Japanese Canadian Generation Descriptors

When talking about Japanese Canadians, the first generation to immigrate to Canada are known as the issei, or first generation.

Their children are the second generation, the nisei – the first generation born in Canada.

From there we have the sansei (third generation), yonsei (fourth generation), gosei (fifth generation), etc.

The term issei generally refers to prewar immigrants. Postwar immigrants are known as shin-ijusha, or new immigrants.

Nisei who were born in Canada but were educated in Japan before returning to Canada are known as kika-nisei.

People of mixed heritage, with a parent or grandparent of Japanese descent, are sometimes referred to as hapa, a term derived from the Hawaiian hapa-houle.