I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

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Belonging
Recreation
Homesickness
Labour-conditions
Photographs
Joan
Communications
Education
WWII
Living-conditions
Gender-dynamics
Optimism
Forced-dispersal




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Contents

Takahashi19440622

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Box 76,
1
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Magrath Alta.,

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June 22 /44

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Dear Joan,

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I sent a letter to you on the 28th of Dec. but it came back to me for I put the wrong address on -- must of been day-dreaming

Communications
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Well how’s everything? Good as ever I hope. Not much change here -- never is.

takahashi19440622-7
Talk about school. I’m sick of school. Sick of going 3 miles to learn nothing. All I learnt so far is a little math and french. Hardly learnt anything in the three subjects.

Education
takahashi19440622-8
School is a little bit livelier now that they play badminton during noon hours. We are making a ping pong table in shop so we’ll be able to play ping pong soon. The tumbling club isn’t getting

Recreation
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ahead very fast. Yesterday we had club period so I went down to tumblr and I was doing these forward rolls and things again I don’t think I’ll go down to tumble again till they get a little better.
2
Recreation
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Last night we (the B team) went to Cardstone to play basketball and lost by one point. Two weeks from now we play them again on our own floor. On the 7th we beat Raymond by about 6 points.

Recreation
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Last night going and coming back from Cardstone we were like sardines in a can. Twenty-one of us crowded in a little van about 8ft x 5ft. Four sat in the front and 17 of us were in the back crowded so much we could hardly move. There was 10 boy and 7 girls in the back. After the game last night we all were invited to a dance in an [???] Church. I was just a wall flower. They

Recreation
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sure have a nice dancing hall there.
3
Recreation
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I read your [sic] having nice weather on the coast. Well we haven’t anything to kick about for we are having swell weather too. We haven’t seen snow since Christmas when we had a little snow. The days are really warm but the last few days the darn wind has been blowing terribly. Most of the ice have [sic] melted now so we can’t go skating.

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I’ve got to go [???] now so I’ll close here. Oh yes I got a few souvenir hankies so I thought I should send one to you.

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Well So-Long now

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Yours sincerely

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Jack T.

Takahashi19450508

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Box 76,
1
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Magrath Alta.,

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May 8, 1945

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Dear Joan --

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Just finished putting in my day and taking it easy. We never did much to-day for it has been snowing most of the day.

Living-conditions
takahashi19450508-6
Sorry for not writing sooner. I got your letter while I was still in the northern woods so it must be over a month now. I did write a letter two weeks ago but I forgot to mail it the following Saturday so I never sent it.

Communications
takahashi19450508-7
Since I came home from the woods I’ve been on the farm. Although I’ve been here about a month now I’ve only worked in the field about eight days at the most. The weather has been so bad most of the time we just couldn’t work. The first week in April the wind blew every day. On the second week it started with a white morning on Sunday and wind most of the other days. One day that week it was nice. The third week it started out pretty nice. Then on Wednesday it started to blow again. On Friday I started in the field and it sure was an awful day to start. The wind blew so hard some times I just couldn’t see in front of the tractor on account of the sand. The next day it was worse. The last week of the month started a little white on Sunday

Labour-conditions
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but it cleared up Sunday and was nice all Monday.
2
Labour-conditions
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For the rest of the week we had snow, rain, and wind. May started really nice. We thought spring was really here at last for it was really nice and hot for a few days. Since Saturday night we changed our mind about Spring. Saturday night about ten o’clock we were struck by a wind going at a rate of 45 miles per hour. It just came with a bang from due north. Just north of the house we just cultivated the land and Sunday most of the soil was in the house.
2
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I sleep upstairs and I had my window on the east side open but my room was covered with sand.

Living-conditions
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The boss got the most sand in his room, I believe he had his north window open.

Living-conditions
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Sunday went to town to see clothe and beding [sic] hanging on lines everywhere. I heard some fellows even got lost and others were black with dust. I read an article in the paper about 4 fellows about 14 or 15 who had to spend the night behind rocks for they couldn’t get home on account of the sand. The wind died down about two in the morning. Sunday and Monday night it blew a little but not very bad. Today it started to snow about 7 this morning and has been snowing all day. It’s supposed to be the 8th of May but it sure doesn’t feel or look like it outside. Although the grass is a little green you wouldn’t know it was spring otherwise.

