Travelling Exhibitions




What would you pack if forcibly removed from your home today?


The Suitcase Project is a multimedia exhibition asking yonsei and gosei (fourth and fifth generation) Japanese Canadians and Americans what they would pack if uprooted from their homes in a moment’s notice.

While these descendants of the internment and incarceration may never have to endure the same forced uprooting as their ancestors, Kayla Isomura’s work examines how they, and those descended from families who experienced other forms of discrimination, remain affected by this history today.

More than 80 subjects ranging in age and background share their stories from cities in British Columbia, Canada and Washington, US through a series of photographs, short films and interviews.

Touring venues
Originating venue, Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby BC: June-September 2018.

Jan 18, 2020, Lethbridge, AB, The Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge (film screening and talk by Kayla Isomura)

Feb-July 2020, San Francisco, CA, USA | National Japanese American Historical Society

Booking contact: | 604.777.7000 ext.109

Suitcase Project travel info



Broken Promises

Grounded in research from Landscapes of Injustice – a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project, this exhibit explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. The story unfolds by following seven narrators. Learn about life for Japanese Canadians in Canada before war, the administration of their lives during and after war ends, and how legacies of dispossession continue to this day.

Take a video tour here

Fall 2021: JCCC Toronto
Spring 2022: Museum of Surrey
Summer 2022: RBCM, Victoria
Fall 2022 available
Spring 2023: Pier 21, Halifax
Summer 2023: Galt Museum, Lethbridge
Fall 2023 available
Spring 2024: Nanaimo Museum
and more...

A popup display is at the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum during the summer of 2021.

A Call For Justice

Fighting for Japanese Canadian Redress (1977-1988)

A Call for Justice tells a story of human rights and the enduring perseverance of the Japanese Canadian community who suffered so much from 1942-1949. In honour of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Redress Agreement with the Government of Canada in 1988, the Nikkei National Museum is presenting the first traveling exhibit celebrating the emotional struggle to achieve an apology and acknowledgement for these unjust treatments. This exhibit will examine the ten year fight using historic photographs, artifacts, poetry, personal statements, art, and video.

Supported by Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program; National Association of Japanese Canadians; Deux Mille Foundation; Yoshiko Karasawa; and the Province of BC.

Touring venues
RCMP Heritage Centre, Rigina, September 2014-March 2015.
Diefenbaker Canada Place, Saskatoon, July 2015-February 2016.
Gallery 2, Grand Forks, March-June 2016.
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, August-October 2016.
Borealis Gallery, Legislative Assembly of Alberta, January-April 2018.
Nanaimo Museum, May-September 2018.

Booking contact: | 604.777.7000 ext.109

Kikyo: Coming Home to Powell Street

Tamio Wakayama (1941-2018)

Tamio Wakayama’s work is an intimate photo documentary that artfully captures the first 15 years of the Powell Street Festival first exhibited in 1992.

Tamio Wakayama was born in 1941 a few months before the Japanese attack on the American naval base of Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and the ensuing outbreak of the Pacific War. He and his family were part of the community of some 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were declared to be Enemy Aliens, dispossessed of the accumulated wealth of a lifetime, rounded up and placed in remote internment camps in the interior of B.C. where they spent the war years. The central challenge to Tamio’s life was to come to terms with that history and to regain a sense of self that was lost in the corrosive racism of his childhood. The long journey to redemption and empowerment began in 1963 when Tamio dropped out of University and went south to join the Civil Rights Movement. It was in Mississippi that the artist first began his career as a photographer.

Tamio’s work has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally in such venues as the Smithsonian Institution. His images have also appeared in numerous TV and film documentaries, magazines, books, book covers and catalogues. Tamio is the author of two major books, Signs of Life and Kikyo: Coming Home to Powell Street, as well as a major contributor to the book version of A Dream of Riches. The artist’s early works was recently featured in a major travelling exhibit and book, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographer of the Civil Rights Movement, produced by the Leonardo Centre for Documentary Arts and Expression, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Booking contact: | 604.777.7000 ext.109