Joy Kogawa, Poet and Novelist

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Born in Vancouver in 1935, Joy Kogawa and her family were forcibly sent to internment camps along with 22,000 other Japanese-Canadians during WWII.

Her well-known novel Obasan(1981), which reflects her childhood experience in the internment camps, has been named as one of the most important books in Canadian history by the Literary Review of Canada . She is active in the fight for government redress.

In 2005, the Save Kogawa House Committee launched a campaign and successfully prevented Kogawa’s childhood home from being demolished. The campaign believes that the house stands as a cultural and historical reminder of the expropriation of property that all Canadians of Japanese descent experienced.

Listen to her on “This I Believe”

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