A police or military regulation requiring persons to keep off the streets after a designated hour. Order-in-Council of Feb. 24, 1942 restricted all Japanese Canadians to their homes from sunset to sunrise within the 100 mile protected area on the coast of BC. The RCMP enforced restrictions on personal freedom.

enemy alien
An alien (foreigner) living in a country that is at war with his country of ancestry. A term used in government notices and in the media to describe all Japanese Canadians as enemies of the state. The term was applied regardless of birthplace or citizenship and required no proof of crimes against Canada.

To move out or remove from a threatened area or place. This term was incorrectly used for the removal of all people of Japanese ancestry from the “protected area” on the Pacific coastline to places at least 160 kilometres inland as documented in PC 1486, February 24, 1942. This process led to the eventual resettlement of over 15,000 Japanese Canadians outside of their original homes in British Columbia.

Executive Orders
In the United States, a presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a federal statute, a constitutional provision, or a treaty without the need for Congressional approval.


To force a person to leave one's country, community, or province as punishment. Banishment. Japanese Canadians were forced to leave the coast of British Columbia and later were told to prove their loyalty by moving “east of the Rockies” or be “repatriated” to Japan, a country many had never seen.

The right to vote. Japanese in Canada were denied the franchise in provincial elections until 1948 and in federal elections until 1949.

To be put in prison. Japanese Canadians were incarcerated in prisoner-of-war camps and in internment camps.

The act of confining or detaining “belligerent” or “enemy nationals” during wartime. People of Japanese ancestry were removed from the West Coast and dispersed to work camps, sugar beet farms, and internment camps in the interior of BC for the duration of the war and an additional 4 years after the end of World War II. The liberties and movement of all internees were closely monitored and severely restricted until 1949.

issei (ee-say) - first generation settlement in Canada.
nisei (nee-say) - second generation settlement in Canada
sansei (sun-say) - third generation settlement in Canada
yonsei (yon-say) - fourth generation settlement in Canada

Nikkei (nee-kay)
Means ethnically Japanese. Nikkei Kanadajin means Canadian of Japanese ethnicity. This term is important because it separates ethnicity from citizenship and self-identification.

Order in Council
A type of legislation in Canada and other Commonwealth realms. In Canada, the government usually drafts the legislation, which is submitted for formal approval to the Queen’s Privy Council, and approved by the Governor General. Orders-in-council are not discussed by Parliament prior to approval. Order in Council PC 1486, February 24, 1942 led to the mass uprooting of Japanese Canadians.

protected area
An area extending 100 miles (about 160 kilometers) from the coast of BC to the Cascade Mountains was deemed a secure area. This designation gave justification and support for the public and political forces that removed Japanese Canadians from coastal settlements in BC.

To move to another place. Besides the earlier “evacuation” in 1942, this term also includes the forced removal and movement of Japanese Canadians at the end of the war with Japan in 1945. As documented in a Department of Labour order, Japanese who were loyal to Canada were expected to prove their loyalty by moving “east of the Rocky Mountains.” This order was given in concert with an offer of repatriation to Japan in 1945 - 46. In practical terms all people of Japanese ancestry were pressured to leave BC.

At the end of the war Japanese Canadians were strongly pressured to establish themselves outside of British Columbia. Over 9,000 Japanese Canadians made new homes in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The policy was designed to disperse those of Japanese ancestry throughout Canada. However, the federal government failed to recognize that Japanese Canadians were not welcome in Moose Jaw any more than they were in Vancouver, and were being sent to another hostile environment. Not until 1949 were Japanese Canadians allowed to return to the “protected area” within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the Pacific Ocean.

Many of these definitions are used courtesy of