I live in Vancouver, British Columbia on the Unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish Peoples. I've spent most of my life in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. Since graduating from the University of Victoria in 2014, I’ve felt most at home in community-building, and have become actively involved in the Japanese Canadian and Downtown Eastside communities in Vancouver.
I'm gosei (fifth generation) Japanese Canadian and grew up at my grandparents' house on my Japanese Canadian side. In many ways, growing up with them impacted my growth as a child; and now, back in the same house living with my grandma informs my growth as an adult.
My grandparents grew up in Steveston and the Powell Street area / Downtown Eastside respectively. My grandma's father owned the general store on Moncton Street in Steveston, where she grew up until 1942. After the government of Canada passed the order-in-council under the War Measures Act that led to the incarceration of all Japanese Canadians, she was interned in Greenwood.
My grandpa grew up in the Powell Street area, the so-called "Japantown" at the time, and lived in Ferrera Court on the corner of East Hastings and Jackson Street. When all other Japanese Canadians were interned, my grandpa's mother refused to be, arguing with the RCMP officer on the grounds that she and her sons were British Subjects and threatening to go to the Queen. The RCMP officer let them live in their home, but confiscated their radio and mandated regular police check-ins.