Frank Moritsugu

Frank Moritsugu is a retired mainstream journalist who was the first Japanese Canadian to become a staffer on Maclean’s magazine and the Toronto Star. Currently in his 90s, he regularly writes a column for Nikkei Voice.

Born in British Columbia, his experiences include the wartime mistreatment of Japanese Canadians that began in 1942, and serving overseas in the Canadian Army as a sergeant in the Intelligence Corps after the ban against JCs enlisting in the Canadian military was lifted in 1944-45 when British Forces in Southeast Asia badly needed Japanese-language interpreter/translators.

Two other members of his family—his brother Henry and his son Ken—have become respected journalists in the United States.

Updated November 2020

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Eighty Years Ago The World Changed For Japanese Canadians

TORONTO — Imagine! This year, 2022, is the 80th anniversary of when we Japanese Canadians were kicked out of our homes along the B.C. coast. During 1942, we were kicked out and sent more than 100 miles inland after Japan entered the Second World War. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy attacked a part of the United States: Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Until then, the Great War had concentrated in Europe—with Canada and the U.S. also involved. What was it like for us Japanese Canadians? (There were 22,000 of us in B.C. at the time.) And 80 years later, I am one of those still around to…

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Eating Tofu Sparks Food Memories

TORONTO — The other day I experienced a food delight. Yup, with my gohan (steamed rice), there was nice cold tofu cut up in small blocks that I lightly touched in shoyu to enjoy. Tofu is one of many Japanese goodies that I’ve been eating since I was a young child in Vancouver. In the Kitsilano Japanese community, there was a tofuya-san (maker) a block away from where we lived. I’d go down the lane often carrying a pot with water to put the tofu into. For some reason, Betty and I hadn’t eaten tofu for some time. In our many years together, she’d become familiar …

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Life in Tashme

The following is my contribution to the Tashme Project—the ongoing collection of remembrances about that particular wartime family detention camp. Naturally the remembrances are being solicited from those who stayed in that camp. So technically I do not qualify—having been a road camper near Revelstoke as was my brother Ken. But Tashme was where my mother and six siblings had been sent from Vancouver in 1942 to join Dad there. And my remembrance which I am sharing with you has to do with a two-week visit to Tashme in early 1943. That opportunity came about as the result of a cam…

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