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Reflections on the Japanese People

Heroes Remember

Reflections on the Japanese People

Interviewer: Tell me Mr. Castonguay, what is your attitude today toward the Japanese people. Well, it is the same as with any nationality I would say. I think the people of Japan are very good people. Those who made the war, they were warmongerers. They should have been satisfied of the islands that they occupied. But they went in China, they went all over the place, they want to conquer the world. That's greedy. Once you have enough to eat you don't want to have a whole pile of food next to you for nothing. I think that the Japanese people are very nice people, very polite. But my souvenirs with the war, with the soldiers, I think that the soldiers and whoever was in charge of them, they were, how should I say, the worst kind of people you can have on earth. They were not civilized before they got the atomic bomb in the war as a whole. Now we can say they are civilized. And they are accepted by everybody I think. You see the cars that they are being sold in Canada, all kinds of things Japanese made so everything is becoming happier let's say.

Mr. Castonguay discusses his reflections on the Japanese people and how things have changed.

Bernard Castonguay

Bernard Castonguay was born in Montreal, Quebec on February 9, 1921. He was the fourth of eleven children. His father worked for CPR as a seam fitter. Mr. Castonguay left home at the age of sixteen to look for adventure. He worked as a lumberjack and on the railways. Unable to find work in 1940, Mr. Castonguay went to Quebec City and joined the Royal Rifles of Canada. He was then shipped to Gander, Newfoundland where he worked as a signalman and sentry. Afterwards, he went to St. John, NB. While in Hong Kong, Mr. Castonguay was captured by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp (Omeni) in Nagasaki, Japan to work in a coal mine. After his service, Mr. Castonguay worked with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) later becoming the Regional Director of CNIB. He also volunteered and worked with the Canadian Council for the Blind.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bernard Castonguay
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Rifles of Canada

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