Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Internment in the Second World War

by Pamela Hickman and Masako Fukawa

During the Second World War, over 20,000 Japanese Canadians had their civil rights, homes, possessions, and freedom taken away. This visual-packed book tells the story.

This book is an illustrated history of the wartime internment of Japanese Canadian residents of British Columbia. At the time when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japanese Canadians numbered well over 20,000. From the first arrivals in the late nineteenth century, they had taken up work in many parts of BC, established communities, and become part of the Canadian society even though theyfaced racism and prejudice in many forms.

With war came wartime hysteria. Japanese Canadian residents of BC were rounded up, their homes and property seized, and forced to move to internment camps with inadequate housing, water, and food. Men and older boys went to road camps while some families ended up on farms where they were essentially slave labour. Eventually, after years of pressure, the Canadian government admitted that the internment was wrong and apologized for it.

This book uses a wide range of historical photographs, documents, and images of museum artefacts to tell the story of the internment. The impact of these events is underscored by first-person narrative from five Japanese Canadians who were themselves youths at the time their families were forced to move to the camps.

About the Authors

Pamela Hickman
Pamela Hickman
Masako Fukawa
Masako Fukawa

MASAKO FUKAWA lived in Steveston, BC until the forced evacuation in 1942. Masako has worked as a teacher and principal. Her recent book, Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet, won the 2010 Canada-Japan Literary Award and was runner up for the 2010 Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award and the BC Historical Federation's 2009 Historical Writing Competition. She lives in Burnaby, BC.

PAMELA HICKMAN is the author of over 35 non-fiction books for children, including winners of the Green Award for Sustainable Literature, International Best Book Award, Society of School Librarians, Canadian Authors Association Lilla Stirling Memorial Award and Parent's Choice Award. She lives in Canning, Nova Scotia.


"For high school instructors--especially those seeking primary soruce documetns to have students analyze--this is a treasure-trove."
George Sheppard,, Canadian Teacher
Authors Pamela Hickman and Masako Fukawa skilfully follow the story of the Japanese in Canada, from the first wave of immigrants in 1877 through the internment years and the fight for redress. Arresting images dominate the pages, mixing family photographs, posters, museum artifacts, and news archives to create a vivid scrapbook, which also contains the recollections of five internment survivors. Their accounts, peppered generously throughout the book, bring to life the imagery and facts that might otherwise seem impersonal....The book proves an essential history lesson for a generation that may be unaware of this deplorable part of our nation's past.
Cynthia O'Brien, Quill & Quire
"an effective educational volume"
BC Bookworld


One of the Year's Best for 2012 -- Resource Links
Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre

Subjects (BISAC)


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