This Jap Who Won B.C. Scholarship, newspaper, 1946 (?)
It is interesting to speculate on what must be running through the mind of young George Yano who has just won a $175 scholarship in senior matriculation examinations.
Yano’s educational life has not been easy as that of most students in this province. Because his parents were Japanese, this young Canadian had to leave his native Vancouver a few years back and go to the interior of the province. Regular educational facilities were denied him, so he commenced study by correspondence course, being determined on a university career.
Yano has been unable to join any of the armed services of his country because his country wouldn’t accept Canadians of Japanese ancestry. He must, indeed, be a very bewildered boy. He looks a few miles from Slocan into the United States and sees American-born Japanese living anywhere they wish in their country. He knows he will not be able to vote in two years, even though the amended elections act says persons of racial origin may if they are in uniform. But then, he wasn’t allowed in uniform. Yet he knows very well from reading the papers that thousands of Americans of similar ancestry are among the United States’ most decorated soldiers. He would probably like to attend university in the fall, but the university is in Vancouver and he’s not allowed to live in Vancouver.
Being no doubt an intelligent youth—most Canadian youth is intelligent—he must be a little baffled about this so-called repatriation to Japan. Looking up repatriation in the dictionary he finds it means “return or restoration to one’s own country.” He must wonder where on earth is the country of a person born in Canada, if it isn’t Canada. Until Pearl Harbor he had been led to believe Canada was his country, for wasn’t he born here?
He probably can’t make head or tail of the whole thing, and small
wonder. He doesn’t
What is Yano’s future in his native land? Nobody can tell—least of all the young man himself. In the meantime, in the most precious years of his life, he drifts from pillar to post, his path seemingly very short, certainly very troubled and full of stones and ugly weeds.