Collections Manager Lisa Uyeda introduces treasures from the museum vault.
In this episode, we introduce the Nagasaka Family collection.
About the Collection
The Nagasaka Family collection consists of textual materials and 27 objects dated 1920-1964.
Mr. Masuo Nagasaka was born on February 20, 1917 in New Westminster, BC. He was raised in Delta, BC. His father owned a hatchery business, which he began in the 1920s. At that time there were twenty or so chicken farmers in the Delta area; many were Japanese Canadian. (Some strawberry farmers moonlighted as chicken farmers in the winter to have work all year round.) Mr. Nagasaka’s father was the first to buy a big incubator and place it in an 24×20 incubating room with two large machines in it. (Chicks cost $.25 each at that time.)
His father was also part of the Strawberry Hill Cooperative Association. Thirty five of its members were issei. His father was the association’s secretary; a post that earned him $25 a year.
His mother, Shizu Nagasaka, died at the age of 32, leaving five boys and two girls. The oldest girl cooked and raised the children.
During the internment, they lost all their photographs and their farm equipment was sold at auction. They were then sent to St Pierre, Manitoba where they tended beet fields.
In 1952, they returned to the BC Coast and resumed their business. His father then remarried ‘Mother Inouye’ who had a rooming house on Cordova Street in Vancouver, BC. Masuo married Shigeko on May 12, 1942. (Shigeko was born on July 2, 1918 in Steveston, BC.) On May 18, 1942, the couple were forcibly removed from the West Coast of BC. The couple had seven children.