Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Bill Hashizume Interview
Narrator: Bill Hashizume
Interviewer: Norm Ibuki
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: October 29, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-hbill_2-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

NI: What was the farm like? How many acres did you have?

BH: Well, my father, at first he started out with about twenty-seven or twenty-eight-acre farm. And according to what I found out, he settled in Mission in 1910 and in 1911 he called over a yobiyose from Wakayama. And then through, he called over many yobiyoses during the meantime, and with the yobiyoses he cleared the farm. And then I think in 1910, he purchased about twenty-eight acres. The following year, he purchased another ten. And then in 1916, he purchased twenty-six or twenty-seven acre more. And then later on he purchased, in 1918, he purchased ten more acres which makes it a grand total of about eighty acres.

NI: That's big.

BH: Uh-huh. Oh, he was very successful as a farmer, because according to, according to this thing that I researched, back in 1918, he had, he had a net income of six thousand dollars. Six thousand dollars. But the amazing part is during the following, during the following year, according to a different source, he grossed twenty-two thousand with a net profit of eleven thousand. And a loaf of bread at that time was probably three or, three or four cents.

NI: So he had, just to clarify, Mr. Hashizume, yobiyose is, can you tell me what that is?

BH: Yobiyose, is, literally means "to call over," yobiyoseru, "call over." And there was this system which you could call over somebody from Japan to work as a domestic or a store clerk or a farmhand or a logging camp hand, and so forth. And you had to apply to the Japanese consulate in Japan to call over this person. Now, the requirements were quite strict. You had to be an established farmer or established logger or established sawmill owner. You can't be anybody, you can't call over, you know, if I didn't have a job, or if I was working on a, working at a logging camp, I can't call over a yobiyose. It has to be somebody that's already established.

NI: So it's like, nowadays, we have the working holiday visas.

BH: Well, yes, but it doesn't need a sponsor, does it? Working holidays?

NI: Yeah, you need a sponsor.

BH: Oh, you need a sponsor, okay.

NI: So your father was, your family was fairly well-off.

BH: It was, yes.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.