The war years considered here were brief but the Japanese Canadian presence in New Denver, anchored for many years by the sanatorium, has continued to the present. As those who had lived in the camps during the war aged and died, others have tended their memory. Few of Japanese ancestry now maintain the Kohan Memorial Garden; the Village of New Denver is responsible for the Nikkei Museum. Such affection stretches well back in time, perhaps even to the difficult years of WW II.
I could not have written what follows without a great deal of help. English cousins, Walford Gillison and Frances Clemmow, provided information about members of the Harris family’s missionary work in China and internment there during WW II. Momoko Ito, manager of the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver, made the museum’s collections available to me and offered important early advice. Frank Moritsugu, journalist and author of a book on Japanese teachers in the camps, alerted me to my grandfather’s writings on the Japanese Canadians in the British Columbia Archives. Gordon Butt permitted me to use the photo collection in New Denver’s Silvery Slocan Museum. The following commented on drafts of the manuscript and provided essential advice: Slocan friends Tsuneko Kokubo, Paul Gibbons, and Taeko Miwa; academic friends Jordan Stanger-Ross, Peter Ward, and Peter Ennals; my son Douglas Harris and niece Ellen Pond; and, at the Nikkei National Museum, Beth Carter and Linda Reid. Eric Leinberger, cartographer, redrafted the Saito map. Art Joyce designed the booklet with efficiency and skill, and Anne Champagne did as much with the copy editing.
—Cole Harris, Vancouver, B.C.,
January 4, 2015