Spirit of the Nisei
Living as we are in the digital age, it is easy to not only communicate superficially with someone but actually engage in a longterm professional relationship without ever meeting face-to-face or even speaking on the phone.
As a case in point, I have never met Chuck Tasaka in person OR talked to him on the phone, yet I feel like I know him through his writing. For the past number of years, Chuck has submitted periodic pieces for inclusion in The Bulletin. His stories often deal with life in Greenwood, where he grew up before leaving to attend UBC after graduating from Greenwood High School. Technically a sansei, Chuck relates more closely to the nisei, and his stories and research often delve into the years surrounding the internment. Whether looking at nisei hockey or the nuns of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement who taught the kids in Greenwood during the war years, his curiosity and energy is boundless.
With a new generation of young people coming up who are curious about their grandparents’ lives and experiences, I asked Chuck to write a regular column for The Bulletin. It’s on page 7. If you’re reading this, you’ve already passed it! The column, Issei, Nisei, I Say, You Say, is aimed not only at his peers but at those of us who never experienced the internment and the years immediately following. The nisei were mostly children during the Internment and so have a very different perspective than that of their own parents. It is important that we gather their stories and knowledge while we still can, and people like Chuck are invaluable resources.
The column promises to be both educational and entertaining, and I know you will enjoy it. If you have questions or suggestions for future columns, or even have your own story to tell, please write Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the years, I have gained an ever-deepening respect those who built this community with a unique combination of grit, stubbornness and sense of honour. Those qualities did not die out with the issei, but are carried on by those who followed in their footsteps. The relationship between the generations has not always been easy – sometimes our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses – but as we witness a new generation of leaders come into their own, I see great hope for the future.
As we head into the New Year I’d like to thank you for your support of The Bulletin / Geppo. Now into our 58th year of publication we strive to remain relevant in an increasingly fractured media world. The support of our members/subscribers, donors and advertisers is critical, as is that of the community organizations who publish in our pages. Your ongoing support means we are able to keep publishing every month.
With the upcoming AGM of the Greater Vancouver JCCA, the organization that publishes The Bulletin, there is no better time to get involved as a Board member and help support The Bulletin and other activities of the JCCA. Email email@example.com for more information.