Chuck Tasaka


Region: Greenwood Nanaimo Vancouver
Sansei | Born 1945, Midway, BC

Bio

Chuck Tasaka was born in Midway, B.C. in 1945, and was given the name Hachiro. Baptized as Charles in 1951, he goes by the present name. He received all of his schooling in Greenwood, B.C., having graduated in 1963. Chuck attended King Edward Adult Education grade 13, and in 1968, graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Education degree. All of the thirty-three years of his teaching career took place on Vancouver Island in the Ladysmith-Nanaimo School District. In 1979-80, Chuck took a leave of absence to study conversational Japanese in Tokyo and taught English on the side. Chuck taught intermediate grades in the Ladysmith area, but his passion was coaching. He coached elementary basketball teams and Jump Rope For Heart Demonstration Skipping team for 20 years. He also organized sports leagues in floor hockey, mini-basketball and recreational softball. In all, Chuck coached for 41 years. Other activity of note was that he produced and directed the Remembrance Day play at the elementary school level for over 20 years. Chuck continued coaching the Heart and Stroke Foundation skipping team that travelled up and down the Island even after his retirement in 2002.

In 2010, Chuck decided to go in another direction. Even though he struggled with the English language, Chuck decided to write a book about his childhood experiences. He only wanted to document the games the Nikkei kids played in the 1940s and 50s. It turned out to be a self-published book titled,Hanatare Bozu or Runny-nosed Brats of Greenwood. The second book, My Hometown, My Furusato – Family History of Greenwood-Midway, was about pioneer, Nikkei and post-war families. Currently, Chuck writes a monthly column in the JCCA Bulletin. One thing led to another, and Discover Nikkei of JANM in Los Angeles and North American Post in Seattle picked up and re-published my articles.

Chuck decided to take on the Nikkei Legacy Park project, formerly Ohairi Park. With private donations, grants from NAJC, Heritage Credit Union and The Greenwood Improvement Society, the purpose of having family plaques on the gazebo wall will leave a legacy for families who lived in Greenwood. Interpretive panels, Sakura and Momiji trees, Japanese lanterns and the WWI Memorial Monument will adorn the park. That project will be ongoing.