According to the 2016 Census, 1.6% of the Vancouver metropolitan population identify as having Japanese ethnic origin.[i] The first wave of immigrants from Japan arrived in Canada in late 19th century, and the majority of them resided in British Columbia. As their primary information resource, a Japanese-Canadian newspaper, Tairiku Nippō (大陸日報, Continental Daily News) was published in Vancouver from 1907 until 1941. With generous support from Mr. Naomichi Nishimura, a Director of the Hikone Public Library in Japan, UBC Library created the microform edition in 1987[ii].

With the kind permission from the family of Yasushi Yamazaki (山崎寧), a publisher of the paper, and the metadata provided by Professor Norifumi Kawahara’s research team at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, we have published more than 10,000 issues in Open Collections.


Launch of Vancouver’s Japanese-Canadian Newspaper

Tairiku Nippo was founded on June 22, 1907, in Vancouver by Dosa Iida (飯田道左).[iii] However, it faced financial difficulties within a year[iv], and Iida transferred the publication and management rights to Yamazaki in February 8, 1908.[v] With the exception of the issues published in 1907, UBC Library houses almost all of the original printed papers from 1908 until 1941.

The oldest paper in our collection, published in January 1, 1908, celebrated the new year with:

  • Japanese poetry (the second row from the top in pp.1, the fourth row in pp.3)
  • Opinion columns (from 3rd-7th rows in pp.1, 1st-3rd rows in pp.3),
  • Japan-related news (from 1st-3rd rows in pp.2)
  • Advertisements of local Japanese-Canadian companies (4th-7th rows in pp.2, 5th-7th rows in pp.3, pp.4).

The Continental News, 1908-01-01.


Contents of Tairiku Nippō

The newspaper is an important resource that captures the social lives of Japanese immigrants during this time period. It included news about social and political trends in Japan and the Japanese-Canadian community in British Columbia.

For instance, page 5 from March 18, 1922 has mixed information about:

  • Canada (e.g., Resignation of the prime minister in Manitoba),
  • the US (e.g., Funding support for Japanese female students at the University of Michigan),
  • Japan (e.g., An election in Shizuoka), and
  • Vancouver (e.g., An accident in interurban lines):

Tairku Nippo, 1922-03-18.


Japanese-Canadian Business Advertisements

You can also find out how Japanese-Canadian businesses had developed in Vancouver area from the advertisements. The following page from July 15, 1909, for instance, has an advertisement section from the third row to the eighth row. It includes hotels, restaurants, fisheries, apparels, laundry, import stores, bookstores, funeral services, detectives, and more:

The Continental News, 1909-07-15.


Reports of Wars

You can find articles and photographs about the World Wars in the paper. War reporting included not only Japanese and Canadian involvement, but also other countries. In July 15, 1940, page 5 reports the possibility of conscription for Japanese Canadians (right) with a photograph of a German tank (left).

Tairiku Nippo, 1940-07-15.


Page 3 from November 13, 1941 has a photo of Japanese Marine:

Tairiku Nippo, 1941-11-13.


English section for Nisei (second-generation)

In 1935, Tairiku Nippō started to include English sections targeting young Nisei (second-generation Japanese-Canadians, 二世) whose primary language was English. The first English column, Oh So!, by Frank Watanabe appeared in November 1935:

Tairiku Nippo, 1935-11-18.


In the next month, a regular news summary started to appear twice a week, and increased its frequency to three times a week in 1936. The quotes from March 2, 1939 said:

Tairiku Nippo, 1939-03-02.


The Tairiku Nippo English section published try-weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, serves the second generation Japanese in Canada. Its columns are open to every second generation person or organization and it welcomes contributions at all times. (pp.8)

As the following page shows, the paper included its English section in the last page of the entire paper:

Tairiku Nippo, 1937-11-06.


Pearl Harbor and the End of Publishing

The newspaper was continuously published until December 6, 1941, the day before the Second World War started. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the British Columbia Security Commission suspended the operation of the paper[vi]. All Japanese Canadians were sent to internment camps, road camps and sugar beet farms[vii] (Images from the internment period can be found in the Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection).

