Ongoing Exhibit 

Japanese Canadians Since 1877

Ongoing, level 2, FREE

Visitors to the upper level of Nikkei Centre now have the chance to engage in the fascinating history of Japanese Canadians. Learn about the first arrivals in 1877, the hardships of the early pioneers, the struggles of the war years, and the need to rebuilding homes and businesses in the 1950s. Listen to the voices of many generations tell their story!

Supported by: Fred & Linda Yada and family, Henry & Yvonne Wakabayashi and family, Nikkei Centre Auxiliary Committee

Tuesday-Friday: 9:30am-9:30pm
Saturday: 9:30am-5:00pm

Upcoming Exhibits 

Online Exhibits

Women of Change: Celebrating Japanese Canadian Leaders How long will I live? I do not know. I will continue to live Women's Historical Role. (Kinori Oka, Tanka Poem) Mar 8, […]

Writing Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Protest Letters of the 1940s

Writing Wrongs is inspired by over 300 letters written by Japanese Canadians in the 1940s to protest the Canadian government's forcible sale of their property. Follow the stories of the Japanese Canadian community from Japanese emigration, to building communities in Canada, forcible removal from their homes to internment sites, and the legacy of standing up for justice that continues to this day. Japanese Canadians’ letters of protest speak powerfully from the archives about the meaning of citizenship, justice, and equal rights.

Witness to Loss

Along with every other Japanese Canadian, Kishizo Kimura saw his life upended by events that began in 1941. His experience of the tumultuous decade that followed—his uprooting and internment, his loss of personal property and livelihood, his effort to forge a new life in a new place after the war—was shared with tens of thousands of others. But his story is also unique: as a member of two controversial committees that oversaw the forced sale of property, Kimura participated in the dispossession of his own community.

Warrior Spirit 1916

Beginning in early 1916, over 200 Japanese Canadian recruits began military training in Vancouver. These men went on to fight in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, participating in the major battles of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Lens, Avion, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes, and Mons. 55 were killed or died of their wounds. Only six came home uninjured.

Hastings Park 1942

In early 1942 over 8,000 Japanese Canadians were detained in Hastings Park before being sent to internment sites in the BC interior or to work camps across the country. It’s a part of Japanese Canadian history that is little talked about particularly by those who experienced dispossession and removal directly.  An outdoor exhibit at the original Hastings Park site at the PNE and related website on Hastings Park 1942 ( preserve the stories and images of this important history.


Online exhibit In July 1942, the Tashme Internment camp, the largest in Canada, opened its doors to Japanese Canadians who had been ordered removed from the coast following the bombing […]

Nikkei Stories

Combining storytelling with archival photographs, Nikkei Stories reanimates the people, places and events important to the social, economic and cultural life of Japanese Canadians who lived in the Powell Street community in Vancouver and Steveston, Richmond, BC.

The Open Doors Project

Wouldn’t it be great if visitors to the Powell Street Festival could also walk up and down Powell Street and explore some of the businesses and workshops in the area? This was the simple idea that started the Open Doors Project – a multidimensional project to help commemorate and animate the Powell Street area.

Asahi: Canadian Baseball Legends

This is the story of the Vancouver Asahi baseball team whose home ground was Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver from 1914 to 1941. The online exhibit is presented in four chapters: Building the Club, Triumph, Pride of the Community and the Asahi Legacy which can each be explored in depth with many images, sound bites, and film.

Our Mothers’ Patterns

Sewing and dressmaking in the Japanese Canadian community is a legacy of pride, skill and accomplishment passed on from thousands of women who mastered this vital art to practice their craft in British Columbia and across Canada from the early part of the twentieth century to the present. The inspiration for this exhibit came from a collection of dresses donated to the Nikkei National Museum by Mary Ohara, typical of those worn in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Offsite Exhibits

Hastings Park Commemorative Project

Located at the Pacific National Exhibition, 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC

In early 1942, over 8,000 Japanese Canadians were detained in Hastings Park before being sent to internment sites in the BC interior or to work camps across the country. A permanent outdoor exhibit and related website preserve the stories and images of this important history.

Interpretive panels have been attached to the exterior or mounted nearby each of the four surviving significant buildings at Hastings Park: the Livestock Building, the Forum, Rollerland, and the Garden Auditorium. Each of these buildings played a role in the 1942 detention of Japanese Canadians at Hastings Park, and they are considered “heritage resources within Hastings Park”.

Walking tours are available through the Nikkei National Museum.

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A Century of Community Spirit

Located at the Vancouver Japanese Language School at 487 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC

Discover the important role played by the Vancouver Japanese Language School in the early days of Vancouver. First opened in 1906, the school was an important educational and cultural centre for the Powell Street community.

Powell Street was the pre-war business centre of the Japanese community in Vancouver. The street was vibrant, busy and filled with Japanese people – in the busy open vegetable markets, the regular baseball games played by the Asahi ball team in Oppenheimer Park, the taxi company, the Japanese and English language newspapers, cafés, boarding houses, traditional bath houses, drug stores, department stores, and special Japanese food businesses, making tofu or manju. We invite you to discover the many monogatari (tales) of Powell Street.

Supported by Vancouver125, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Foundation, National Association of Japanese Canadians.