Japanese Internment.ppt - Dufferin-Peel CDSB - Home by gjjur4356



                  By Susan Soares

The first Japanese immigrant set foot in British
Columbia in 1877. His name was Manzo Nagano.
From 1890 until World War I, almost 30,000 Japanese
immigrants entered Canada. The great majority of them
settled on the coast of British Columbia.
From the 1920’s to the 1940’s Japanese immigration to
Canada dropped considerably. Between 1920 and 1940
approximately 5000 Japanese immigrated into Canada.
During the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s Canada’s Immigration
Act gave the government the right to limit immigration,
and deny entry to those nationalities deemed undesirable.
Asians were on the list of undesirable immigrants, which
explains the drop in Japanese immigrants during these
Why were the Japanese undesirable?

            Japanese immigrants tended to pocket
            themselves into their own communities and did
            not interact with other nationality groups. They
            “segregated” themselves.
            Due to their “segregation”, the Japanese did not
            assimilate into Canadian Society. They kept to
            their traditions and did not assume Canadian
            traditions and qualities. This was seen as anti-
            Canadian activity.
            Canada wanted immigrants who would readily
            assimilate into Canadian Society: adapt Canadian
            language, culture, tradition, laws, religion, etc.
            The Japanese refused to assimilate fully and were
            thus deemed undesirable.

Since the late 1850’s the West Coast had been divided by deep
racial problems. There was an especially high Anti-Asian
sentiment in the West.

Japanese were segregated: the white population in B.C. would
not interact with the Japanese, jobs were denied to Japanese, and
they were looked upon with suspicion.

The Japanese community was seen with suspicion. They thought
the Asians were trying to take over B.C. This fear of Asians in
B.C. was known as “Yellow Peril”. This fear prompted anti-Asian
sentiments through discrimination, verbal abuse, and even mob

The population growth in the Japanese communities was far higher
than the white communities. This was seen as a threat because as the
community kept growing, the more land they inhabited and the more
businesses and networks they would open.
The Japanese community took over the fishing industry in British
Columbia. They were better fishermen and the other communities
could not compete with them. This was seen as a take-over ploy.
Japan’s conquests in Asia sparked fear that British Columbia would
be next, due to the large Japanese community living on the coast.
They believed that all Japanese living in B.C. had the potential to be
spies and were communicating with Japan.
With the attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941, fear and
Anti-Asian sentiments intensified.

In the weeks following Pearl Harbour some Japanese in
Vancouver were victimized by scattered acts of violence and
vandalism. These activities intensified as time went on.
The white population in B.C. pressured the government to
get rid of the Japanese living on the coast. Rumours of
Japanese spies and communication with Japan mounted,
violence against the Japanese in B.C. worsened, and protest
by the population grew day by day.
There was fear by the B.C. government of open rioting
and violence due to the growing fears of a Japanese take-
The B.C. government pleaded with the Federal
Government to step in and stop the racial and violent
problems in the province.

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