Riho you have to understand, home is very far away now. It isn't ours anymore.
I left my bear at home, can I get it after the trip?
The following 4 cells are told from Riho's brother's point of view, as he shared his story with her following the war.
Do you think mother and Riho are okay?
I really don't know, son.
Pick up the pace boys! Miss your margin and you won't be getting dinner tonight!
The train ride to Alberta felt like forever. Mother and I didn't talk very much, only held hands very tightly. She explained to me that the government was taking our belongings and claiming them as theirs, I already understood how she felt about this.
I'm freezing out here son, I don't think I can make it much longer like this.
Father and I arrived at the labour camp unaware of how terrible our living conditions would be for the next three years. We were placed together in a stable with an overflow of other men, we had no privacy.
Everyday we worked tirelessly out on the farm fields. It seemed to go unnoticed however, as we barely received enough food each day to sustain us. On a couple occasions, the Red Cross sent in food shipments, but there were just far too many to feed and never enough to go around.
Will anyone ever realize the pain they caused our family?
It got so cold at night, our only source of heat was from a pot-bellied stove that us men huddled around in the stable. It was during this time that father became deathly ill, I would ration my meals to better his chances of survival.
Come on, you'll make it through this. Eat my meal, it will give you strength.
Father passed away not long after he fell ill. I would work on for six more months before the war ended and we were liberated from the camps. From there, I boarded a train Québec; I had been informed that us Japanese Canadians were not allowed to return to the coast.
Mother and I arrived in Québec and awaited the arrival of my father and brother. I came to learn that my father would never return home. In watching other Canadians grieve their lost soldiers I would think to myself, will anyone recognize the hardship, discrimination, and loss that the Japanese-Canadians faced?
I don't know sweetheart, but I hope you get to be there when they do.