Living-conditions
takahashi19450508-13
Yesterday was VE day and every place must have been celebrating. Magrath had a little celebrating hanging and burning Hitler. Lethbridge done the same too and they were shooting rockets by the dozens. The farm here is fairly high up on the hills so I seen some of the rockets exploding in the air.
3
WWII
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Those boys sure must be glad it’s over over there. I sure hope the rest will quit soon so we can live in a peaceful world again.

Optimism
WWII
takahashi19450508-15
Next month some time we will be starting to thin beets again.We should start in May but I believe we won’t on account they couldn’t put the seeds in early due to the bad weather.

Labour-conditions
takahashi19450508-16
It’s only Tuesday to-day and I don’t get in to town till Saturday so I can’t mail it right away. That’s why I forgot about the other one. I’m only 4 1/2 miles from town but just get in Saturday night and get Sunday off.

Mail
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Saturday nights I usually go to see a show. Two Saturdays ago the Japanese young fellows put on a social or dance but I didn’t go. Five of us boys scrammed to Raymond. We really got cussed the next day from the others for been [sic] poor sports but I didn’t care. I still don't’ dance and never care much about it.

Recreation
takahashi19450508-18
I guess Q.E. must have mixers once in a while too. While I was going to school we had one but I stayed home. Even at Q.E. I only went to one mixer and that was enough for me. Two more months and schools are

Recreation
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are finished and you’ll be out of high school. I myself should be out too but I guess I’ll never see the day I graduate from a high school. The twins will finish grade 8 in June and I believe Harry will be out of 6.
4
Education
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When they started in Magrath they had to repeat one year so they are back on year.

Forced-dispersal
Education
takahashi19450508-21
Now it’s started to snow like heck again so I believe I won’t be in the field this week again. We broke the truck engine yesterday so we removed the engine to-day and to-morrow intend to replace it with another engine.

Labour-conditions
takahashi19450508-22
Well time is flying and I’ve still got another letter to write and hit the hay so I‘ll close here by saying so-long

Communications
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Yours Sincerely

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Jackie

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May 11, 1945

takahashi19450508-26
Spring seems be [sic] coming again but I believe the wind will blow it by again. On Wednesday it turned warm again and the fields dried enough for us to work again. Yesterday and to-day I worked in the field but the wind keeps on blowing the sand away darn near as fast as I can work it. It seems like the wind just can’t stop blowing. To-day it didn’t blow quite as bad but to-night its started again. The weather otherwise is fine.

Labour-conditions
takahashi19450508-27
To-morrrow is Saturday, the day I look forward to each week and Sunday the day I can sleep till laze[?] o’clock. Good-bye again.

Mototsune19430424

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Box 167,

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Raymond, Alta.,

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April 24,/43.

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Dearest Joan;

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“Happy Easter” to you, Joan. “Best Wishes” to you from all of us. How are you and everybody? Well, I hope, as we all are also. I am very very sorry for not writing to you sooner …. for some … ah … unfavorable circumstance! I hope I didn’t keep you waiting very long. Ahem!!!

Communications
mototsune19430424-6
Well, Joan, how is school? Fine? Well, I hope so, as I’m getting used to this “hostility.” You know, about two weeks ago snakes started to appear & some boys thought that they were smart and put a live snake into a girl’s zipper loose-leaf. She didn’t know anything about it, and when she unzipped it during the period (study period.) the snake just sprung at her & was she frightened! Poor girl, & she just can’t stand snakes. This isn’t the only incident that has happened. I saw a snake coiled on the banister and several times live snakes wandering in the rooms. Especially the Grade X room because its [sic] only the Grade X boys who would think of doing it. Well, I’m glad as the principle gave a lecture on such a behavior. Baseball game has opened up once again. We play baseball every gym period. Outdoors if the day is fine or indoors when it isn’t.

Education
Recreation
mototsune19430424-7
In the first French test I had 85%. Then the next test I had 88% and then the one I took the other, I had 94%! Would you believe it? (I was the highest, and the rest came in with 10%, 20%, 32%. Gee! what a bunch! Even our French teacher said that we’re the worst French I class that she ever taught.) Well, this is our Raymond High School as they call it. Just now, we’re having a four day Easter holiday. 23rd, 24th, 25th & 26th. This is only for the High School; the public school got off from 23rd to May 3rd, lucky things. The school van is still running, thank goodness. We were going to get a 2 ½ hour Easter exam (for each subject I mean) before the holiday but the teachers decided not to give it this year as we’re fairly behind in our school work. We’re all looking forward to the June Exam!!
2
Education
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On April 21st we saw an Air Force Picture, brought by the Air Force Company from Ont. They are showing the picture all over the Prairie Provinces encouraging the girls to join the Women’s Air Force. It shows mainly what the girls do when they join up. It lasted for about two hours and it wasn’t bad at all. You haven’t by some chance seen it, have you?

