Four years after Discover the Stories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey took place in 2017, another gathering took place in 2021 to re-discover the stories and share more stories of Japanese Canadian pioneer settlers in Surrey BC. Surrey’s first Poet Laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, who co-hosted the 2017 event shared her newest poetry. Ryan Gallagher and Kristin Hardie with Heritage Services, City of Surrey provided updates including the Bear Creek Project. Kevin Takahide Lee shares the story of Zennosuke Inouye, a Japanese Canadian settler and Canadian World War I veteran, who he portrays as part of the Surrey Re-Enactors. Lillian Nakamura Maguire and Christine Kondo shared their thoughts about their participation in the 2017 event. Goro Hirasawa on behalf of Tami Hirasawa and the Hirasawa family and NAJC Executive Director Kevin Okabe shared new stories and photos. NAJC President Lorene Oikawa introduced a short film with highlights from the 2017 event.
This NAJC event is part of the 25th anniversary explorASIAN festival.
Below, watch the May 21, 2021 gathering as well as the short film with 2017 highlights. This short video was voluntarily produced & directed by Susanne Tabata who mentored emerging camera operators and editors to create this work for the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association in 2017. It was screened at the May 21, 2021 gathering. Because the sound does not transmit well in the Zoom recording we have added the actual link to the 2017 film here: