Joy Kogawa to recieve the Order of the Rising Sun, today in Vancouver

CIMG0190 by Toddish McWong

Joy Kogawa will recieve the
Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to the understanding and
preservation of Japanese
Canadian history. So glad to be a part of
Joy's life, and to have Joy in my life! 🙂

I first met Joy Kogawa when she gave a reading at Expo 86.  It was soon after her first novel Obasan was published, and it would still be 2 more years until Japanese Canadians received Parliamentary Redress for the internment and confiscation of their properties during WW2.

I got to know Joy during the 2005 One Book One Vancouver program that featured Obasan, as the book for all Vancouverites to read.  By September, I was drawn into a lead role for the Save Kogawa House campaign, as her childhood home became threatened with an application for demolition.

In a few short weeks, together with Ann-Marie Metten in Vancouver and Anton Wagner in Toronto, we mobilized our communities and brought attention to the threat to Joy's childhood home, started a fundraising campaign, and received lots of community and media attention.  The Land Conservancy of BC stepped in to help purchase and finance the house, and today I am the President of the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society and director on the board for The Land Conservancy of BC.

Here's the Vancouver Sun story.

Vancouver novelist Joy Kogawa will be receiving the Order of
the Rising Sun from Japan for her contribution to the understanding and
preservation of Japanese Canadian history. Kogawa is author of several
books, including Obasan — her account of being interned as a
Japanese-Canadian during the Second World War — and the children’s
version, Naomi’s Road. Kogawa is also a member of the Order of Canada
and of the Order of British Columbia.
The Order of the Rising Sun
also commends Kogawa’s promotion of the friendship between Japan and
Canada. Kogawa is the president of the Canada-Japan Friendship
Association.
Japan’s Consul-general in Vancouver Hideki Ito will
host a conferment ceremony in Vancouver for Kogawa on Friday, November
26.
Kogawa's childhood home in Marpole was saved in 2006 by a
national campaign headed by The Land Conservancy of B.C., and it stands
as a cultural and historical reminder of the expropriation of property
that Canadians of Japanese descent experienced after the bombing of
Pearl Harbor in 1941.

photo

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