WWII
Recreation
mototsune19430424-9
On April 3rd, all of our family went to see some a plays, dances, singing, etc. which lasted from 3:00 P.M. to 11:30 P.M. We had to take our lunches and had ½ hour off from 6:00-6:30 P.M. to eat it.

Recreation
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The hall was just packed full; there were trucks from Picture Butte, Cardston, Coaldale, Stirling, etc. We had ride [sic] all the way home. Next morning I didn’t wake up till 11:00 A.M. Then on April 11th, we all went to a two feature Japanese show which lasted from 7:30 P.M. – 12:00 P.M. We had a ride home again all the way free. On April 14th, I went to the “Iceland” matinee after school with Teruko Ikeda. We got in for 15 ȼ. Did you see this picture? I thought it wasn’t as good as “Sun Valley Serenade” although “Iceland” had more skating in it.
3
Recreation
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On April 17, the whole family went to Lethbridge C.P.R. station to meet our uncle & his family from Kaslo en route to Ontario. We last saw them on April 20th, 1942 when we left N.W. & we didn’t see them till almost a year. I was disgusted with them because they wouldn’t stay in Raymond. We had only 15 minutes to chat and bid farewell. Good thing it was on Sunday.

Forced-dispersal
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We’re all looking forward to the day when we sight the New Westminster station again.

Homesickness
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Tomorrow, April 25th (Easter Sunday) the United Church decided to take a trip to some kind of a lake, about 36 miles from Raymond to pass the Easter Sunday. Well, they discovered that they couldn’t take us all as there won’t be enough room so only 2 from each family could go. Sad thing, we were waiting for this day. Only father and mother are

Recreation
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going from our family. There’s only one chance out of ten when you find us all at home now a days [sic]. We’re nearing to our beet work again this year so we decided to go out when the weather is fine and before we get busy again. There are several places where beet seeds have been planted already. We haven’t got our seeds planted yet, but are expecting it in a short while. The field has been ploughed & ready to be planted.
4
Labour-conditions
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This year it seems as though its [sic] going to be very hot. For the past few weeks, I’ve worn no overcoat but a ¾ jacket every day. We can’t compare it with the weather when we first came here. This year I think we’re going to have 25-27 acres of beets. Last year we had only 21 acres although we came for 25. Dad doesn’t want to do so much. We tell him that we could do at least 30 acres, but he won’t say “okay.” He keeps on saying that 25 acres is enough. Oh, well, its [sic] up to him,

Living-conditions
Labour-conditions
mototsune19430424-16
& so much the better I am sending you some pictures with this letter. Don’t you think its about time to do so? The’re [sic] not very good pictures, but when we do take some better ones, I will send you some even if its a year after.

Photographs
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Well, I think this is all I have to say for now, and I’ll try to write sooner next time. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for your sweet hand-writing to come. Very

Communications
Communications
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best regards to your father and mother and wish you the best of luck in future [sic].
5
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Love from a pal, Sumi.

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P.S.1. I just finished looking over your February 21st letter and you wanted to know how we were making out on ration cards. Well, as for sugar, we’re going swell. For butter, we get so far behind that many tickets have been thrown away. We use around two lbs. a week. We don’t buy any coffee at all. As for tea, we just can’t buy all the tickets worth. Only ones who drinks [sic] it are my mom, dad, Kay & myself very seldom. The rest drinks milk or cocoa.

WWII
mototsune19430424-21
P.S.2. Mother would be very glad if you could send some plants. She’s planning to have a flower garden this year & have already planted some poppy seeds. She doesn’t mind what kind of plants you send unless it won’t be such a bother to you. I’m sure she’d appreciate anything you can send. When we do go back to S.W. she said she’d take all the presents back, so if you want anything special, just say so in the letters. This is about the only way in which I can ever repay you. S.M.

Homesickness
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P.S. 3. Please overlook my errors and scribbling (AND HOW!!).

Communications
mototsune19430424-23
P.S. 4. I forgot all about the “Sadie Hawkin’s Day.” We had it last month for a month week. Some boys were dressed up as ladies and what beautiful ladies they seemed! (especially the legs.) Three of the tallest boys were on stilts which made them appear as a giant. The got a good kick of it. Almost every girls wore pigtails. This was the first time I’ve ever worn pigtails to school. Some sights!!!!! Enough said, I think!!!!! S.M.

