Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935 to Japanese Canadian parents. During World War II, Joy and her family were forced to move to Slocan, British Columbia—an injustice she addresses in her 1981 novel, Obasan, one of the handful of Canadian novels that have become essential reading for a nation. Interned with her Japanese-Canadian family during World War II, she has worked tirelessly to educate and help redress a dark moment in our history.
In 1986, Joy was made a Member of the Order of Canada and in 2006, she was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia. In 2010, the Japanese government honoured Joy with the Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to the understanding and preservation of Japanese Canadian history.