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ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-439-7
ISBN 10: 1-55017-439-8
B & W photos
9.5 x 12 - 256 pp
March 2009
CAD$39.95 • USD$39.95

Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet

BC's Japanese Canadian Fishermen
An impeccably researched history of Japanese Canadians—their stuggles and triumphs—complete with photographs and detailed biographies.
Winner: Canada Council 2010 Canada-Japan Literary Awards (2010)

Book Description

Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet is an intimate collection of stories of Japanese Canadians on the water, from the first Japanese immigrant's arrival in 1877 to the present day. The 130-year history of the Nikkei is full of drama, violence, epic struggles against injustice, failures and triumphs. Leaving Japan to escape a life of poverty, they arrived in Canada with dreams for a better future. Collectively, they brought old skills and made many innovations.

Fishing for a living is hard but Nikkei fishermen faced additional barriers. Opposition from other fishermen and government, and racist policies sought to exclude them from the fishery entirely. During World War II all Japanese fishermen were forcibly relocated from the coast and their livelihoods taken away.

Here are the real lives of Nikkei fishermen and their families told in their words. Even in the face of inequity, prejudice and inhumanity, the spirit of the Nikkei fishermen has left a legacy. Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet is the story of ordinary people who possess an indomitable spirit.

The Nikkei Fishermen Reunion Committee first made the call for fishermen and their families to share their stories, knowledge, skills and time in 2001. The committee includes: Shigeaki Kamachi, Paul Kariya, Takemi Miyazaki, Toshio Murao, Dan Nomura, Richard Nomura (chair), Terry Sakai, Ken Takahashi and George Murakami. The committee contributed their personal experiences, encouraged others to add their stories and served as a sounding board for the writing of the Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet.