Joy Kogawa turns 85 today, June 6, 2020.

Congratulations, Joy, on a life well lived. You are thriving and trying new genres at 85!

Last week, Joy Kogawa’s narrative for the augmented-reality game East of the Rockies won 2020 Best Video Game Narrative at the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards. Earlier it had won the audience appreciation award at the 360 Film Awards in Paris.

Told from the perspective of Yuki, a 17-year-old girl forced from her home and made to live in BC’s Slocan Japanese internment camp during the Second World War, the video game is narrated by Joy’s granddaughter Anne Canute and available for purchase at $5.49 on the Apple App Store. The video game was developed by Jam3 and is distributed by the National Film Board of Canada.

In addition, Joy Kogawa’s memoir, Gently to Nagasaki (Caitlin Press, 2016), has just been released as an audiobook. Narrated by Jillian Rees-Brown, the audiobook is available through Findaway, Kobo Audio, RB Digital, Zebralution, hoopla, and OverDrive audio.

Birthday greetings for Joy Kogawa from BC dignitaries

Dear Ms. Kogawa,

It has been brought to my attention that you will be celebrating your 85th birthday on June 6th. It gives me great pleasure to extend my very best wishes on this happy occasion.

You have devoted all your life to reconciliation and healing and created novels, poems, and memoir as resources that will outlast your own knowledge. You have inspired other kindred spirits in projects that have helped the Japanese Canadian community and other communities heal each other from what we have carried. I hope you will have a wonderful and memorable day with your family and friends.

My sincere best wishes on this momentous milestone and for your continued health and happiness.

Signed Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

Joy Kogawa

On behalf of the Government and people of British Columbia, I am pleased to offer you my congratulations and very best wishes on the occasion of your eighty-fifth birthday.

May you enjoy every future happiness.

Signed John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia

Happy birthday, Joy! We hope to see you on the West Coast very soon.

Please send your own greetings to Joy Kogawa to We’ll pass them along to Joy!

Thanks and please take care!