The Enemy That Never Was: A History of the Japanese Canadians. Rev. ed.


474 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7710-0722-1
DDC 971'.004956





Reviewed by Nobuaki Suyama

Nobuaki Suyama is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the
University of Alberta.


This detailed book comprehensively describes the experience of the
Japanese in Canada. It traces the background of their homeland to
explain their seemingly “curious” behavior in a new country. If one
wants to learn about Japanese immigration to Canada, I recommend this as
the best book to read, despite its author’s inability to use resource
materials written in Japanese.

The first edition, published in the 1970s, was not revised by the
author (who unfortunately passed away in 1989). This second edition
contains an additional chapter by an American historian, Roger Daniels,
who focuses on the question of redress, an issue that proceeded in
parallel in Canada and the U.S. Both editions share the same main fault:
their scant treatment of postwar Japanese immigrants. Just as Japanese
immigrants have changed (especially since the 1970s), so should
histories of Japanese-Canadians. We anxiously await the appearance of a
substantial work on recent Japanese immigration and settlement in


Adachi, Ken., “The Enemy That Never Was: A History of the Japanese Canadians. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed January 21, 2022,