Issei

photograph of 6 smiling women wearing aprons standing around a kitchen table; bowls, pans, chopsticks, tea cups on the table

Raymond Buddhist Church Women’s Auxiliary, ca 1940s. Left to right: Chica Oishi, Isa Koyata, Masae Nakahama, Shizuyo Kawade, Ako Nishimura, and Tsuki Hironaka. Courtesy of David Tanaka

Almost 10,000 Canadians were Issei: immigrants from Japan or Japanese settlers from Hawaii. Most Issei were from the land-owning peasant class of Japan. They had grown up in the rapidly modernizing Meiji period (1868-1912) when Japan was emerging as an industrialized world power, and had come to Canada before the First World War.

Go to the Issei Chapter for a more indepth look or continue to the next section “Idosha