Redress: Inside the Japanese Canadian Call for Justice

Front Cover
Raincoast Books, 2004 - History - 361 pages
From 1942 to 1949 some 23,000 Japanese Canadians were uprooted from their homes along the B.C. coast, dispossessed and dispersed across Canada. This passionate and compelling book - a creative blend of memoir, documentary history and critical examination - explores the Japanese Canadian redress movement of the late 20th century that resolved the violation of their citizenship rights during this mass expulsion. Governor General's Award-winner Roy Miki applies the concept of "negotiation" to the 20th century history of Japanese Canadians - a history formed out of complex mediations with a Canadian government that denied them fundamental rights. From the moment the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Canada, they had to confront, adjust to, and attempt to transform a system of laws and policies based on assumptions about race that predetermined the identities of all Japanese Canadian citizens. Miki recounts the prewar efforts of Japanese Canadians to counter racist policies and also revisits the turbulent period of their internment. He explores the complicated reactions and often bitter conflicts that emerged in a community being torn apart by the government's actions and policies. Dispelling the common assumption that Japanese Canadians simply acquiesced to their internment, Miki recounts dramatic attempts to negotiate with the federal government, which prefigured the redress efforts of the 1980s. The internal dynamics of the redress movement form the heart of Miki's book. Beginning with the acknowledgement of the settlement in the House of Commons, he unravels the history of the movement. Incorporating stories from his personal and family history, anecdotes of pivotal events, candid comments from interviews and documents only available in archival collections, Miki interweaves the strands of the movement that had to come together to create a redress language - and thus a voice - for Japanese Canadians. Book jacket.

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About the author (2004)

Roy Miki was born in Manitoba in 1942 on a sugar beet farm that his parents had been forcibly sent to six months earlier. A third-generation Japanese Canadian, Miki is a key figure in the successful redress movement. An editor, critic and author of the 2002 Governor General's Award-winning poetry collection Surrender, Miki teaches at Simon Fraser University.

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