In 1940s Vancouver the Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbour and racial tension is building. The RCMP are rounding up “suspicious” young men, fishing boats and property are being seized, and internment camps are only months away.
Daniel Sugiura, a young reporter for the New Canadian, the only Japanese-Canadian newspaper allowed to keep publishing during the war, reveals the stories of members of Vancouver’s Japanese community in the midst of war: Morii Etsuji, the Black Dragon boss, who controls the kind of pleasure men pay for — gambling, drink and prostitution; Watanabe Etsuo, Secretary of the Steveston Fishermen’s Association who makes a deal with the devil to save his loved ones; and Etsu Kaga, a Ganbariya of the Yamato Damashii Group and a Japanese nationalist whose obsession with the Emperor becomes destructive to himself and all involved with him.
The Three Pleasures is an intimate and passionate novel that takes a deep look at a terrifying and painful period in Canada’s history.
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Terry Watada is the author of two previous novels, The Three Pleasures and The Blood of Foxes, a collection of short fiction, Daruma Days, four books of poetry, two children’s books, the nonfiction title Bukkyo Tozen: A History of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Canada 1905 – 1995, and two manga style comic books. Terry is also a musician and recording artist. Mr. Watada lives in Toronto.
Published: October 2020
Originally published by: Anvil Press
“The Three Pleasures sticks close to this historical record, giving a strong sense especially of community life and divisions within Vancouver’s Japantown in the early 1940s.” — Globe and Mail
“Terry Watada’s literary tour de force, The Three Pleasures, lifts the Japanese Canadian internment experience beyond passive victimization by giving life to a host of historical figures — heroes, villians and tragic characters — in a fascinating yet little-known resistance movement within the camps. An absolute page-turner and worthy read.” — Jim Wong-Chu, Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Founder
“A tale of duplicity, betrayal and loss, this thought-provoking political novel sheds new light on the internment of nearly 24,000 Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Shrouded in moral ambiguity, the book elucidates little-known details about a few resistance groups and powerful individuals within the Japanese communities of Vancouver and Steveston, B.C. It delineates the nature and extent of their roles before and during the internment.” — Winnipeg Free Press