Japanese-Canadian veterans of the Great War.

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Nonskimmer, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I found this a bit interesting. Granted, Japan was technically an ally of Canada and the British Empire anyway during WWI, but I hadn't known about the ethnic Japanese in the 10th Battalion of the Canadian Army. I'm trying to find more indepth information on them.

    National Association of Japanese Canadians

    "Japanese volunteered to fight in the Canadian war in order to gain rights in their own country. Out of the 196 volunteers, 54 were killed, 93 were wounded and only 49 returned home safely. After a long struggle, the surviving veterans were finally granted the right to vote by the B.C. legislature in 1931."
     

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  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Great find Nonskimmer.

    I would never have guessed that there were Japanese soldiers in the Canadian army.
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good find NS! It is a bit like some of the POW camp guards had been on British army liaison courses before the war and so spoke good English.
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Heh. I guess that's gratitude for you.

    (From the same site as above)

    "In World War I, Sergeant Mitsui defended Canada's honour at Vimy Ridge. For his bravery and distinguished conduct, he was awarded the Military Medal. In World War II, he, his wife and his children were labeled "enemy aliens" and forced off their farm. Summoned before the Security Commissioner, Mitsui reached into his pocket, pulled out his medals and threw them on the floor. "What good are these!" he demanded in fury. He and his wife, separated from their children, were taken to Hastings Park and then to Greenwood, B.C. He died at the age of 99 and was the last surviving Japanese Canadian who fought in World War I." - He died in 1987.



    Masumi Mitsui and his daughter, Amy Kuwabara, at a ceremony on August 2, 1985 to relight the Stanley Park lamp. (photo: Waylen Miki, Vancouver)
    He's also the fellow on the far left, middle row in the photo in my last post.
     

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