Wannabe   Pen and ink on shoji paper.   39"x38"

Unmasked     Pen and ink on shoji paper        39"x38"

Lillian Michiko Blakey is a sansei, a third generation Canadian.  She is a past president of the Ontario Society of Artists, which was founded in 1872. Her artwork can be found in the Government of Ontario Art Collection  and the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, British Columbia, as well as in private collections in many countries. 

on being michiko

a sansei artist’s journey

Who am I? The nature of my identity has been a

troubling issue. On the one hand, I inherited

the strong feelings of shame that Japanese 

Canadians experienced following the repressive

actions of the Canadian government in World 

War II.  On the other hand, the fact is that

my family members have been loyal Canadians 

for over 100 years and we had nothing for 

which we should have been ashamed. And yet, I 

grew up denying my cultural roots, my first 

language and my people. It is only in recent 

years that I have reconciled my dilemma by 

telling my family's story through my art work. 



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