Kishizo Kimura fonds


general material designation


Textual records and graphic materials


72 cm of textual records ; 11 b&w photographs ; 211 digital images






scope and content


The fonds consists of seven series of material assembled by Kishizo Kimura over the course of his life. The first series consists of Kimura’s personal five year agenda (1941 -1945) and documents contained therein. The second series consists of Kimura’s memoirs. The third series pertains to his time with the Canada Salted Herring Export sales company and the BC Salted salmon Export Sales Company. The fourth series relates to his experience on the Japanese Fishing Boat Disposition Committee (JFVDC) in 1942 and the sale of fishing boats owned by Japanese Canadians. The fifth series pertains to Kimura’s time in 1943 on the Advisory Committee for the disposition of Japanese-owned properties that were being held by the Custodian. The sixth series relates to Kimura’s life after his time on the Advisory Committee for the Disposal of Japanese Owned Properties (1944-). The seventh series consists of digital family photographs.




Mr. Kishizo Kimura was born on May 27, 1899 in the Village of Hikona, an incorporated part of the present city of Yanago, Tottori-ken as the third son of Tsunejiro Matsushita and his wife Taki.



On October 12, 1902, Mr. Kimura was legally adopted by Tamotsu Kimura and his wife Mumeno to be their heir. The elder Kimura owned a brewery in a hamlet called Kojotsu in the Village of Nakahama, part of the present city of Sakaiminato.



In 1911, Mr. Kimura accompanied his adopted mother to Kobe to board the Panama Maru of Osaka Shosen bound for Canada. Mr. Kimura's adopted father, who had already immigrated to Canada, arranged to have them join him. They arrived in Victoria, British Columbia on June 29, 1911, and were reunited with the elder Kimura. After a few days of rest and sightseeing, the family departed for Vancouver, British Columbia.



At that time, Mr. Kimura had completed only five years of schooling at an elementary school in Nakahama. In order to continue his education after his arrival in Vancouver, Mr. Kimura took a job as a newspaper carrier for the Tairiku Nippo, and moved into its boarding house.



Mr. Kimura started to attend the Japanese National Elementary School in September 1911, and completed his six years of mandatory education in April of the following year. He attended Strathcona School, and completed two and a half years of junior high school.



In 1915, he commenced to work as a labourer in various sawmills and lumber yards to help support the family. Whenever he found spare time, he studied Japanese and book-keeping. In 1918, he obtained a position at the Import Department of Ogawa Shokai, an importer and distributor of Japanese sundry goods. In 1920, Mr. Kimura moved to Ito Shokai an exporter of salted herring and salmon.



Based on the experience he gained dealing in salted fish sales, Mr. Kimura persuaded salted fish producers, who were increasing in number and competitiveness, to establish a cooperative marketing company. Canada Salted Herring Export Sales Company was established in 1934. Then in 1935, Mr. Kimura established BC Salted Salmon Export Sales Company, another cooperative for control of shipment and negotiations for commercial processing of salted fish. Mr. Kimura became the executive director for both organizations, which continued their operations until the start of World War II.



In 1942, Mr. Kimura served on the Japanese Fishing Boat Disposition Committee that was involved in the sale of fishing boats owned by residents of Japanese extraction. These boats were impounded by the Canadian Government shortly after the Japan's entry in World War II in 1941. He also served for a brief period in 1943 on the Advisory Committee for the disposition of Japanese-owned properties that were being held by the Custodian.



Mr. Kimura married Haruno Makino on August 10, 1929. They settled into a house on McGill Street in Vancouver, BC They raised five children, two sons, Edmund and Gregory, and three daughters, Florence, Blanche and Beatrice.



Mr. Kimura and family moved to Alpine Lodge Community at Christina Lake, BC. In October 1942. This former resort location became the residences for approximately 100 Japanese Canadians who re-located from coastal BC Initially, the family temporarily stayed in rooms at Alpine Inn, and later moved to a lakeshore cabin. A two-room rural school for elementary and high school students was established for the children. Most of the men at the community were employed at Sandner Brothers Sawmill at the south end of Christina Lake and its logging operations around the lake. Mr. Kimura, following his tenure with the Custodian, became the book-keeper and later general foreman at Sandner Brothers Sawmill.



Following the end of World War II, Alpine Lodge Community was disbanded, and the family along with eight other families moved to Christina Lake Community close to the sawmill where new houses were built in 1946. All families readily integrated and participated in various activities at this new location. The children bussed to Grand Forks to attend school.



Mr. Kimura continued to work at the sawmill until 1961 when he retired and moved to Vancouver where he was able to re-acquaint and enjoy the company and association with a number of old friends.



Mrs. Kimura passed away in May 1967 following a brief illness. Mr. Kimura continued to enjoy the company of family and friends, especially visits from the grandchildren. However, with advancing age and failing health, he passed away on August 3, 1976 at the age of 77.









Nikkei National Museum