A family forced from home. A Tea House in ruins. The past forgotten. And now, four generations later, a new beginning.
Kensuke’s Tea House in Esquimalt’s Gorge Park was a famous destination. But when he was forcibly moved to an internment camp during the Second World War, local residents looted and destroyed the Tea House. With his home and business in ruins, Kensuke decided to move east. Four generations later, Kensuke’s great-grandson Dillon has moved to Victoria and is building a life in the same community that once rejected his family. Only now things are different. A campaign to rebuild the Tea House as a community centre is in full-swing. As new facts surface, the family is learning more about their heritage, about themselves, and about the community they call home. Rebuild | Redress follows the Takata family’s story and explores how our community can recognize the past and build a better future.
We are a multidisciplinary team with a wide range of skills and experiences to draw from. Our team features historians, community members, filmmakers, and instructional designers, all coming together to tell this important story about our community.
As the Project Director of the Landscapes of Injustice, Jordan brings a wealth of knowledge about the internment and dispossession of Japanese Canadians on BC's coast. Jordan is involved with the campaign to rebuild the Tea House. He is also the editor of the book "Witness to Loss: Race, Culpability, and Memory in the Dispossession of Japanese Canadians."
Jessica is the Archives and Records Coordinator of the Township of Esquimalt. She can speak to the records in the Town's archives, including the Takata fonds and the wide variety of documents and resources about Japanese Canadians in Esquimalt.
Brittany is the Associate Director at the Maritime Museum of BC and was involved in the museum's recent exhibit "The Lost Fleet: The Seizure of Japanese Canadian Fishing Vessels in World War II." Brittany can speak to why acknowledging and remembering this history is important for our local community.
Sherri Robinson is a Volunteer Archivist and long-time resident in Esquimalt. Sherri remembers the Takata family in Esquimalt and is connected to the history of the community and the gardens.
Moussa is a Human Rights Education Advisor who specializes in creating safe and inclusive communities. He can speak to the steps that we as individuals and as a community can take together to ensure that our neighbourhoods and communities are moving forward together.
Dillon isn't the only Takata with a connection to the Tea House. We'll talk with other members of the Takata family to learn more about how the Tea House story has impacted them, personally and as a family.
Ann-Lee and Gordon Switzer are historians and authors of both "Gateway to Promise: Canada's First Japanese Community" and "Sakura in Store: Victoria's Japanese Legacy." The two authors have done extensive work with Victoria's Japanese Canadian Community and its elders, and can speak to the historical impacts of internment as well as the legacies that still stand in Victoria as reminders of that first Japanese Canadian community.
The documentary team for this project includes Instructional Designers and Educational Advisors in order to ensure that the finished product aligns with BC Provincial Prescribed learning outcomes and competencies, especially for students grades 8-12. The documentary will be designed to supplement classroom content, especially for Civic Studies and History Classes. Lesson Plans and Education Packages will be developed in tandem with the documentary so that classroom teachers can easily include the film in their activities and studies.
Regular film evenings and festivals are sponsored by groups including the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society. This documentary will be submitted to these organizations and festivals for consideration and may be featured at film nights or events for the Japanese Canadian Community in Victoria and across Canada.
In coordination with the museum exhibit being developed by the Landscapes of Injustice Project, this documentary will be sent for consideration to museums and galleries in Victoria and across Canada, and may be featured alongside exhibits telling the story of Japanese Canadian dispossession and internment.