke of the Fraser River. Japanese fishermen were evacuated first in response to the rumors that they might actually be operating as spies, gathering information on coastal waters and areas. They were subsequently displaced to work camps without any warning.
The Exodus of the Japanese, Janice Patton

Photograph courtesy of Vancouver Public Library

Kawano, Roland, ed. Ministry to the hopelessly hopeless. Scarborough, Ont. : Japanese Canadian Christian Churches Historical Project, c1997.

Kawano, an Anglican priest, brings together a series of reminiscences by Japanese and English Canadians that focus on the role of Canadian Christian churches during the internment.

Call number: F1035.J3 M55 1997
Location: Special Collections PNW

Kitagawa, Muriel. This is my Own : Letters to Wes & Other Writings on Japanese Canadians, 1941-1948. Vancouver, B.C.: Talonbooks, 1995.

A collection of letters written by Muriel Kitagawa to her brother, Wes Fujiwara, detailing her family’s displacement and the plight of Japanese-Canadians in general as they were uprooted and removed from the west coast of Canada during World War II. Also included are various statements, essays, and manuscripts on the subject. Kitagawa produced a significant amount of writing, much of it appearing in the New Canadian and focusing on Japanese-Canadian communities and culture.

Call number: F1035.J3 T34 1983
Location: Suzzallo General Stacks


Kogawa, Joy. Obasan. Boston: David Godine, 1982.

An award-winning work of fiction, the first by a Japanese-Canadian to explore the internment experience.

Call number: PR9199.3.K63 O2 1982
Location: East Asia Library of Congress, Special Collections PNW, Undergraduate Reserve, UW-Bothell Lib. Stacks.

Kogawa, Joy. Itsuka. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

Sequel to Obasan, which follows the main character into adulthood, where she becomes involved in the movement for government redress.

Call number: PR9199.3.K63 I87 1994
Location: Special Collections PNW (one copy has been ordered for Suzzallo General Stacks)

Kogawa, Joy. Naomi’s Road. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1986.

A children’s adaptation of Obasan.

Call number: PZ7.K8198 Nao 1986
Location: Children’s Literature General Stacks

Miki, Arthur K. The Japanese Canadian Redress Legacy. Winnipeg: National Association of Japanese Canadians, c2003.

Outlines the role played by the National Association of Japanese Canadians in implementing the Redress Agreement and the work of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation to support efforts to strengthen the contemporary Japanese Canadian community.

Call number: D819 .C36 2003
Location: Suzzallo General Stacks

Nakano, Ujo. Within the Barbed Wire Fence: A Japanese Man’s Account of his Internment in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.

Based on the author’s diary for the years 1942 and 1943, when he was separated from his wife and child and interned in Angler, Ontario.

Location/Call Number: Undergraduate General Stacks (F1035.J3 N34 1981), Special Collections PNW ( D768.15 .N34).

Oiwa, Keibo, ed. Stone Voices : Wartime Writings of Japanese Canadian Issei. Montreal: Vehicule Press, 1991.

Primarily a collection of diaries, memoirs, and letters written by four of the Issei – first-generation Japanese immigrants to Canada. Many details of their evacuation, imprisonment, separation from families and unjust treatment come to light in these personal writings.

Call number: D810.N3 C27 1991
Location: Suzzallo General Stacks


Omatsu, Maryka. Bittersweet Passage: Redress and the Japanese Canadian Experience. Toronto: Between The Lines, 1992.

Documents the fight to win official redress from the Canadian government by Japanese Canadians in light of their treatment during and following World War II. The author, an environmental lawyer and activist in the redress movement, collects histories, interviews, and personal experiences into a coherent narrative of these events.

Call number: F1035.J3 O42 1992
Location: Suzzallo General Stacks


Patton, Janice. The Exodus of the Japanese. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1973.

A print adaptation of materials originally appearing on the Pierre Berton television show in Canada. Sources of information for the text include interviews with Japanese Canadians, photographs, factual narrative, and commentary by the author.

Call number: D801.C3 P37 1973
Location: East Asia Library of Congress

Sunahara, Ann Gomer. The Politics of Racism: The Uprooting of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Toronto: Lorimer, 1981.

Focuses on the events of the internment and its aftermath, including the redress movement.

Call number: D768.15 .S95 1981
Location: Special Collections PNW

Takashima, Shizuye. A Child in Prison Camp. Plattsburg, N.Y.: Tundra Books, 1971.

This fictionalized, first person account of one child’s internment experience complements Joy Kogawa’s Naomi’s Road.

Location/Call number: Children’s Literature General Stacks (940.54 T139c), Special Collections PNW (D768.15 .T34).