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Tashichi Uyeno was born July 4, 1904 in Hikon, Japan. His father was Mohachi Uyeno (1873 – 1959), and his mother was Miyoko Uyeno. Tashichi immigrated to Canada with his father in June of 1911. He had a sister, Mary (1916 – ), and a brother Kenjiro (d. 1939). Mohachi’s brother Shuchi Fukunaga (b. 1890), eventually came to British Columbia as well. Mohachi was a skilled oar maker and worked for The Tommy Oar Co. Tashichi would go on to become an agent and broker for Richmond Trading Company which worked to import goods from Japan to Canada and the United States. In 1934, he returned to Japan to marry Akiko Shimano (b. 1912). They would later have two children, Shoichiro Godfrey Uyeno (b. 1935) and Haruyo Kathleen Uyeno (1938 – 2022). The children were born and raised in Vancouver until the forced removal from the coast during WWII. By then, the family had crisscrossed the Atlantic, as Mary Uyeno was now living in Shiga, Japan with her mother, since 1931. Kenjiro passed away in 1939, so his wife and children went to live with Mary and Miyoko. Eventually, Mary would marry and have three children. Though she desperately missed Canada and her life there, she would never return.
Prior to 1940, Tashichi had begun to use the name George T. Uyeno in business matters. By then he was a successful businessman, with agents in both Japan and the United States. He entered as a share holder with his father into the Vancouver Shoyu Manufacturers Limited, to begin manufacturing soy sauce in British Columbia, a commodity and product highly anticipated by many in the area. All the investors were Japanese Canadian, and by 1942 all of them were forced to sell their shares of the company to John Lim and King Chan. The family were forced to sell much of their personal assets and property, including land in North Vancouver. The family resided in Vancouver for as long as permitted, eventually going to Tashme, B.C. Shuchi Fukunaga also lived with the family in Tashme, though exiled to Japan in August of 1946. The Uyeno family moved frequently in these years, traveling from Tashme, to Kaslo, eventually settling in Blenheim, Ontario in 1946. They would later make their way to Toronto.
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Created September 6, 2023 by E. Carroll.