Early History - First Immigrant - Manzo Nagano

A young sailor from Nagasaki, Manzo Nagano stowed away on a British vessel, unaware of its destination. When he walked ashore in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1877, he became Canada's first immigrant Japanese. He worked at different jobs and returned to Japan on two occasions before finally settling down in Victoria where he opened several businesses and raised a family. He retired to Japan in 1923 and died there a year later.

Manzo Nagano, Canada's first Japanese settler, arrived in 1877.(photo: Tyrus Nagano, Los Angeles, California)

One of Nagano's several businesses, a Japanese gift store on Victoria's Government Street. (photo: Mrs. Rose Kawada, Richmond, B.C.)

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