Japanese Canadian Family History Program

The National Association of Japanese Canadians have compiled a comprehensive list of databases on Japanese Canadian history and genealogy research. This resource is designed to assist you in exploring and preserving your family’s heritage.


Databases for Genealogy Research (Japanese Family History):

The Héritage project:

  • The Héritage Project is a 10-year initiative to digitize Canada’s popular archival collections. The collection contains records of immigration and Canadian history dating back to the 1600’s up until the mid 1900’s. There are many records with photographs and scans available of files associated with the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association as well as immigration status and record 


Japanese Canadians – Government of Canada Website: 

  • The Government of Canada’s official website contains a separate section for discovering Japanese history and genealogy. Passenger Lists to Canada can be found by going to “Places to look” à Immigration and citizenship records à Immigration records à Records of arrival under which you can find your family members respective arrival by searching the database provided. 


Family Search – Japan Passenger list 1893-1941:

  • Family Search is a website dedicated to finding family history by searching ancestor profiles for free. The website includes a Japan Passenger list dated from 1893-1941 which is kept by the Diplomacy Records Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  


Databases for Japanese Heritage and History (Japanese Canadian History):

Nikkei Museum Collection 

  • The Nikkei National Museum has created an accessible online collection of archival materials for a better understanding and appreciation of Japanese Canadian culture and heritage. Collections from various other sources including the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the New Denver Internment Memorial Centre, and the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Museum & Archives can be accessed through this online database.  


University Institution Archival Databases: 

- University of Toronto’s Archives  

  • University of Toronto’s Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library houses an extensive collection of Japanese Canadian archival documents relating to internment and redress. These archives celebrate the history of Japanese Canadians and highlight redress activism in Toronto during post-war relocation.  


- McGill Archival Collections Catalogue 

  • McGill University Archives have various collections that document the Japanese Canadian experience in Quebec and Montreal. There are documents, letters, photos and bulletins available for viewing via the online database.  


- University of Guelph Archives 

  • University of Guelph’s archival collection contains a series of documents related to Japanese Canadian stories during internment and post war human rights advocacy.    


- University of British Columbia Archives

  • The University of British Columbia has an extensive collection of Rare Books and Special Collections that document Japanese Canadian history and heritage. UBC has created an accessible database, the Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection (JCPC), as a part of the larger Japanese Canadian Research Collection which is a resource useful in recording the treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War 2. 


- McMaster University – The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections

  • McMaster University’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections contains archives on the Cooperative Committee on Japanese Canadians. These fonds contain letters, minutes, reports from meetings discussing the resettlement problems and needs of Japanese Canadians during relocation.