The last issue of Tairiku Nippō, published in December 6, 1941, consisted of seven pages in Japanese and one page in English. It was mostly about the Second World War and US-Japan relationships,and discussed the need for US-Japan talks on its first page. While there were many peace-related terms, such as reconciliation (和解, Wakai) and peacekeeping (平和維持, Heiwa Iji), there was no foreshadowing of the imminent US-Japan war.

Tairiku Nippo, 1941-12-06.


After WWII ended, the paper was re-established on December 3, 1948, in Toronto as Tairiku Jihō (The Continental Times) by Yoriki and Midori Iwasaki, a niece of Yamazaki, and was superseded by Kanada Taimusu (The Canada Times) from April 1982 until May 1998 by Harry Kunio Taba.

See also

[i] “Census Profile, 2016 Census, Vancouver, British Columbia” Retrieved from:

[ii] Gonnami, T. (1989). Tairiku Nippo (The Continental Daily News), 1908-1941 on microfilm. Microform & Digitization Review, 18(1), 38-40. doi: 10.1515/mfir.1989.18.1.38

[iii] Gonnami, T. (1940). Buritisshu Koronbia Daigaku Toshokan shozo Nikkei Kanadajin shi kenkyu korekushon: kaiko to tenbo. [The Japanese Canadian research collection at UBC Library: Retrospect and prospect]. doi: 10.14288/1.0041728

[iv] Fujiwara, A. (2010). The myth of the Emperor and the Yamato race: The role of the Tairiku nippô in the promotion of Japanese-Canadian transnational ethnic identity in the 1920s and the 1930s. Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 21(1), 37–58. doi: 10.7202/1003042ar

[v] Page 5 of February 11, 1908

[vi] Gonnami, T. (2001). Preservation projects of Japanese-Canadian materials at UBC Library. Journal of East Asian Libraries, 2001 (124:3), 1-18. Retrieved from

[vii] Japanese Canadians: From immigration to deportation (Library and Archives Canada)


In honour of the 60th anniversary of the Library’s acquisition of the Puban Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections will be hosting bi-weekly tours highlighting items from the Puban Collection throughout the summer, from July 9 to August 20.

The Public Knowledge Project at 21: Activism, Scholarship, Security Patches
A Conversation with Professor John Willinsky

Co-hosted by the UBC Library and the UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies)

Date/location: July 11, 2019, 2:00-3:30pm (a one-hour talk followed by thirty minutes for informal conversation and refreshments)
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Lillooet Room | UBC Vancouver Campus
Light refreshments will be served.

Register in advance at:

On or around December 1998, a UBC professor of education inadvertently stepped out of his field of study and into the realm of scholarly communication, having been thrown off course by a glaring contradiction between teaching the young to read – on the promise that it would open worlds for them – and working in an academic system that needlessly cut such readers off from the world of learning in which he worked. His response was to create a Public Knowledge Project that soon attracted the attention, support, and, at one point, the censure of The University of British Columbia Library. Although this talk begins on a personal note, it soon leaps ahead to the current state of scholarly communication. Here, it sets out PKP’s continuing efforts to open that world of learning take the form of building out open infrastructure in the face of corporate lock-in, initiating economic models for universal open access, and proposing copyright reform as an advance over the legal workarounds of open access policies.


John Willinsky is Professor in Publishing Studies at SFU, where he directs the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), which conducts research and develops open source scholarly publishing software; he is also Khosla Family Professor of Education and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University. A member of the Royal Society of Canada, his books include the “Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED” (Princeton, 1994); “Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire’s End” (Minnesota, 1998); “Technologies of Knowing” (Beacon 2000); and “The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship” (MIT Press, 2006).

Part-time position, in partnership with Public Knowledge Project.

In 2016, John Willinsky was honoured with a SSHRC Impact Award for his work with the Public Knowledge Project.

UPDATE : PDFs now working

PDFs of articles are not downloading for a number of ScienceDirect ejournals.

