As a fifth generation Japanese Canadian, or gosei, my family has a long history in Canada. For my grandmother, this includes being interned for the first five years of her life during World War II. Our relationship with Canada is long and complicated, and it is for that reason that I jumped at the chance to be included in an art installation called “The Suitcase Project”, which asked yonsei and gosei (fourth and fifth generation) Japanese Canadians and Americans what we would pack if we were interned today. Here is a short excerpt from their website:
“The Suitcase Project asks yonsei and gosei (fourth and fifth generation) Japanese Canadians and Americans what they would pack if uprooted from their homes in a moment’s notice.
While these descendants of the internment and incarceration may never have to endure the same forced uprooting as their ancestors, Kayla Isomura’s work examines how they, and those descended from families who experienced other forms of discrimination, remain affected by this history today.”
I am so grateful for Kayla and everyone else who worked on this project, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them and increase awareness of Japanese Canadian and American history on the coast.
Here is a link to the official website: https://www.suitcaseproject.ca/
Today, I am lucky to love my mixed race, Japanese Canadian heritage, and I am thankful for those who came before me and fought for our rights, and for those who continue to fight for love and acceptance.
Thanks for reading 🙂