Episode 20

Cumberland

A Group Portrait of Mr. Tatsuchi Yoneda and Six Other Men Working in a Tailor Shop; Cumberland, BC. NNM 2010.23.2.4.637

SJCTM – 20 – Cumberland

 

For our twentieth episode, Raymond and Carolyn look at the fascinating history of Japanese Canadians in the village of Cumberland on Vancouver Island. Coal baron Robert Dunsmuir began importing workers from Japan and elsewhere to Cumberland in the late 19th century. Labour disputes and racism were rampant, but the Japanese immigrants were also able to build lives there, moving from mining to logging and service industry work, and even bringing over their families and establishing a Japanese Language School. After the community was forcibly removed in 1942, efforts have been made by Cumberlanders in more recent years to uncover, preserve, and celebrate the multicultural history of the village.

Further reading:

Bradd, Sam. “illustrated Cumberland map tells workers history”. Drawing Change. 13 June 2014.

Cumberland Museum & Archives website and photo collection

Isenor, D.E., E.G.Stephens, and D.E. Watson. One Hundred Spirited Years: A History of Cumberland 1888-1988. Campbell River: Ptarmigan Press, 1988.

Sakauye, Russell. “The Legacy of the Cumberland Chow Mein”. The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian community, history + culture: Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association. 29 May 2013.

Thomson, Grace Eiko (curator). Shashin: Japanese Canadian Photography to 1942. Burnaby: Japanese Canadian National Museum, 2005.

Yasui, Catherine. “Cumberland Memories”.  The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian community, history + culture: Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association. 4 October 2008.