Businesses

photograph of 3 japanese men in suits, 2 japanese women in white dresses behind wood and glass cases in well-stocked store, paintings above

Store in Fort Macleod, Alberta, ca 1916. Left to right: Kanejiro Fujita (Makoo-no-Oji-san or "Mister from Macleod"), Shizu Fujita (Makoo-no-Oba-san or "Mrs from Macleod"), Mrs. Kiku Kamo, Mr. Denzo Kamo, Mr. Ohno, a relative of the Kamon’s on the right end.

Photo courtesy of Toshiko Tanaka

Few Issei had the financial means to open their own businesses.

There were some exceptions, including the Sawadas who ran a pool hall and a hotel; the Oshiros who ran the Togo Café; Harry Hironaka and James Shimbashi who ran a café all in Raymond.

In 1916, the Fujitas arrived in Fort Macleod from Cranbrook, British Columbia. They acquired a wooden building from Mr. and Mrs. Kamo, which housed a small restaurant, a confectionary, and boarding rooms upstairs. They named their restaurant “The Sunrise Café” and operated it until 1946. The Fujitas were well remembered in Fort Macleod for hosting an annual New Year’s party to thank their patrons for their business.