Tatsuo Kage

In 1945, before the end of World War II, the Canadian government offered to "repatriate"; any ethnic Japanese to Japan after the war ended, even Canadian-born British subjects. Although signing up for the move was voluntary, many felt pressured to agree. In 1946, a year after the end of the war, some 4,000 Japanese Canadians travelled by ship to a Japan devastated by war-an action that violated international law at the time. The story of those who moved to Japan after the war has been told for the first time in English by Tatsuo Kage, mainly derived from interviews with men and women who were teenagers in internment camps during the war.

Tatsuo Kage was born in Utsunomiya, Japan, in 1935. As the son of a military officer, he was moved frequently as a child until the family settled in Tokyo in the early 1940s. He later majored in European History at the University of Tokyo and spent two years at Germany's University of Tübingen on a German Government Exchange Scholarship. In 1969, he became Assistant Professor at Meiji Gakuin University, teaching Political Science and European History. After relocating to Vancouver with his wife and their three children, Kage was involved with the Redress movement as a Board member of the Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association since the early 1980s. While working as a Redress Implementation coordinator for the National Association of Japanese Canadians, Kage began corresponding with Japanese Canadians in Japan and then visited Japan in 1989 as part of joint delegation of the government's Redress Secretariat and the NAJC. That group had nine meetings in various locations in Japan and made 700 contacts: most were either exiled people or their family members. "I realized that little was known about those who were exiled from Canada in l946.";

Kage's research and interviews with the deportees in Japan and in Canada led to a bilingual discussion on their experiences at the l992 Homecoming Conference, resulting in his publication of Nikkei Kanadajin no Tsuiho [Exiled Japanese Canadians] (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 1998). Translated by Kathleen Merken, and reconfigured for a Canadian readership by Merken and Kage, that book has been republished as Uprooted Again: Japanese Canadians Move to Japan After World War II (Ti-Jean Press $19.95) 978-1-896627-20-5

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Uprooted Again: Japanese Canadians Move to Japan After World War II

[BCBW 2012]