The Japanese Problem explores dark side of Vancouver history

When Co-creator Yoshié Bancroft toured Hastings Park, she was inspired to create a stall in the Livestock Building as the set for her production The Japanese Problem. It runs from September 22 – 30.

Yoshié wanted to shed light on this part of Vancouver history.

“As a teen, I would go to the PNE without knowing the historical significance of Hastings Park,” she explains, “I began to wonder how many people go to the PNE without knowing that 8,000 Canadians were moved through the site during WWII. It’s not a secret and yet it’s not necessarily common knowledge, and that’s a problem.”

Because people don’t know about or understand the Japanese Canadian incarceration, Universal Limited Theatre wanted to commemorate the 75th anniversary.

The collaborators interviewed survivors and family, including three participants in the project who experienced the incarceration.

“Every survivor we interviewed has mentioned comparisons to our current world,” said director Joanna Garfinkel.

Don’t expect a dry, historical lecture, but a living, beautiful piece with lightness. Unlike typical theatre experiences, audiences will be part of an intimate and close group, who will be watching a relevant and resonant production.

For more information, please visit

Leave a comment