Moving Images Collection

The Nikkei National Museum has digitized over 62 historical home movies from its moving image collection. These fragile 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 films along with VHS tapes are now safely placed in long term storage within the museum repository. Watch these incredible films to capture a glimpse into the personal and public lives of Japanese Canadians from the 1920s to the 2000s on the west coast, throughout Canada, and abroad. These films present a unique perspective on Canadian history highlighting generations of the Japanese Canadian community and their resilience in a time of discrimination and in a post-redress era.

Watch early footage of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre’s ground breaking and opening ceremonies and celebrate with us the 20th anniversary in 2020!

The conservation and digitization of these films was made possible with support from Library and Archives Canada and the NNMCC Auxiliary.

Kaye Kaminishi Collection

Accession number: 1994.73

Date: circa 1927 – 1950

This collection consists of 16 film reels created by Kannosuke Kaminishi. The first 4 films document the Kaminishi’s leisurely life with friends and family in Vancouver including scenes at Powell Grounds/Oppenheimer Park; and a trip abroad to Japan, and features parades, military, Japanese martial arts, Buddhist temples, and general sightseeing. The next 5 films document the operations of the Royston Lumber Co., Ltd. The films also highlight a trip to Alberta, a rugby match between a Japanese and non-Japanese team, a Japanese Canadian funeral on Powell Street, and a triple Japanese-Canadian wedding. The last 7 films document a trip to Japan; scenes within Vancouver including the Japanese Canadian War Memorial, scenes of Stanley Park, fishing, leisure activities; and scenes in Steveston.

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Tomojiro Inouye Collection

Accession number: 2017.21

Date: 1930 – 1957

This collection consists of 6 film reels created by Tomojiro Inouye. The films document the Inouye family’s daily life and special events when they lived in Mayo, Duncan before the Second World War, in Lemon Creek Internment Camp during the Second World War, and Vernon towards the end of the war and later. The film depicting Mayo, Duncan shows the family walking through the forest and along the beach. The film depicting Lemon Creek shows the Japanese Canadian community’s May Day celebration, Sports Day celebration, a wedding, and the Inouye family in front and inside of their shack in the camp. The films depicting Vernon show a parade in colour film and the family. The films also document the family’s holiday travels to the Seattle Zoo, the Peace Arch (border crossing), Salt Spring Island, and Vancouver Island to visit the Buchart Gardens in 1956-1957.

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Shigetaka (Steve) Sasaki Family fonds

Accession number: 2011.64

Date: 1937 – 1939

This collection consists of two 16mm film reels. The films document Prince Chichibu and Princess Chichibu’s visit to Vancouver on March 29 to 30, 1937. One film highlights Powell Street, Steveston, and Japanese Canadian fishing boats. Another film takes place in 1939, and shows the Japanese Canadian community gathering to welcome the Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. These films also show prominent Japanese Canadian community members, including Etsuji Morii, Shigetaka (Steve) Sasaki, Tsutae Sato, and Eikichi Kagetsu. This this film also document’s Kano Jigoro’s visit to Vancouver. Kano is the father of Judo. Morii and Sasaki tour him around the city. This film also shows a Judo tournament.

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Nakayama Family Collection

Accession number: 2012.4

Date: circa 1930s

This collections consists of 1 film made up of a series of brief unrelated film clips spliced together. The film begins with a brief panning shot of a public park, likely somewhere in Canada. The second clip of film likely takes place in Japan, and shows a Japanese boy carrying an umbrella over his shoulder. At the end of the umbrella is a sack of belongings. A older Japanese man sits in a shelter near by. The third clip of film might also take place in Japan, and shows Japanese men standing in a gravel lot with a wooden building in the background. On one of the men’s tank top is the letter “N”. The fourth clip of film likely takes place in Canada, and shows Japanese Canadian men and women socializing and drinking tea indoors. The final clip of film are title slides for a commercially produced cartoon “Mice in Council” produced by Castle Films.

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Maki and Frank Yosaburo Nishimura Collection

Accession number: 2018.38

Date: 1958 – 1963

This collection consists of 13 film reels created by various members of the Nishimura family including Maki Nishimura, possibly Frank Yosaburo Nishimura, and their children Danny (Tadashi) Nishimura, Albert (Masatoshi) Nishimura, Carl (Masanobu) Nishimura. The films document their everyday lives within the home in Coaldale, in their community, and abroad. These films document family weddings, and gatherings of family and friends at the Nishimura household. The films also document the various Nishimura family members including Danny, Yo, Kim, Richard, and others (currently unidentified). These films document life on the University of Alberta campus, parades around Alberta, beet farming and harvesting, and trips within Alberta and Ontario. They also document their trips abroad to Japan where they visit friends and family, and tour Buddhist temples. The film also documents Frank Yosaburo Nishimura’s funeral and the family’s life after his death.

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Reverend Kawamura Film Collection

Accession number: 2018.39

Date: 1941 – 1979

This collection consists of 15 films from a total of 61 film reels created by Reverend Yutetsu Kawamura and Yoneko Kawamura. The films document the Kawamura family’s daily life in Alberta, travels throughout the province, elsewhere in Canada, and abroad to Hawaii, continental United States, and Japan. The films also document Yutetsu and Yoneko’s involvement with not only the Japanese Canadian community in Alberta, but the Buddhist community, and Buddhist Church. Their involvement with the Buddhist Church also extended to trips abroad to Hawaii and Japan.

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ICAS Collection

Accession number: 2019.10

Date: 1997 – 2000

This collection consists of eight videocassettes captured by the Intercultural Action Society (ICAS) of the Nikkei National Heritage & Cultural Centre (now the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre). Included are recordings of the ground breaking ceremony for New Sakura-so, ground breaking ceremony for the cultural centre, grand opening of the centre, and other events such as dinners, film premieres, and donations related to the development of the new centre.

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Nikkei Mubi

Nikkei Mubi is a curated selection of films preserved within our museum archives. The first version of Nikkei Mubi was presented as a live screening on February 8th, 2020 in the NNMCC’s Special Events Hall with live commentary by Jeffery Chong (Film Conservation Technician) and Lisa Uyeda (Collections Manager). The second version, curated by Jeffery Chong and narrated by Lisa Uyeda, was presented on August 1st, 2020 for the 44th Powell Street Festival Telethon. Excerpts from: Shigetaka (Steve) Sasaki Family fonds “Prince Chichibu’s visit to Canada 1” NNM: 2011. “Prince Chichibu’s visit to Canada 2” NNM: 2011. Kaye Kaminishi collection “Vancouver ; friends and family ; Oppenheimer Park ; departure for Japan” NNM: 1994. “Beach picnic ; CPR Pier B-C” NNM: 1994. “May Day Parade ; Stanley Park ; Japanese Canadian War Memorial ; fishing ; Steveston Buddhist Temple” NNM: 1994.

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