Terry Watada

Terry Watada is a Toronto writer with many publications to his credit including two novels, The Three Pleasures (Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2017) and Kuroshio: the Blood of Foxes (Arsenal Press, Vancouver, 2007), four poetry collections, two manga, two histories about the Japanese Canadian Buddhist church, and two children’s biographies. He looks forward to seeing his third novel, The Mysterious Dreams of the Dead (Anvil Press), and fifth poetry collection, The Four Sufferings (Mawenzi House Publishers, Toronto), released in 2020. He also maintains a monthly column in the Vancouver Bulletin Magazine.

Updated May 2019

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Long-time Gone: Toronto’s J-Town - Part 2

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The Toronto Buddhist Church started life at 134 Huron Street, in the heart of J-Town, when the Buddhist Church committee purchased a row house for the Rev. Kenryu Tsuji and his wife. Rev. Tsuji sailed on the last boat out of Japan for Canada at the outbreak of WWII after he was ordained a Buddhist minister. He in fact was the first Canadian Nisei to become a minister and later became the Bishop for the Buddhist Churches of America.

I wasn’t even born when the church opened, but I was told it was a lively place ...

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Long-time Gone: Toronto’s J-Town - Part 1

Though not widely acknowledged, J-Town Toronto did exist. Very little of it can be found today and, back in the day, no one called it J-Town or Little Tokyo or anything. Probably because it formed for a relatively short time just after 1949 when Toronto’s City Council lifted its restriction of Japanese Canadians living within its confines. It continued through to the early 1980s when most had moved out of the area.

Many Japanese Canadian families and individuals lived in the area roughly bordered by Bay Street in the east, Spadina in the west, Queen in the south, and ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Remains

From Toronto-based writer, Terry Watada and Bloomington, Indiana-based poet, Hiromi Yoshida, are pieces that can be read as the remains of beings past, the memory of memories, the parts of a person embedded in our psyche or those aspects we wish to keep and uplift. Enjoy...

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Hiromi Yoshida is a first-generation Japanese American poet, with ethnic roots in Japan and Taiwan, and family in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Now based in Bloomington, Indiana, she has lived extensively in Tokyo and New York City. Her Icarus Burning poetry collection, a finalist selection for the 2019 New Women’s Voices Series Chapbook ...

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The Redundancy of Idiots: Part 2

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A curious thing happened after last month’s column was posted. I received a letter – not by e-mail, Twitter, Messenger, Facebook or any other social media platform – but an honest-to-goodness letter mailed through the Post Office! It was from a hakujin white man who decided to complain about my opinions. He did not include it in the Comments Section (another convenient device to praise, vent or express counter-opinion) beneath my column. He claimed to be too shy, too old or too private to want to be exposed like that. So, he decided to ask for my address ...

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The Redundancy of Idiots — Part 1

My wife and I have noticed over several years now that certain terms in Japanese have English words accompanying them with the same meaning. Thereby creating a strange redundancy. Most of these “atrocities” were created by hakujin but Nikkei have carried on ignorant of the implications. Below is a list of some of the repetitious terms with some editorial comments. They may be amusing to some, horrifying to others. You be the judge. 

Azuki red beans: azuki are red beans, hence the redundancy.

Cha tea: cha is tea.

Chikuwa fishcake: one of my favourites for a snack, but no need ...

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