An error message saying “Something went wrong” appears.

We have reported the problem. Stay tuned!

The list of courses with Indigenous content is now available!


According to the 2019 University of British Columbia Course Calendar and departmental course descriptions, there are 114 courses, from 33 different departments, that have a significant amount of Indigenous content being offered for the Summer 2019 session.

To download the course list click here.

Xwi7xwa does not endorse the courses listed. Courses are added based on descriptions only. Anyone wishing to provide feedback on course content should refer to these confidential resources:

  1. Ombuds Person for Students (if you’re not satisfied with the quality of instruction in a course, the Ombuds Office will help you contact the head of the department the course is offered in)
  2. Equity & Inclusion Offices’s Conflict Engagement
  3. Aboriginal Portal’s Student Life resource page

Visit us for research help, to see our  collections, or to find a place to study. At Xwi7xwa Library everyone is welcome!

MMIWG Selected Titles

  1. Stolen Sisters: the story of two missing girls, their families, and how Canada has failed Indigenous Women by Emmannuelle Walter

In 2014, the nation was rocked by the brutal violence against young Aboriginal women Loretta Saunders, Tina Fontaine and Rinelle Harper. But tragically, they were not the only Aboriginal women to suffer that year. In fact, an official report revealed that since 1980, 1,200 Canadian Aboriginal women have been murdered or have gone missing. This alarming official figure reveals a national tragedy and the systemic failure of law enforcement and of all levels of government to address the issue.

Journalist Emmanuelle Walter spent two years investigating this crisis and has crafted a moving representative account of the disappearance of two young women, Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander, teenagers from western Quebec, who have been missing since September 2008. Via personal testimonies, interviews, press clippings and official documents, Walter pieces together the disappearance and loss of these two young lives, revealing these young women to us through the voices of family members and witnesses.

Find me at UBC Library


  1. Highway of Tears a film by Matt Smiley

Highway of Tears‘ is about the missing or murdered women along a 724 kilometer stretch of highway in northern British Columbia. None of the 18 cold-cases since the 1960’s had been solved, until project E-Pana (a special division of the RCMP) managed to link DNA to Portland drifter, Bobby Jack Fowler with the 1974 murder of 16 year-old hitchhiker, Colleen MacMillen. In Canada, over 600 Aboriginal women have been reported missing or been murdered since the 1960s. Viewers will discover what the effects of generational poverty, residential schools, systemic violence, and high unemployment rates have done to First Nations reserves and how they tie in with the missing and murdered women in the Highway of Tearscases. Aboriginal women are considered abject victims of violence. Now find out what First Nations leaders are doing to try and swing the pendulum in the other direction.

Find me at UBC Library


  1. Injustice in Indian Country: Jurisdiction, American Law, and Sexual Violence Against Native Women by Amy L. Casselman

Living at the intersection of multiple identities in the United States can be dangerous. This is especially true for Native women who live on the more than 56 million acres that comprise America’s Indian country – the legal term for American Indian reservations and other land held in trust for Native people. Today, due to a complicated system of criminal jurisdiction, non-Native Americans can commit crimes against American Indians in much of Indian country with virtual impunity. This has created what some call a modern day ‘hunting ground’ in which Native women are specifically targeted by non-Native men for sexual violence. In this urgent and timely book, author Amy L. Casselman exposes the shameful truth of how the American government has systematically divested Native nations of the basic right to protect the people in their own communities. A problem over 200 years in the making, Casselman highlights race and gender in federal law to challenge the argument that violence against Native women in Indian country is simply collateral damage from a complex but necessary legal structure. Instead, she demonstrates that what’s happening in Indiancountry is part of a violent colonial legacy – one that has always relied on legal and sexual violence to disempower Native communities as a whole. Injustice in Indian Country tells the story of American colonization through the eyes of Native women as they fight for justice. In doing so, it makes critical contributions to the fields of American law and policy, social justice and activism, women’s studies, ethnic studies, American Indian studies, and sociology.

