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Joy Kogawa


Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935 to Japanese-Canadian parents. During World War II, Joy and her family were forced to move to Slocan, British Columbia, an injustice Ms. Kogawa addresses in her 1981 novel Obasan. She has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and was active in the fight for official governmental redress. Ms. Kogawa studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. Her most recent poetic publication is A Garden of Anchors. The long poem A Song of Lilith, published in 2000 with art by Lilian Broca, retells the story of Lilith, the mythical first partner to Adam. In 1986 Ms. Kogawa was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2006 she was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia. In 2010 the Japanese government honored Ms. Kogawa with the Order of the Rising Sun "for her contribution to the understanding and preservation of Japanese Canadian history.” Ms. Kogawa currently lives in Toronto.

Articles written by this presenter are available on-line.

Speaker Events

Friday, July 5

Poetic License? Nikkei Writers and the Representation of History [AUDIO]
Naomi Hirahara, Author
Joy Kogawa, Writer
Juliet S. Kono, Associate Professor, Leeward Community College
Stephen H. Sumida, Ph.D., Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington

Time: 3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Redwood A & B
Topic: Speaking Up

Saturday, July 6

Border Crossings: A Comparative Assessment of Japanese American and Japanese Canadian Redress [AUDIO]
Art Hansen, Professor Emeritus, History and Asian American Studies, California State University, Fullerton
Joy Kogawa, Writer
Mitchell T. Maki, Ph.D., Vice Provost, Academic Affairs, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Judge Maryka Omatsu

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Redwood A & B
Topic: Basic Introduction