Recreation
Education
mototsune19430424-24
Raymond Hi-School.
Enclosed postcard
Education
mototsune19430424-25
The trees at the front of the school has [sic] been cut down. There are three cement walks leading into the front of the building. This picture shows only one in the centre. More rooms has [sic] been added at the farther side of the building. My home room is at the corner where the girl is standing all alone.

Education

Takahashi19421117

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Magrath Alberta,
1
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Nov. 17, 1942

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Dear Joan,

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It’s been a couple of weeks since I received your letter so I thought I better write while I got the time.

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How’s the weather out there. Near the end of October and the beginning of Nov it started to get cold and began freezing. We had about 3 snow falls in the beginning of Nov. We had about 4 to five inches of ice (enough to skate on anyways). All of a sudden the weather changed. It began to get warm again for a week or so. Now it changed again this Sunday night. We had snow Sunday night and yesterday which amounted to about 12 to 14” of snow in different places. Today it seems to be clearing up again but no body knows what will happen

Living-conditions
takahashi19421117-6
I’ve been out working for a couple of weeks now after we had finished our beets for my school days our [sic] over for this term or for ever. Before I stopped school for topping I didn’t know whether I should go to school or go out to work but now they say that we have to pay $5.50 a month to go to school so I stopped going and I didn’t go after we finished topped [sic]. Instead of school now I have to work. I bought a few books so I can still keep on studying at home in spare time. I’ve been out to other farms topping beets and for the past three days I was out with my brother pitching bundles onto

Labour-conditions
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wagons and into the thresher but the snow fall stopped us for a while I hope.
2
Labour-conditions
takahashi19421117-8
These schools in Alberta won’t let you take some subject if you aren’t the smartest ones. I got B for grade 9. So I was able to take only 2 out of French Physic and Algebra. I dropped Physic and took typing. The typing book is the only book that I know which is the same as your grade 10 books. The Social Studies seems to be the same as out here. I believe most of the subjects are as same as yours but they say that Alberta schooling is ahead of B.C. schooling. I guess I can send you a school newspaper if they have one now. Yosh is still attending school so maybe you can ask him.

Education
takahashi19421117-9
I’m sorry I can’t tell you where Tori or Mitsuo are. I was going to ask you in the last letter but I didn’t.

Communications
Homesickness
Forced-dispersal
takahashi19421117-10
No, Joe and John are still in grade six they should be in seven but they won’t put them up. Harry is only in 4 but should be in five. Our boss made a covered wagon so they don't’ have to walk to school.

Education
Forced-dispersal
takahashi19421117-11
This letter is only a big jumble but I hope you can read it. I’m signing off here so Good-bye till the next letter.

takahashi19421117-12
Jack Takahashi

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P.S. Tell Don and the others to write because I don’t know there [sic] address

Homesickness
Communications

Mototsune19431228

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Box 167,

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Raymond, Alta.

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Dec. 28/43.

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My dearest Joan,

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I am just writing few lines to tell you how glad I was to receive your package. Thanks a million, Joan. Honestly, I never dreamed of receiving such a lovely gift. Thanks ever so much, again, Joan. The package arrived in good condition after all the careful work you put into it.

Communications
mototsune19431228-6
After I received your gift, I’m really ashamed of how I sent mine and the content inside it. I m [sic] very sorry, but I was rushing and just got what was at hand, and I didn’t get pretty wrapping paper, nor stickers nor anything. I’m really ashamed of myself and next year I’ll know better what & how to send presents.

Communications
Joan
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Did you have a good Christmas Day? Did you have a White Xmas? We didn’t, but I hope you did. Honestly, Christmas day [sic] seemed just as if it were an ordinary day and an autumn weather [sic] – no snow.

Living-conditions
mototsune19431228-8
As a matter of fact, we didn’t have much snow so far this winter as we did last winter; and it seems as if it is warmer too.
2
Living-conditions
mototsune19431228-9
I came home on the morning of the 25th. On Christmas Eve, those folks (The Roddicks) went out from 8:30 P.M. and came back around 11:30 P.M. with a bunch of friends & they didn’t go home till 3:00 in the morning. I had to stay home and put the baby to bed. She slept well until the bunch came and she was up till they went home. Poor kid, I don’t blame her for staying up so late with the radio going on full blast, piano playing, singing carols and talking so loud. On Christmas morning, I slept in till 8:30 A.M. and they slept in till 9:30 A.M. We had breakfast and I finished dishes around 11:00 A.M. Mr. Roddick helped dry the dishes. This was

Labour-conditions
mototsune19431228-10