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In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
A group of nurses and patients on the front steps of the Japanese Hospital in Steveston
Japanese Hospital. A group of nurses and patients on the front steps of the Japanese Hospital in Steveston. Circa 1897.
City of Richmond Archives, 1978 14 11.
A group of nurses and patients on the front steps of the Japanese Hospital in Steveston

Japanese in the Industry

From the beginning, British Columbia's Japanese immigrants proved to be hard working and successful gillnet fishermen.

Japanese fishermen began arriving in British Columbia in the late 1870s. By the 1880s, many had arrived in Steveston. They were employed by the salmon canneries to fish in the summer and build boats in the winter. News of the canneries and the abundant salmon soon made its was way back to Japan. Many Japanese fishermen from poor villages decided to come to Canada. They hoped to earn enough money to return to a comfortable life in Japan. During the 1890s, more and more Japanese men arrived on the Fraser River to make a living from fishing.

Click here to learn more about Japanese during the early days in the industry.

Click here to learn more about the Japanese during the World War II Internment years.

Click here to learn more about the Japanese in the industry after World War II.

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