Find me at UBC Library


  1. Will I see? by Davis A. Robertson; illustrated by GMB Chomichuk

May, a young teenage girl, traverses the city streets, finding keepsakes in different places along her journey. When May and her kookum make these keepsakes into a necklace, it opens a world of danger and fantasy. While May fights against a terrible reality, she learns that there is strength in the spirit of those that have passed. But will that strength be able to save her? A story of tragedy and beauty, Will I See illuminates the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Based on the story by Iskwé and Erin Leslie.

Find me at UBC Library


  1. Sans Nimama by Melanie Florence; illustrated by Francois Thisdale

A young mother, one of the many missing indigenous women, watches over her small daughter as she grows up without her nimama. Together, but separated, they experience important milestones: the first day of school, first dance, first date, a wedding, and new life. A free-verse story of love, loss, and acceptance told in alternating voices, Missing Nimama shows the human side of a national tragedy. An afterword by the author provides a simple, age-appropriate context for young readers.

Find me at UBC Library


  1. Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country.
The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.
As documented in the Final Report, testimony from family members and survivors of violence spoke about a surrounding context marked by multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalization in the form of poverty, insecure housing or homelessness and barriers to education, employment, health care and cultural support. Experts and Knowledge Keepers spoke to specific colonial and patriarchal policies that displaced women from their traditional roles in communities and governance and diminished their status in society, leaving them vulnerable to violence.

Find the report online


Upcoming: we are currently developing a MMIWG research guide


Xwi7xwa would like to thank Andrea Groban-Oakunsheyld for allowing us to use their image in this spotlight series.

Xwi7xwa would like to thank Elena Pederson, Publications & Web Services Assistant, from UBC Education Library for her work on designing our digital signage.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, one of our most well-known and beloved special collections, contains material related to three broad and interrelated themes: early British Columbia history, immigration and settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Chung Collection contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items (documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, ceramic ware and other artifacts), and selections from the collection are on display in RBSC, organized to show some of the most compelling stories of Canada’s past.

To accompany our weekly Wednesday drop-in tours, Rare Books and Special Collections offers weekly tours of the Chung Collection exhibition space. The weekly drop-in tours are held every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre!

If you are unable to make the drop-in tour, you are welcome to browse the exhibition anytime RBSC is open, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521.

Buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express are the main transit options in the Greater Vancouver area today. However, Open Collections has many images of the railroads and streetcars that used to line our streets. From 1897 until 1958, the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) operated streetcars and interurbans, which were the major transportation options for people at that time.

Granville St., Vancouver, B.C., Post office, bank commerce & depot, [between 1908 and 1911?].

Brief History of Streetcars and Interurbans in BC

The first streetcar services in BC began in Victoria, operated by the National Electric Tramway and Lighting Company Ltd., in February 1890. Four months later, the first regular streetcar service was started in Vancouver by Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Company Ltd. By October 1891, the service area was expanded to New Westminster by the Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company. The company also launched Canada’s longest interurban line between Vancouver and New Westminster. Eventually, the three companies merged as the British Columbia Electric Railway Company Limited (BCER) on April 3, 1897, and started to manage all of the transportation services.

Map and guide to Vancouver street car and interurban lines, 1923.

British Columbia Electric Railway Company. Tips for tourists: interurban trips over B.C. Electric Railway system, in vicinity of Vancouver, British Columbia, [1913?].

The following are photographs depicting streetcars in BC from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs:

Park Drive, Grand View, [between 1903 and 1908?].

[View of a trolley car on Davie Street, Vancouver], [between 1900 and 1910?].

[Sketch of interior of Main Street streetcar, Vancouver, B.C.], [not after 1914].


You can also find interurban lines in the BC Historical Books Collection:

British Columbia Electric Railway Company. British Columbia Electric Railway Co. Ltd. : N.E.L.A. Convention, Seattle, June 10-14, 1912, [1912].

British Columbia Electric Railway Company. B.C. Electric Handbook and Directory, 1929.

British Columbia Electric Railway Company. Tips for tourists: interurban trips over B.C. Electric Railway system, in vicinity of Vancouver, British Columbia, [1913?].

