Tashme Day: Impressive Exhibits Excite and Inspire
“Where in Tashme did you live? Who lived with you? When did you arrive in Tashme? From where?” These are a few of the questions asked of former residents of Tashme where 2,300+ persons of Japanese ancestry were interned during WWII. Initial results of the survey were on display at the Tashme Day event on April 4, 2013 held at the NNMCC. It was the first opportunity to display the Names on Houses Map of the Tashme townsite with family names on each house as well as the identities of other buildings, streets and roads, and major landmarks in Tashme. Even room layouts of the apartment with names of tenants were on display. A wall mounted Tashme Families Spreadsheet displayed additional family details including first names of family members, names of relatives and others who occupied the houses, and times of occupancy. The level of detail was truly impressive.
These outstanding displays are the work of the Tashme Historical Project, a joint effort of volunteers at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto ON and the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby BC. They add a level of detail to the historical record of Tashme never attempted before. While the displays are impressive, they represent a work in progress as additional ex-Tashme residents are contacted and asked to contribute.
Those who would like to contribute can go to www.sedai.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Tashme-Resident-Info-Questionnaire.pdf.
Photographs, books, artifacts and the very impressive scale model of the Tashme townsite were also on display. Some brought their own photographs, books and artifacts to share.
These displays brought back long forgotten memories of Tashme and triggered many conversations among those who attended the event. Overheard were comments by some who had not seen each other in 60+ years.
Central to the gathering was the very interesting dialogue as individuals one by one spoke about their experiences and memories of Tashme, including the good and the not-so-good, all of which held the attention of the group for most of the meeting.
Attendees were treated to tea and manju as they listened to these stories as well as a talk on the Museum’s mission and role in the Tashme Historical Project. They were also given a project description and invited to participate in the project. One of its goals is to extend the Tashme historical record to include long forgotten details of everyday life during internment.
The Museum is seeking assistance in building its data base of names of persons and families who were interned and to identify the names of persons in many of the photographs held by the Museum. Anyone interested in volunteering some time and experience are asked to contact Linda Kawamoto Reid, Assistant Archivist, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, 604-777-7000 x111, firstname.lastname@example.org.