Rising above adversity: distinguished Japanese Canadians

1.  Joy Kogawa, reknown Canadian poet, novelist and activist, was a pioneer Japanese Canadian to rise to national literary fame for her works that shed light on the Japanese Canadian Internment (famous novel, ‘Obasan’).  She was born in Vancouver, and grew up in the Marpole neighbourhood, in the Historic Joy Kogawa House, now a house that supports artists-in-residence.

Her family was interned in Slocan City during the Internment.  In 1986, she was made a member of the Order of Canada, and in 2010, she received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government.

2. Tsutae Sato was the Honorary principal of the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall who spent half a century teaching the Japanese language to Canadians from pre-war to post-war.  During the Internment, he was forcibly relocated to Coaldale, Alberta to work on the sugar beet farms.

Together with the school’s board of directors during the Internment, he helped to prevent the sale of the school’s building, thus becoming one of the only properties returned to any Japanese Canadian after the Internment and Dispossession.  In 1952, the community reclaimed the building and in 1953, after an 11 year gap, classes again were restarted, and continue to this day.  In recognition of his service as an educator of the Japanese language education and culture to enrich Canadian society, he was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1978.

3.  Raymond Moriyama is a world renown Canadian architect.  His firm, Moriyama & Teshima Architects is renowned for designing many major buildings across the world, including the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. His focus is on humane architecture with the pursuit of true ideals, democracy, and unanimity of all people.

Born in Vancouver, he was interned with his family to Slocan, while his father was imprisoned in a POW camp in Ontario.  To seek solace from the world, he built a treehouse outside the camp, which later became an inspiration for his designs in adulthood.

In 1985, Raymond Moriyama was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and promoted to Companion in 2008. With numerous awards and commendations of his contribution, in 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.


Road Map

Vancouver, British Columbia to Slocan, British Columbia

Popular VisitLists

義捐卡城華埠資料予圖書館 Gift of Reference Materials to Calgary Central Library

Calgary, Alberta 1 place
Very first gift of Chinese-language local materials to the Calgary Central Library
View VisitList

PCHC-MoM Society

Vancouver, British Columbia to Abbotsford, British Columbia 4 places
A VisitList for PCHC-MoM related events and history.
View VisitList

Pacific Canada Culture and History – PCHC-MoM Society

Vancouver, British Columbia to Richmond, British Columbia 17 places
A list of some important cultural organizations in and around the Metro Vancouver area.
View VisitList

「萬千聲音眾志一心」Global Canto Opera Song Writing Contest & 2-day Marathon Concert Series

Vancouver, British Columbia to Calgary, Alberta 2 places
「萬千聲音 眾志一心」2022 粤曲慈善演唱會 暨第三屆全球粵曲創作
View VisitList