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Aya's Story
Langham Cultural Centre
Kaslo , British Columbia


   Aya Higashi, born on
Canada’s west coast, has
lived most of her adult life
in Kaslo, British Columbia.
She never chose to grow up
there. But after the 1941
attack on Pearl Harbor,
Japanese Canadians, newly
labeled enemy aliens, were
uprooted and sent to work or

to internment camps. Their
homes, businesses and
possessions were confiscated
and sold. Their families were
broken up. They lost the
rights and freedoms that most
Canadians take for granted.
   Aya Higashi was among
them: the government
relocated her, along with

1,200 other internees, to
abandoned, decrepit hotels
and houses in Kaslo, tripling
the former ghost town’s pre-
war population. While her
story is unique, wartime
tribulations were common to
all Japanese Canadians: hers
is only one of 22,000 such
stories to be told about this

lamentable time in Canada’s
history and the diaspora it
   The Langham Cultural
Society now owns the heritage
hotel that housed 80
internees during the 1940s.
This exhibition, created by
Brent Bukowski, Ian Fraser,
Aya Higashi and Alice Windsor

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