Handed in my essay yesterday, and OMG I'm so, so glad it's over. Though I still have my books and will finish reading them before I take them back to the library. Really fascinating part of Canadian history. Depressing as hell, but fascinating nonetheless.
I'd slept 5 hours Tuesday night, 5 hours Wednesday night, and not at all Thursday (my GOD how did I survive the first two or three years of the boys' lives when 5 hours interrupted sleep was the norm for me? ::boggles::)) And I'd been writing, editing and footnoting almost without a break since about 3PM Thursday till 3PM Friday. Chris got home shortly after we'd returned, and sent me to take a bath, called out for Greek takeout, and sent me to bed at about 9. I slept for 12 hours. Sheer unadulterated bliss.***
BTW, thanks, mynuet
, for the paper idea!***
Realized the other day that I hadn't done my "What did we read in November" thingy. So here it is:
- Me: Almost done Aztec for the second time around. It's much, much more fun when you know you can skip the sex and gore. Much more fun. And now I'm really fascinated with that era and area in history. The other day I found myself reading through about a dozen websites on the Toltecs & the Maya. Such a geek.
Started James Michener's Poland. It's... OK, I guess. I'm not terribly into it yet. Weird, because I'm usually such a huge fan of European history, but there you go. Maybe it's Michener's writing style that leaves me a bit flat.
Finally gave up on Explorer. I'll try it again some day. I think.
A Black Mark: The Japanese-Canadians in World War II, by Mary Taylor
Bittersweet Passage: Redress and the Japanese Canadian Experience, by Maryka Omatsu
A Child in Prison Camp, by Shizuye Takashima
- Daniel: Sped-read his way through Order of the Phoenix and is chomping at the bit to read Half-Blood Prince, but I'm not done the questions yet. Too bad!
- Chris reading to boys: Chamber of Secrets. Still. I think they're getting near the end.
Some quotey bits from the Japanese Internment books:
- Thomas Reid, Liberal member of New Westminster: The Japanese are an unassimilable race of people who cannot in the strict sense become true Canadians.
- Major-General Pope, the vice-chief of the General Staff: From the army point of view I cannot see that [the Japanese-Canadians] constitute the slightest menace to national security.
- Major-General Pope: The BC delegates ... spoke of the Japanese Canadians in the way that the Nazis would have spoken of Jewish-Germans...
(He also said that one of the politicians told him off the record that many BC leaders had been hoping for years that a war with Japan would provide them with the opportunity to "rid themselves of the Japanese-Canadian economic menace.")
- Hugh Keenleyside: It was a cheap and needless capitulation to popular prejudice fanned by political bigotry or ambition or both. (He had argued vehemently against internment, along with Pope & the other Army reps and the RCMP reps. PM Mackenzie King gave in to the BC delegates for political reasons.)
- Cabinet minister Ian Mackenzie: It is the government's plan to get these people out of B.C. as fast as possible. It is my personal intention, as long as I remain in public life, to see that they never come back here. Let our slogan be for British Columbia, 'No Japs from the Rockies to the seas.'
- Dennis Murphy, Vancouver Province Editor: To those who suggest that we select one group of Canadians, deprive them of their freedom and shuttle them off to distant parts we ask, Is it for this that we are fighting?
- PM Lester B. Pearson, 1964: That action by the Canadian government - though taken under the strains, and fears and pressures of war - was a black mark against Canada's traditional fairness and devotion to the principles of human rights. We have no reason to be proud of this episode...
Other lovely factoids:
In Toronto, Japanese Canadians held property valued at $1.6 million. $1.3 million worth of it was sold for approximately a 40% of its worth ($0.5 million). The owners recouped 40% of the sale price.
About 2% of Japanese-Canadians lived in Ontario. 95% lived in BC. When they were removed from their homes, they were told they could only bring one suitcase per person. They left behind their homes, personal effects and businesses, believing they would be back in a month or so. Instead they were kept in an empty exhibition centre in the livestock buildings for several months, in overcrowded conditions, men separated from women and children and not allowed to communicate. They were then sent to abandoned villages (women and children) or work camps (men). After many months, the married men were allowed to join their families.
Near the end of the war BC decided to sell off the property of the Japanese. They gave a lot of it to the families of Canadian servicemen, sold the rest (including all the furniture, clothing, jewellery, toys, etc.) at about 10% of its value. The Japanese were not told of the sales until a few months later. At that point, some of them received nothing for their property, some received a small portion left over after "handling fees" (cost of storing, auctioning, etc) had been deducted, and some were only charged the handling fees, which meant that after losing their homes, businesses, clothing, etc they were left with a debt to the province of British Columbia.
There's some pretty cool stuff from the October Crisis readings too, but nothing quite as awe-inspiring as the above.