Observation Streetcars

Around 1909, BCER purchased the designs of open-air sightseeing cars from the Montreal Tramways Company and constructed the cars in New Westminster. Thadeous (Teddy) Sylvester Lyons was a popular tour conductor, known for his wit and jokes while operating this service until it stopped running in 1950.

[B.C. Electric Railway Co. tour conducted by Ted Lyons, Vancouver, B.C.], [between 1923 and 1949?].

UBC Motor Buses

Motor buses were the main transit option for students and employees heading to UBC. In Carrying the People ([1929]) by British Columbia Electric Railway Company, UBC was considered the busiest route:

The U.B.C. Rush

Consider the problem of the University. Between 8 o’clock and 9.15 in the morning, transportation is required for more than fifteen hundred students and no sooner is this accomplished than the traffic falls off to nothing. In the afternoon the same surge occurs in the opposite direction and then zero in traffic again. […] There is no busier spot in Vancouver than this transfer point as the University rush is at its height each morning. (pp.7-8)

UBC 93.1/18. University bus, 1926.

British Columbia Electric Railway Company. Carrying the People, [1929].

The End of Streetcars/Interurbans Services

Around the time of the Second World War, the BCER streetcar and interurban services were approaching their end due to the high cost of maintaining the train tracks. The BCER decided to do “Rails-to-Rubbers” conversion throughout the entire transit system, changing from streetcars using tracks to buses with rubber tires.

The final run of Vancouver’s streetcar was in 1955. The last interurban car ran between Marpole and Stevenson on February 28, 1958, and the rail passenger service by BCER ended.

Ever since the BC government took over the BCER in 1961, we have used “rubber” buses and automated trains as our primary transportation tools in BC. At UBC Vancouver campus, there are 15 bus routes to Metro Vancouver and two routes serving on-campus areas today.

UBC 1.1/15762. Students boarding bus in front of Home Economics Building, 1971.


If you want to explore more materials about BC transportation history, please visit our Open Collections.


Ya Min Wu has worked at UBC Library for the last five years. But his experience working with Chinese rare books goes back even earlier.

“Before I came to Canada [in 2001], I worked in a public library in China, Liaoning Provincial Library. I was there for about 15 years,” he says. “I primarily worked on the Chinese rare books, so I have lots of time spent on rare books authentication, cataloguing and some preservation.”

Moving from China to Canada with his family, he switched tracks to work in business and manufacturing in Vancouver for the next decade before returning to library work at a small company in Burnaby that provided library services to the Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver Public Libraries. Later, when an opportunity came up to work at UBC Library, he joined the Technical Services team in 2014 to work with Chinese language materials.

“UBC has a great Chinese rare book collection. It’s a huge collection, outside China,” he says, noting that the entire collection includes about 4,000 titles in 60,000 volumes, making UBC a top-tier research library for Chinese Studies in North America.

One of his first major projects at the library was to work on Discovering Modern China, a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) project that involved close collaboration between UBC’s Asian Library and the University of Washington East Asia Library to catalogue large volumes of valuable but hidden scholarly material: “At Asian Library there are lots of uncatalogued materials that have not been touched before. We worked very hard, together with some student assistants and Asian Library’s Chinese Studies Librarian to originally catalogue more than 1,000 items in one year.”

In 2018, the library got funding support through donors to work on the Puban Collection, UBC’s largest Chinese rare books collection, consisting of 45,000 volumes spanning subject fields like history, literature, philology and philosophy. Ya Min’s work is now centered on the Puban Collection, both cataloguing the collection and planning for its future storage, preservation, conservation and digitization.

“The project is focused on how to organize and make the Puban Collection support teaching and research. For the past 60 years, the collection has helped to make UBC Asian Studies one of the best in the world,” he says. “So how can it benefit new students in the future? This is the project.”

In honour of the 60th anniversary of the Library’s acquisition of the Puban Collection in 1959, Ya Min Wu will be hosting bi-weekly tours highlighting items from the collection at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. Learn more about the tours.

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