The Shin Issei

photograph of smiling japanese woman holding large bouquet of roses bends towards young japanese canadian girl; smiling japanese and caucasian men behind
Princess Takamatsu receiving flowers from Tamiko Hironaka on arrival at the Lethbridge airport for the opening of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, 1967. The Crown Prince looks on.
Galt Museum & Archives 19760209133

In 1967, Minister of Manpower and Immigration Jean Marchand lifted the long held barrier of Japanese immigration to Canada. He announced that as long as the criteria of such requirements as education, personal assessment and occupational demand were met, anyone may immigrate to Canada. Many chose to come to southern Alberta.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Canadian economy was experiencing economic growth. Japan also was experiencing a booming post-war economy, specializing in science and education, and had a high rate of literacy. Japanese immigrants found that they easily met the Canadian immigration regulations.

Southern Alberta, with its agricultural economy and the development of the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College, attracted over 222 young agricultural students between 1969 and 1972. Many others continue to follow.

These Japanese immigrants are referred to as the Shin Issei: the new first generation.