Powell Street’s Japanese past

I’d gone with my daughter to visit this historic Vancouver site. Passing through however, it would be easy to overlook what once occurred here. There’s nothing to impress except for a beautifully maintained Japanese Language School.

Japanese Language School, Vancouver

I’d taken a walking tour of the area several years back. To my delight, an elderly woman who once lived in the then Japanese neighbourhood, joined our tour and pointed out her personal connection to many of the worn out buildings.

Old boarding house, Powell Street, Vancouver

There were boarding houses where many of the Japanese men lived before they were removed during the Second World War. With only a suitcase of belongings, Japanese families were forced to live out the war in the interior of B.C. under dire conditions. Those who left property behind could never reclaim it.

Through the downstairs window of an old boarding house, Powell Street, Vancouver

This treatment didn’t just happen in Canada. The United States and Australia both rounded up its Japanese citizens during that time.

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