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

community en

Community Centre vs Cultural Centre

Back in the day, when the brain trust of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) in Toronto was arguing about a new building, the question of whether the organization was to be a Cultural centre (as it was identified) or a Community centre for what was left of the Japanese Canadian (JC) community. When first thought about, the Nisei decided that the JC community was dwindling and would soon be gone, eradicated by indifference and out-marriage. They thought they saw the writing on the wall. David Suzuki once told an audience of mostly Nisei that the “community” only had 100 ...

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media en

Yoko Tani: the Mysterious Life of a Nikkei Actor

Yoko Tani, an Asian actor working primarily in the 1950s and 1960s, was born Itani Yoko. Though both her parents were Japanese, she was described, from time to time, as Eurasian, half-French, half-Japanese and as a surprise Italian-Japanese. These labels persisted probably because of WWII or the producers, agents or managers wanted to make her “exotic”, like Nancy Kwan, and thus “acceptable” to white audiences. The “facts” reveal that both her parents worked in the Japanese embassy in Paris, France. Yoko was conceived on board the ocean liner that brought the family to Europe; she was born in Paris. Hence ...

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culture en

David Toguri: An Appreciation

Not much is known about David Toguri’s early life. He’s also not well-known in the Asian North American communities, especially in Canada, his birthplace—which is surprising since he is so famous in Europe. I suppose his anonymity is a testament to this talented yet humble artist.

I met David Toguri at a Japanese Canadian community banquet sometime in the late 1990s. Can’t remember what the occasion was, but I was impressed that he was a guest. He was in point of fact invited by a family member and not by the organizers. He was Nisei, tall ...

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identity en

The Christmas Creep

I like Christmas. I’m not Christian but I like the holiday. I have many warm childhood memories of the season. My dad and I would always walk down to the Dairy Queen (a good mile from home) about a week before the holy day to pick out a tree, a good sturdy six-foot balsam fir. We’d carry it back; whether I held up the trunk or the top, either end had its disadvantages. The top was prickly and it took awhile for me to figure out I needed gloves, and the trunk was sticky with sap so my ...

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