I have been working on researching my Family Tree for some time years now. I started with the goal of going back in generations to find those that came to Canada and their connections … but it ended quickly as records of those in Japan are not publicly available. If you haven’t figured out yet … I am Canadian of Japanese descent … a Japanese Canadian.
Limited to those records of anyone coming or going … or anything recorded in Canada … I had to go sideways. First I started to gather around my immediate family, but then thing started to branch further out. My family tree has ended up looking like an Aspen forest … all connected at the root with trunks popping up everywhere. For example I was just working on an entry for my the “paternal grandfather of husband of sister-in-law of sister-in-law of brother-in-law of brother-in-law of paternal 1st cousin of wife of brother-in-law of aunt of wife of my uncle”
Recently I have noticed talk about redress. Now the Federal government of Canada formally apologized in 1988, and also put together a $300 million compensation (redress) program … but it was only in 2012 that the province of British Columbia government (where pretty much all of the Japanese lived) apologized and they did not include any efforts towards redress. It was the province of BC that really pushed for the removal of the Japanese. So now various Japanese Canadian groups have gotten together to formally request this … I hope BC will do what’s right.
Now the only reason I brought that up is because of my research. One of the only reason’s I am able to get soooooo many people in my Tree was because of the RCMP records of the interment of the Japanese.
So far I have about 200+ in my family tree that have some interment record, though everyone has in some way been affected by what happened … and it keeps on going. As I have been using Ancestry.com, they often pop up hints … one of the types of hints comes from other member trees. As I go wider more and more member hints appear, but when I take a look at their facts I noticed one fact that is always missing … Interment. Hmm, I actually had to add a fact called “Interment” to the family tree app because it did not have such a thing.
Shikata ga nai
Recording my family’s info of internment was one of the reasons I started building my family tree online, so others will know when/where about it. These are things not simply discussed with their children in many Canadian Japanese homes, even though years of their lives were affected by this … though many did go to Interment reunions.
Well, I’m making it a Fact … Japanese people were interred, their property removed, their citizenship removed, and physically removed (some “sent back to where they came from”) by the Government (spearheaded by the provincial Government of British Columbia, Canada).
One thing my wife told me … I am not just doing this for myself anymore, I am recording this for all those that need to know what happened.
So if you are doing a genealogical research on your Japanese Canadian family, and you encounter hints on Ancestry about Internment … well, it’s probably me.