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Japanese Canadians celebrated 100 years of life in Canada in 1977. For many of those years, Japanese immigrants had to struggle against racism and discrimination. The early settlers from Japan were treated with disrespect and even hatred in some communities. Today, the situation is very different. Japanese Canadians such as scientist David Suzuki and painter Miyuki Tanobe are sought-after and celebrated across the country.
For many decades, Canadian laws and people's cruelty restricted and harmed many Japanese Canadians. The worst discrimination began in 1942 when harsh wartime laws ruined the lives of many Japanese-Canadian families. Like many other newcomers, many struggled to make a living in their new home, or found opportunities to make their lives better. Japanese immigrants to Canada have enjoyed successes in their own local communities and throughout Canada. Each generation of Japanese immigrants has a special name: the Issei (pronounced "ee-say"), meaning "one," were the first arrivals. Their children are called Nisei ("nee-say"), meaning "two." The children of the Nisei are called Sansei (san means "three").
racism: a belief that one group is superior to others because of race; prejudice based on this belief
discrimination: unfair treatment of members of a group because of race, religion, gender, or other characteristics