Japanese in Montreal

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Montreal has a Japanese Canadian community which was established during World War II as the Canadian government forced ethnic Japanese to leave Canada' west coast. This community increased in the post-war period as Japanese persons wished to re-establish themselves in a new city.

History

In 1942 the Canadian government forced ethnic Japanese to move from areas on the West Coast of Canada, so many moved to Montreal. The authors of "The Chameleon Character of Multilingual Literacy Portraits: Researching in "Heritage" Language Places and Spaces" stated that in the immediate post-World War II period, the Japanese in Montreal had a "long invisible presence".[1] Reiko Yoshida, the author of the PhD thesis "Political economy, transnationalism, and identity : students at the Montreal Hoshuko," interviewed a Japanese Canadian at the Montreal Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre; according to the interview many Japanese arrived in Montreal since they could get a fresh start and not stand out.[2]

Due to requests from Japanese national parents, the Montreal Hokusho School opened in 1972.[3] The Japanese population increased in the 1970s. The opening of two Japanese schools, including Montreal Hokusho, and economic expansion in both Japan and Montreal contributed to the expansion of the Japanese population.[4]

Geographic distribution

As of 2003 there was no particular place where ethnic Japanese were concentrated.[5] E. Bourgault wrote in Perspectives on the Japanese Canadian Experience in Quebec (Repartir a Zero; Perspectives sur/ L’Experience des Canadiens d’Origine Japonaise au Quebec) that Japanese in Montreal historically "lived relatively anonymously" and that they "have avoided visible concentration as a collective, hoping to blend in, unnoticed into the larger population."[6]

Demographics

Tomoko Makebe stated in The Canadian Sansei that the 1991 Canadian Census indicated that 2,360 Japanese Canadians resided in Montreal.[6] This figure remained constant, around 2,000, as of the 2011 Census.[7] As of 2003 the Japanese community of Montreal was smaller than that of the city's Armenian and Chinese communities,[6] and as of 2014 the ethnic Japanese make up less than 1% of the city's population.[6]

According to the 2011 Census, 510 of the Japanese people in Montreal spoke Japanese at home and a total of 1,280 indicated that Japanese was their native language, meaning that more than 50% of the total number of ethnic Japanese in Montreal do not speak Japanese at home. Dr. Alison Crump, author of the PhD thesis "'But your face, it looks like you’re English': LangCrit and the experiences of multilingual Japanese-Canadian children in Montréal," noted that these Census figures should be interpreted as estimates since the data do not indicate whether racially mixed children with one Japanese parent are counted in the figures. She noted that many Japanese in the city are in relationships with non-Japanese, which could contribute to the low percentage of individuals who reported speaking Japanese at home.[7]

As of 2014 Japanese nationals who study and/or work in Montreal and recent immigrants to Canada make up large portions of ethnic Japanese in the city. Many of the recent immigrants have married Canadian persons.[8]

Institutions

The various Japanese organizations in Montreal provide cohesion for the Japanese community.[9]

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal (JCCCM; Centre Culturel Canadian Japonais de Montreal, モントリオール日系文化会館 Montoriōru Nikkei Bunka Kaikan),[10] serves as a meeting centre for ethnic Japanese and other persons, a Japanese-language library, and offers kodomo-kai (child playgroups), ikebana (flower arrangement) classes, and Japanese as a second language classes. It was established in 1975. Every August the organization conducts the Matsuri Japon ("Japan Festival").[8] The Japanese Canadian History and Archives Committee (JCHAC) is a part of the JCCCM and began actively preserving the history of the community in both Montreal and Canada in 1982.[11]

Education

There are two supplementary Japanese schools in Montreal: the Montreal Japanese Language Centre (MJLC; Centre de la langue Japonaise de Montréal; モントリオール日本語センター Montoriōru Nihongo Sentā),[12] and the Montreal Hokusho School Inc.; the Japanese Ministry of Education designates the latter as a hoshū jugyō kō, a supplementary school for Japanese expatriates.[13]

The Montreal Hokusho, established in 1972,[8] serves both Japanese nationals and Japanese Canadians,[3] and its classes are held at the Trafalgar School for Girls.[14]

