Japanese Canadians- 1877 to World War I

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The First Japanese immigrants to arrive in Canada were the young and literate Issei men who settled in Vancouver, Victoria, Lethbridge and Edmonton between 1877 and 1928, the Japanese women came later to join their husbands. The second generation of the Issei’s was the Canadian-born Nisei. The Japanese migrated to Canada because of the poor fishing and farming villages in their homeland. In Canada they lived on farms in Fraser Valley, fishing villages and pulp towns along the pacific coast. They came to Canada to seek adventure, wealth and independence from family obligations. They found employment in logging, lumbering, mining, fishing and some started their own businesses. The Bristish Columbia government denied franchise to citizens of Asian origin in 1895. Japanese Canadian immigrants and their Canadian-born children all faced discrimination. A strident of anti-Asian element in the British Columbia society did its best to force the Japanese to leave Canada. In 1907 a white mob rampaged through Japanese sections of Vancouver to protest the presence of the Asian workers who threatened their livelihood. They lobbied the Federal Government to stop immigration from Asia and soon the prejudices were institutionalized into laws by British Columbian politicians. The Japanese were denied the right to vote and excluded from most professions, the civil service and teaching. Japanese Canadians were hired for the most menial and low wage jobs. The Federal Government tried to exclude Japanese Canadians from their livelihood of fishing by limiting the number of their fishing licenses and denying them logging licenses. Canadian-born Japanese could not join the Canadian armed forces as that would give the soldier and his wife the right to vote. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was the only political party to seek equality for all Canadians. To counteract the negative

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