What is Mio/America-Mura？
Mio, Wakayama is a small seaside village with the population of about 550, known as one of the largest single sources of pre-World War Ⅱ Japanese migration to Canada. The number of the Canadian descendants who could trace their roots to Mio is now said to be about 10,000, comprising 10% of Canada's Japanese Canadian population. This transpacific migration economically and culturally transformed Mio, which became known as America-Mura as a result.
In the 19th century, various villages on the coast of Japan fought each other over the fishing rights to the area. Mio lost their fishing rights, and the industry rapidly declined. Many people lost their main source of income. A man named Kuno Gihei decided to take his destiny in to his own hands. He traveled to Canada in search of a new life. After a long journey, he arrived at a fishing base in Steveston, British Columbia. He found huge success in Canada and invited his brothers and relatives from Mio to join him. A lot of people crossed the Pacific Ocean to make their livelihood in this new country.
Original Source: Food for Thought (2018) p.10