Japanese parents established the MJLC in 1976,[12] and it is held at the Collège Notre-Dame.[15] The JLC offers a Japanese school year-based trimester Japanese program for children aged three and older, as well as Japanese classes for adults and children who are learning it as a second language.[8]

See also

References

  • Crump, Alison. "“But your face, it looks like you’re English:” LangCrit and the experiences of multilingual Japanese-Canadian children in Montréal" (Archive) (PhD thesis). McGill University, July 2014. Record at McGill University. See: "Japanese Community in Montreal" p. 118.
  • Maguire, Mary H. (McGill University). "Identity and Agency in Primary Trilingual Children’s Multiple Cultural Worlds: Third Space and Heritage Languages" (Archive). In: Cohen, James, Kara T. McAlister, Kellie Rolstad, and Jeff MacSwan (editors). ISB4: Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism. Conference held from April 30 to May 3, 2003. Published May 2005. p. 1423-1445.
  • Maguire, Mary H., Ann J. Beer, Hourig Attarian, Diane Baygin, Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen, and Reiko Yoshida (McGill University). "The Chameleon Character of Multilingual Literacy Portraits: Researching in "Heritage" Language Places and Spaces" (Chapter 7). In: Anderson, Jim, Maureen Kendrick, Theresa Rogers, and Suzanne Smythe (editors). Portraits of Literacy Across Families, Communities, and Schools: Intersections and Tensions. Routledge, May 6, 2005. Start page 141. ISBN 1135615535, 9781135615536.

Notes

  1. ^ Maguire, et al, p. 161.
  2. ^ Maguire, p. 1440 (PDF p. 18/24).
  3. ^ a b Maguire, et al, p. 162.
  4. ^ Maguire, et al, p. 161-162.
  5. ^ Maguire, p. 1439 (PDF p. 17/24). "The other two schools, the Chinese Shonguo and Japanese Hoshuko are privately funded, rent space for their Saturday schools from mainstream educational institutions, and thus have no visible identifiable logo or physical presence as a particular "heritage language school"."
  6. ^ a b c d Maguire, p. 1438 (PDF p. 16/24). "The other two schools, the Chinese Shonguo and Japanese Hoshuko are privately funded, rent space for their Saturday schools from mainstream educational institutions, and thus have no visible identifiable logo or physical presence as a particular "heritage language school"."
  7. ^ a b Crump, p. 118.
  8. ^ a b c d Crump, p. 119.
  9. ^ Maguire, p. 1438-1439 (PDF p. 16-17/24). "Although Japanese Canadians have lived relatively anonymously in Montreal since they arrived in the early forties, they have always maintained contact with each other through various community organizations and groups. This kind of networking was essential in the early days following their wartime persecution and it has developed, through the years, into the very structured community on which they are dependent today. (p. 24)"
  10. ^ Home page (Archive). Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal. Retrieved on April 2, 2015. "8155 rue Rousselot, Montreal, Queec [sic], H2E 1Z7, Canada"
  11. ^ "Japanese Canadian History and Archives Committee of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montréal Collection". McGill Library Archival Catalogue. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  12. ^ a b Home page(English) (Archive). Montreal Japanese Language Centre. Retrieved on April 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在)." () MEXT. Retrieved on May 5, 2014. "モントリオール Montreal Hoshuko School Inc Trafalgar School for Girls, 3495 Simpson, Montreal, Quebec H3G 2J7, CANADA"
  14. ^ "所在地." Montreal Hoshuko School. Retrieved on March 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "Location of center" (Archive). Montreal Japanese Language Centre. Retrieved on April 2, 2015. "Location of center Collège Notre-Dame 3791 chemin Queen Mary Montréal, Québec H3T 1X8"

Further reading

  • Yoshida, Reiko. "Political economy, transnationalism, and identity : students at the Montreal Hoshuko" (Master's degree thesis) (Archive). McGill University. August 2001. Information page. Unpublished thesis cited by Mary H. Maguire.

External links

  • From Montreal - A forum for Japanese persons in Montreal (mentioned in Crump p. 121)
  • Japanese Canadian History and Archives Committee of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montréal Collection McGill University Archives.
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