Manzo Nagano

First Japanese settler in Canada

Born: 1855 in Japan
Died: 1923 in Japan

Manzo Nagano left his homeland aboard a foreign ship and landed at New Westminster, British Columbia in 1877. He was the first official Japanese immigrant to Canada.

Nagano was a salmon fisherman on the Fraser River for three years before moving to Vancouver to load timber on ships. In 1884, he returned to Japan for a while but eventually came back to North America and opened a tobacco and restaurant business in Seattle. In 1892, he moved to Victoria where he operated a hotel and store and, later, many other businesses. Nagano lost everything in a fire in 1922 and moved back to Japan. He died there at age sixty-eight.

On the 100th anniversary of Nagano's arrival in Canada (7 October 1977), the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names commemorated the event by naming a mountain after him. Mount Manzo Nagano overlooks Owikeno Lake in the Coast Mountains, in the region of River's Inlet.

More information on:

Mt. Manzo Nagano

Sources include:

Colombo, John Robert. 1000 Questions About Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2001.


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Added 14 April 2002.