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Nikkei Fishermen on the BC Coast launch

Posted: Tuesday November 20, 2007

The Nikkei Fishermen’s Reunion Project Committee launches their new book in the following locations this December:

Saturday December 1, 2007 at 1:30pm at the National Nikkei Museum and Heritage Centre, 6688 Southoaks St, Burnaby BC.
Sunday December 2, 2007 at 1:30pm at the Steveston Buddhist Temple, 4360 Garry Street, Richmond BC.

Nikkei Fishermen on the BC Coast is a comprehensive record of the lives and histories of the Japanese-Canadian fishermen who have lived and worked on the West Coast over the last century. It represents a massive four-year collaborative effort by the Nikkei Fishermen’s Reunion Project Committee.

When Japanese immigrants first came to British Columbia in 1877, many of them took up commercial fishing. Over several generations, fishing became a way of life for new and established immigrant families and their numbers soon swelled into the thousands. During WWII, their boats were confiscated and they were forcibly removed from the coast, but many returned after the war to take up their old trade. Fishing was more than a job for these families; it was central to the Japanese-Canadian experience in British Columbia.

With the dawn of the new millennium, a sea of aging faces and changing times led many Nikkei to the realization that the fishing industry as it was had come to an end on the BC coast. To make sure the sacrifices and hardships endured by the pioneering fishermen are never forgotten, the Nikkei Fishermen’s Reunion Project Committee was formed.

In 2003, the Nikkei Fishermen’s Book Committee was created to undertake the enormous task of collecting the 3,860 names and 770 biographies of Nikkei fishermen from British Columbia. Nikkei Fishermen on the BC Coast is both a priceless record of an important chapter in Canadian history and a moving story of the Nikkei people told in their own words. It is a must-have for every school, every library, and every serious reader of history in the province.