Nikkei Legacy

Greenwood, Canada’s smallest city has a varied and rich history during the mining boom of the early 1900’s, but also had a part to play years later, during the second world war, as the first internment centre for Japanese Canadians.

The Franciscan Order of the Atonement from Vancouver and Steveston Japaneses Catholic Mission played a pivotal role in bringing the Japanese Canadians to Greenwood. Father Benedict Quigley went above and beyond to have dialogue with the then Mayor, W.E. McArthur Sr.. After several meetings with the local citizens, Greenwood decided to take in the Nikkei from BC’s coast.

In 1997, Greenwood City received a large brass internment history plaque from the NAJC and in 1998 the park, after a vote from the citizen’s, was given the name Ohairi Park. Many First World War veterans, who fought for Canada, came to Greenwood, so the park will remember these brave soldiers with a granite plaque.

Around the gazebo, many sakura and momiji trees will be planted. 5 rock gardens will represent the 5 ghost towns that existed near Greenwood; Phoenix, Deadwood, Boundary Falls, Eholt and Anaconda/Greenwood.

After the war, the local Board of Trade took a stand to protest the “Go East of the Rockies or Repatriate to Japan” ultimatum from the Government.

Visit the Greenwood museum to find out more about Greenwood’s amazing history.