by Rossland Telegraph on Wednesday Nov 01 2017
Diana Morita Cole, the author of "Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit" was awarded the 2017 Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers. Morita Cole's book details many little-known aspects of the Nikkei internment in both Canada and the United States during the Second World War.
Most of us are aware that, during the war, BC's Japanese Canadians were imprisoned in camps, and their homes and other property was confiscated, so that after the war they had nothing. The same thing happened in the U.S.; Japanese Americans were labeled "enemy aliens" and stripped of their rights and property.
This book is creative non-fiction. One reviewer, Norm Masaji Ibuki, wrote in July of 2016,
"Morita Cole’s story is a compelling, often funny, uncomfortable, and heart-breaking one that tells about what our community experienced when we were exiled to eastern areas of Canada and the US. Her story belongs to all of us."
One of her brothers, Claude Morita, wrote (about two years ago),
"Diana’s book is essential in filling the huge gaps in the history of the United States and Canada. The two governments, and others in complicity, remain responsible for their acts of disgrace. It is fortunate that Nisei learned of the Japanese trait of not getting angry, called kanyosei, to repair and continue with their lives. Too many gave their lives so ours could continue. Although I have lived a long time in Japan and with the Japanese, I do not have ample supplies of kanyosei."
Morita Cole holds degrees in music and English literature. She has used her considerable skills to fight for fairness, justice and a safer environment. She has made presentations to Parliament urging the banning of Agent Orange, and has addressed the U.S. Congress to advocate against land mines, and co-founded an organization of biracial couples which works to promote racial harmony. Born in Oregon, she now lives in Nelson.
Her multi-media presentation at the Rossland Public Library on November 14 will start at 7:00. Admission is free.