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Single Issue

BC Studies no. 192 Winter 2016-2017

Nikkei History

In recent decades, scholars on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and in Japan have contributed to the development of a rich and growing body of literature that addresses the historical experience of Japanese immigrants and their descendants in North America. This special issue of BC Studies will take stock of what this has meant for Nikkei history in British Columbia and ask how approaches developed in other regional or disciplinary contexts might be applied to further enhance our understanding of the Nikkei experience in British Columbia. Guest edited by Andrea Geiger, the issue features an excerpt from Joy Kogawa’s Gently to Nagasaki, articles by Greg Robinson, Janice Matsumura, Daniel Lachapelle Lemire and Patricia Roy, and a photo essay by Robert Muckle.

To read the full issue online, visit our OJS site.

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An Excerpt from Gently to Nagasaki  

By Joy Kogawa

Photo Essays

photo essay

Book Reviews

Book Review

Keeping Promises: The Royal Proclamation of 1763, Aboriginal Rights, and Treaties in Canada

In their introduction to Keeping Promises, the editors express the hope that its essays are “easy to read and accessible to the public” (6). As someone who has been keenly interested in these issues for...

By Hamar Foster

Book Review

From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

. The titles of the books under review possess a certain similarity, each promising to take the reader on an intellectual journey towards a better relationship between First Nations and Canada. Both books strongly argue...

By Neil Vallance

Book Review

From New Peoples to New Nations: Aspects of Metis History and Identity from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Centuries

Gerhard Ens and Joe Sawchuck’s co-written volume From New Peoples to New Nations approaches historical and contemporary Métis identity from a perspective that is uncommon and even contested among Indigenous histories. From a social constructionist...

By Gabrielle Legault

Book Review

Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Past

A student in search of a thesis topic or a scholar seeking to understand the shape of historical writing in New Zealand over the past fifty years need go no further. In this collection of...

By Kenton Storey

Book Review

The Importance of British Material Culture to Historical Archaeologies of the Nineteenth Century

One great irony of historical archaeology is that far more research is done on nineteenth century British material culture overseas than in Britain itself, despite the importance of the Empire and its material culture to...

By Douglas E. Ross

Book Review

Naturalists at Sea: From Dampier to Darwin

Books by Glyn Williams are always a delight. He is one the foremost historians of European voyages of exploration to the Pacific and the Arctic and has a rare and enviable ability to bring his...

By Daniel Clayton

Book Review

Uncharted Waters: The Explorations of José Narváez (1768–1840)

Jim McDowell’s Uncharted Waters: The Explorations of José Narváez is a comprehensive examination of one of the most important and overlooked explorers of the Pacific Coast during the late eighteenth century. McDowell traces Narváez’s long career from his...

By Devon Drury

Book Review

Seeking Our Eden: The Dreams and Migrations of Sarah Jameson Craig

Sarah Jameson Craig was born in 1840 in St Andrews, New Brunswick, a descendant of United Empire Loyalists, and she grew up in a log cabin in the isolated backwoods with no local post office...

By Lindsey McMaster

Book Review

A Nation in Conflict: Canada and the Two World Wars

In the practice of military history, historians have tended to examine conflicts independently of each other, separating them out from other conflicts and from broader social currents and non-military events. Conflicts are often treated individually,...

By Jonathan Weier

Book Review

Landscapes of War and Memory: The Two World Wars in Canadian Literature and the Arts, 1977–2007

In Jack Hodgins’s Broken Ground (1998), memories of the Great War haunt the fictional community of Portuguese Creek on Vancouver Island, but what should be remembered of the horrors of France remains uncertain. The notebook...

By Nicholas Bradley

Book Review

Invisible Immigrants: The English in Canada since 1945

Can you see it? It would be terrifically ironic if you couldn’t. And there’s a pun in there as well — “Barr colonists”? But the least visible commonality is the landmark work from which these...

By John Douglas Belshaw

Book Review

Home, Work, and Play: Situating Canadian Social History, Third Edition

Home, Work, and Play is a reader designed for university or college students studying Canadian social history. The editors have put together a diverse collection that can be used at any level from a second...

By John-Henry Harter

Book Review

Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974

Two powerful and iconic institutions can be found at the centre of most histories of tourism and recreation in the mountains of western Canada: the Canadian Pacific Railway and the agency known today as Parks...

