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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Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía


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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The Summer of the Gun

Many decades ago (more than I care to count), I and my parents were watching evening television in our eastend Toronto home when a knock came at the front door. My parents were not expecting anyone, so it was a curious event.

I answered the door and was met by two police officers in full uniform. Extraordinary. They asked if “Dick Watada” lived at this address. I said yes of course. They then asked to see him.

I wonder to this day if my parents were reminded of 1942 when the RCMP came to their Vancouver apartment looking for my ...

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Back Where I Belong

As I watched the circus of race and denigration that is the White House, Congress, and American society in July, I tried to remember how some Democrats are at times politically expedient and opportunistic and how most Republicans are hypocritical and cowardly. Why can’t right-wing politicians just call the man in the White House a racist? Either they are racists themselves or maybe it takes decades. I mean, Woodrow Wilson is only recently being identified as a racist. In any case, present-day Washington has put me in mind of an incident during my youth, when I was in my ...

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