In 1946, after a period of internment that began in 1942, approximately four thousand Japanese Canadians were exiled to Japan and stripped of their citizenship. More than half were Canadian-born, and the majority of those who had been born in Japan were Canadian citizens. The exiles were given a choice of impossible options: to relocate outside of British Columbia or be sent to Japan. Drawing upon extensive archival research, this study examines the spatial patterns of migration between Japan and Canada with a particular focus on the exile of Japanese Canadians to Japan in 1946. Our findings indicate that the majority of the exiles were from Wakayama, Shiga, and Hiroshima prefectures, where rates of return prior to the 1940s were already high. Although more definitive explanations require further research, our exploratory analysis suggests that regional patterns of exile were likely influenced by the prefectural origin of the original migrants, obligations to re-establish the traditional Japanese agrarian household, and religious practices.

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