In 1942, the landscape of Maple Ridge was forever changed when all citizens of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in internment camps. Dispossessed of their land and possessions, many had nothing to return to when they were allowed back in 1949. Of the 300 families from Maple Ridge who were interned, only 7 returned.
Their land was sold and subdivided, their houses were eventually torn down and redeveloped, and eventually many people simply forgot that Maple Ridge once had a thriving Japanese Canadian community, with their own agricultural association, community hall, Buddhist churches, and kindergarten. Today we can find evidence of the vast orchards many of the settlers planted in the form of fruit trees in local parks that used to be Japanese Canadian land.
Click here to learn more about the history of Japanese Canadian settlers in Maple Ridge
In honour of our exhibit, What Was Taken: The Forced Dispersal of Japanese Canadians in Maple Ridge we are encouraging people to practice hanami, the art of flower viewing.
At Maple Ridge Museum:
• View What Was Taken: The Forced Dispersal of Japanese Canadians in Maple Ridge decorated in blossoms.
• Check our map to see if you live on former Japanese Canadian land.
• Take home a craft, colouring pages, and a map to find the first apple trees planted on Maple Ridge.
Flower Viewing Contest:
• Check out our interactive map of historical flowering trees in Maple Ridge, as well as other pretty flowering tree viewing spots in Maple Ridge.
• Between April 1 and 21, visit these spots, take a photo, and either post it on social media, tag us, and include #MRTreesInBloom, or contact us with proof that you visited. You will receive a bonus entry for each post/place that you visit.
• Between April 1 and 21, order a sakura latte at Vanilla Bean Bakeshop, take a photo, and share it on social media. Tag us and include #MRTreesInBloom for an extra entry. Vanilla Bean Bakeshop will be donating 10% of every sakura latte and iced sakura latte sold between April 1-21 back to the museum to help us facilitate more free programs and events.
We will be drawing for the prize during the last week of April. The prize will be from a Maple Ridge business. We will update this page as soon as we have confirmed the prize.