Canada Museum in Wakayama – Jan. 2023

Hello everyone,

I hope you are refreshed after your holidays and ready for the last spurt before the end of the school year. Grade three students, I know you are busy, but also take a moment to enjoy the time you have with your friends. After school finishes, it will be difficult for everyone to be together at the same time again.

Last week I read an interesting article in the Japan Times newspaper. It was about a museum about Canada… in Wakayama! I couldn’t believe it because I had never heard of this museum before. What was even more interesting is that the museum was about a town called Steveston… and I have some family in Canada that lives in Steveston! So I made plans for this weekend to check it out.

I went with my son down the expressway, turned off onto the tiny streets of Mihama, and with the help of google maps we found our way to the museum. It was in a very quiet part of Mihama, called Mio, near the ocean.

Many years ago a resident of the town, Gihei Kuno, went to Canada and became a fisherman. The work was good so he encouraged his family to move to Canada as well. Many people from the town went to Canada for the fishing season, and then returned home to Wakayama during the off-season.

In this way, a connection between Wakayama and Steveston was built. Now, most of the people that travelled have passed away, but the impact is still visible in the town. If you’re interested in it, why not check it out? You can even buy some yummy Canadian maple syrup!

The front of the museum.
A totem pole that was carved in Canada and shipped to the museum in 2021. It is a symbol of friendship between the two communities.
The explanation at the base of the totem pole.
A picture of fishing boats in Canada that were used by the Japanese fishermen there.
The story of the immigrants from Mio (in Mihama).
The story of Gihei Kuno.