Open Doors Project

427 Powell Street


Chitose-Yu was one of five Japanese style ofuro bathhouses existing in the neighbourhood. Bathers would thoroughly scrub themselves before entering the large communal hot tub. Bathhouses charged 5 to 10 cents a bath, and provided towels, soaps, and washcloths.

"The Asahi were like a big family, a tightly knit team… After the game we would go to the Empress or New Pier Café. We’d go to the bath first, across from Powell Grounds..." - Kaye Kaminishi

"Oppenheimer Park has always been that social meeting place for First Nations… In the park sitting on the grass - I realized that you could feel where the streambeds used to run through - places where water pools and runs a certain way." - Rosemary Georgeson

Artist Comments and Additional Information

From ofuro bathouses to stream beds, and Vancouver’s infamous rain, water plays a large part in the Powell Street neighborhood. In a 2011 interview with Rosemary Georgeson, she recollects sitting on the grass at Oppenheimer Park and feeling how the Park was a streambed based on how the water pools and runs. This panel addresses the history of the building as Hori’s Coffee Shop and Chitose-Yu bathhouse, the latter was located in the back. Yu -- meaning hot water -- was used as bathing facilities for the Japanese Canadians, as baths were not available in local rooming houses. The panel illustrates a member of Powell Street’s Asahi Baseball team relaxing in an onsen tub; with homage to Powell Street's heroes showcased in the noren.

Further readings
1. Asahi: A legend in baseball A Legacy from the Japanese Canadian Baseball Team in its Heirs. Pat Adachi, Asahi Baseball Organization 1992.
2. Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story. Jari Osborne. Documentary, 2003. NFB.
3. Levelling the Playing Field: Legacy of Vancouver’s Asahi Baseball Team. Souvenir program for the exhibition curated by Grace Eiko Thompson.