Shikataganai

Shikataganai

It Can't Be Helped : the Morisawa Story, Including Memoirs and the Story of Our Internment

Book - 2014 | First edition
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"Shikataganai: It Can't Be Helped traces one Japanese-Canadian family's experience of evacuation and internment during World War II. By recounting personal stories of racial discrimination relating to these events, Sumi Kinoshita tells the story of her parents' struggle to cope while raising a family in the British Columbia interior during the war. These struggles continued during the difficult resettling period following the war, as her parents were faced with the twin realities of having their property confiscated and their livelihood disrupted. Including first-hand accounts from other members of the Morisawa family, Shikataganai: It Can't Be Helped weaves a compelling story of tragedy, of loss, of retaining a sense of humour, and ultimately, of finding hope in the face of life's challenges."-- from publisher's website.
Publisher: Victoria, BC : FriesenPress, ©2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781460214497
Branch Call Number: 971.1004956 KIN 2014
Characteristics: 143 pages : illustrations

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I enjoyed reading about Sumi Kinoshita’s family’s experience and reflecting on the issues and themes raised in this book.

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SurreyLibraries_Reads Nov 18, 2018

Local writer Sumi Kinoshita tells us the story of her family’s history, when as Japanese Canadians, they were forced from their Victoria home and interned in interior BC during World War II. With the help of family stories and memories, combined with historical photographs, readers are able to de... Read More »


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Local writer Sumi Kinoshita tells us the story of her family’s history, when as Japanese Canadians, they were forced from their Victoria home and interned in interior BC during World War II. With the help of family stories and memories, combined with historical photographs, readers are able to delve into one family’s memoirs and a narrative account of a shameful time in Canada’s history. I enjoyed reading about Sumi Kinoshita’s family’s experience and reflecting on the issues and themes raised in this book. (submitted by MS)

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Summerday18
May 14, 2018

Sumi Kinoshita wrote about her experience being interned in this gripping memoir. The writing is crisp and dispassionate as she recounts devastating losses and discrimination endured. The vivid descriptions and archival and family photos paint a fascinating picture of British Columbia in the 1940s and 1950s. The title, “Shikataganai,” is translated in the subtitle, “it can’t be helped.” The expression was often repeated during the Japanese-Canadian internment, reflecting resignation that when circumstances can’t be changed, one must make the best of things. And they did: communities came together, they worked hard and endured. A valuable contribution to our understanding of Canadian history, as well as a cautionary reminder that we should never allow fear to strip friends and neighbours of their rights, property, and community. Perhaps we can learn.

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