Book: My Sixty Years in Canada
In late 1973,while recovering from kidney failure, Dr. M. Miyazaki wrote and published an autobiography, My Sixty Years in Canada, a book that paints a vivid portrait of life as a Japanese Canadian in the mid-1900s.
Miyazaki, who passed away in 1984, was born in Japan but moved to Canada in 1913. He graduated from the university of British Columbia in 1925 but unable to pursue medical training in Canada due to laws preventing post-secondary study by Japanese Canadians, travelled to Missouri and Los Angeles for training.
He practised as an osteopath in Vancouver until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when he was relocated to the Bridge River self supporting camp. Following the death of the doctor in nearby Lillooet, the British Columbia Provincial Police recruited Miyazaki to act in the capacity of coroner.
Given his status as an “enemy alien,” special permits were required to allow him to stay in Lillooet instead of at Bridge River. This position soon evolved into that of all-around town-and-country doctor, dentist and obstetrician, and he had patients throughout the whole region from Pemberton-Mount Currie to Pavilion and Lytton. He also served as doctor for the area’s four wartime self-supporting centres including Taylor Lake.
Dr. Miyazaki used Longford House, a late 19th-century manor near the town’s main street as his surgery and residence. When the war was over, he remained in Lilooet, becoming a respected community leader.
In 1983, Miyazaki left Lillooet, donating the property to the community and the house was renamed Miyazaki House. The house remains open to this day as a heritage site for tours and still exhibits Miyazaki’s office as he left it. His office still contains all original articles, including surgical instruments, medical texts, and skeletal displays. The house also has displays of local artwork and the history of the house before Miyazaki moved there.
Towards the end of his life, in recognition of his services to the community Miyazaki was given the Order of Canada. His Order of Canada commendation reads: C.M. (Member) December 15, 1976 April 20, 1977. Retired osteopath who, over a period of 35 years, has given unselfish service to the residents of Lillooet, British Columbia, particularly those of Japanese and Indian backgrounds and who continues to serve his community in spite of ill health.
My Sixty Years in Canada is dedicated to the Canadian Kidney Foundation, who received proceeds from the sales of the first run of 500 copies. After this, he gave the rights to the book to the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association who printed another 500 copies. The book, which has been sold out for the past ten years or so, has been frequently requested and the KJCA is in the process of reprinting the book. The book, with a larger font, pictures, and an addendum on his life following the book up until his passing in 1984, will be available in December from the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association, 160 Vernon Avenue, Kamloops, BC V2B 1L6. Books may be purchased for $25 plus $3.50 postage and handling ($28.50) per book, and cheques should be made out to the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association. For further information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-376-3506.