Skip header and navigation

1 records – page 1 of 1.

Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
32.5
Length
17.5
Diameter
17.5
Description
BLACK AND SILVER GLAZED, CERAMIC VASE WITH RED AND GOLD DESIGNS PAINTED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE VASE. ONE DESIGN SHOWCASES A CRANE FLYING TOWARDS A TREE BRANCH, WHILE THE OTHER SHOWCASES TWO CRANES PERCHED ON A LARGE TREE BRANCH BENEATH A RED DISC/MOON. “MADE IN JAPAN” IS STAMPED INTO BASE OF VASE. CONDITION: THE LIP OF THE VASE HAS A 4.3 CM CHIP AND IS MISSING 7.6 CM ALONG TOP EDGE. LOOSE OF PAINT AND OVERALL FINISH OF DESIGN. SLIGHT CHIPPING AROUND BASE.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
FURNISHINGS
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THAT THIS VASE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” THIS VASE WAS VISIBLE THROUGHOUT MRS. NISHIYAMA’S CHILDHOOD. SHE EXPLAINED, “[THE VASE] WAS MORE AN EVERYDAY THING.” IT WAS PLACED BY THE DOOR OF THE FARM HOUSE. AND “[THE] ONLY THING THAT WAS IN THERE WAS [MY MOTHER’S] UMBRELLA.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S HAIR ORNAMENTS AND COMB ALSO DONATED WITH THE VASE (P20160042002-004). THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail