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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
In late 1941, when the Canadian government enacted policies to uproot and dispossess Japanese Canadians living on the West Coast, Muriel Fujiwara Kitagawa (1912–1974) was a Nisei (second-generation Japanese Canadian) journalist and mother of two young children, expecting the birth of twins. The Kitagawas were among the 21,000 people of Japanese ancestry – 17,000 of whom were Canadian citizens – stripped of their civil rights and forcibly removed from their homes. Within one year, this healthy, lively community had been entirely dispersed.
At the heart of This Is My Own are the letters Kitagawa wrote to her brother Wes in the midst of this frightening and chaotic period. She describes the JAPS KEEP OUT signs on the roads, the squalor in the Hastings Park buildings in Vancouver where Japanese Canadians were held, the fear that accompanied each new order-in-council – and, through it all, the shock and disbelief at this betrayal by a “democratic” government.
Following Kitagawa’s letters are the passionate articles and essays she wrote in the aftermath of the initial uprooting. The book also includes archival and family photographs and a comprehensive introduction by editor Roy Miki, which provides a historical context for Kitagawa’s work.
ISBN 13: 9780889222304 | ISBN 10: 0889222304
6 W x 9 H inches | 312 pages
$24.95 CAN / $24.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: POL040000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“The publication of This Is My Own means that [Kitagawa’s] passionate loyalty, her rage, haven’t been left to moulder in the grave. What a relief that is. What a cause for celebration.”
Finalist for the 1986 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes)
About the ContributorsMuriel Kitagawa
Tsukiye Muriel Kitagawa (1912–1974) was senior editor for The New Age, the first newspaper to express the Nisei (second generation Japanese Canadian) perspective and provide an outlet for that generation’s expressive thought and literary writing.Roy Miki
Roy Miki is a writer, poet, and critic who has taught and written about the work of bpNichol for many years. He is also professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University and is active in the Japanese Canadian redress movement.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.