By Ben Bradley

Book Review

Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States, and Indigenous Communities

Most of the world’s water basins are transborder. The vast majority of North America’s surface freshwater falls within a border watershed. Indeed, contemporary water governance within just one country is already complex enough — overlaying...

By Daniel Macfarlane

Book Review

When Good Drugs Go Bad: Opium, Medicine, and the Origins of Canada’s Drug Laws

This is a story of contested authority. Dan Malleck has drawn from legal, medical, newspaper, policy, and pharmacy perspectives to explore the shifting conceptualizations of opium addiction and regulation in nineteenth century Canada. In some...

By Erika Dyck

Book Review

Transforming Provincial Politics: The Political Economy of Canada’s Provinces and Territories in the Neoliberal Era

Provincial specialists can have crowded bookshelves. Because good material is dispersed and rare, many things grace my shelves “just in case.” But this anthology arrives just in time — and I will work it hard...

By Jamie Lawson

Book Review

Common Bonds: A History of Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union

The credit union movement in British Columbia is, in a way, a legacy of the Great Depression. When banks and governments were unwilling or unable to respond appropriately to economic crisis, mutual aid arrangements became...

By Lani Russwurm

Book Review

Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry

When Ivan Henry’s wife Jessie contacted Vancouver Police Department (VPD) detectives in 1982, she initiated a series of events that would see her husband spend the next twenty-seven years in prison for crimes he maintained...

By Bonnie Reilly Schmidt

Book Review

Letters to My Grandchildren and A World for My Daughter

How do scientists and advocates who work in the thick of issues like global warming and biodiversity loss keep up their spirits and pass on more than a sense of doom and gloom to the...

By Clayton Whitt

Book Review

Masterworks from the Audain Art Museum

This large format book documents many of the significant works in the collection of the newest public art museum in Canada, the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, which opened in March 2016. In Canada, art...

By Jon Tupper

Book Review

Jeff Wall: North & West

There are many reasons why Jeff Wall’s photographs speak to so many people. They celebrate the ordinary. They are non-descriptive. And they draw on a compositional vocabulary — from the woodcuts of the Japanese master...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia

Over sixty years after her death, Emily Carr has hit the international scene. It began in June 2012 when seven of her paintings were featured in Kassell, Germany’s prestigious Documenta, an art fair that showcases...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Francisco Kripacz: Interior Design

For nearly four decades, Francisco Kripacz (1942-2000) created the most exuberant interiors for buildings designed by the renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. Born in Hungary, raised in Venezuela, and educated around the world, Kripacz met...

By Lőrinc Vass



Andrea Geiger is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University. Her first book, Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885-1928 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), was awarded the 2011 Theodore Saloutos Book Award (Immigration and Ethnic History Society) and the 2013 Association of Asian American Studies History Book Award. Her current book project examines historical encounters between early Japanese immigrants and Indigenous people in the North American West.

Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver, BC. Her best-known work is a novel, Obasan. She has recently published a memoir, Gently to Nagasaki, by Caitlin Press.

Daniel Lachapelle Lemire is putting the final touches to his PhD thesis on the reimagination of the Japanese Canadians’ collective identity. He is currently working in parallel on a book project – a translation of essays written by Japanese Canadian children for their language school’s newsletter before the Second World War. He dedicates a sizeable pro- portion of his spare time to the practice and teaching of two Japanese martial arts, iaido and kendo.

Janice Matsumura is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada. The focus of her research has been the Asia-Pacific War (1931–45), including the relationship between state propaganda and medical policies.

Robert (Bob) Muckle has been teaching, practising, and writing about archaeology and anthropology in BC since the 1980s. He is a faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at Capilano University in North Vancouver.

Greg Robinson is a Professor of History at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and a researcher at the Center for United States Studies of the Chaire Raoul-Dandurand. His book, A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America (Columbia University Press, 2009), won the 2009 History book prize of the Association for Asian American Studies, and his book After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics (University of California Press, 2012), won the Caroline Bancroft History Prize in Western U.S. History. His most recent book, The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches (University Press of Colorado, 2016), offers an alternative history of Japanese Americans. Professor Robinson is the editor of Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era (University of Illinois Press, 2012), and co-editor of Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road, on the groundbreaking nisei artist and writer.

Patricia E. Roy, a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Victoria, has contributed a number of articles to BC Studies over the years. She has written extensively on the Chinese and Japanese in British Columbia, but her most recent book is Boundless Optimism: Richard McBride’s British Columbia (UBC Press, 2012).