Terry Watada

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Terry Watada is a Toronto writer with many productions and publications to his credit. His publications include The Sword, the Medal and the Rosary (manga, HpF Press and the NAJC), The TBC: the Toronto Buddhist Church 1995-2010 (history, HpF Press and the TBC 2010), Kuroshio: The Blood of Foxes (novel, Arsenal Pulp Press 2007), Obon: the Festival of the Dead (poetry, Thistledown Press 2006), Ten Thousand Views of Rain (poetry, Thistledown Press 2001), Seeing the Invisible (a children’s biography, Umbrella Press 1998), Daruma Days (short fiction, Ronsdale Press 1997), Bukkyo Tozen: a History of Buddhism in Canada (history, HpF Press 1996) and A Thousand Homes (poetry, Mercury Press 1995).

As a playwright, he has seen five of his plays receive a mainstage production, starting with Dear Wes/Love Muriel during the Earth Spirit Festival at Harbourfront in 1991. Perhaps his best known is Vincent, a play about a Toronto family dealing with a son with schizophrenia. It has been remounted several times since its première in 1993. Most notably, it was produced at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the first Madness and Arts World Festival in Toronto (2003). The second Madness and the Arts World Festival invited Vincent to be included in its program in Muenster, Germany, during May 2006. His other plays include Mukashi Banashi I and II (children’s plays) and Tale of a Mask. He recently expanded the play into a two-act play. The new version was successfully featured in the fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company’s Mega Potluck Play Reading Festival in June 2008.

His essays have been published in such varied magazines, journals and books as Ricepaper, Canadian Literature (UBC),[1] Ritsumeikan Hogaku “Kotoba to sonohirogari” (Ritsumeikan University Press, Kyoto Jpn), Crossing the Ocean: Japanese American Culture from Past to Present, Jimbun-shoin Press (Kyoto Jpn), the National Library of Canada’s website, and Anti-Asian Violence in North America (AltaMira Press, California). Perhaps his most notable article appeared in Maclean's Magazine in March 2011. "Aftershock" described his feelings after the Fukushima tsunami. He wrote a monthly column in the Japanese-Canadian national journal the Nikkei Voice for 25 years.[2] He now writes for the Bulletin, a national magazine out of Vancouver.

He composed the Japanese-Canadian children’s history section and the Japanese, Chinese, and South-Asian Canadian history sections for the National Library and Archives of Canada websites.

Essays about his work have appeared in the International Journal of Canadian Studies, Modern Drama (UTP), and in Transcultural Reinventions: Asian American and Asian Canadian Short-Story Cycles (TSAR Publications).

In addition to his literary work, Terry Watada is also a singer/songwriter/producer with a number of records to his credit, including: Night's Disgrace, Runaway Horses, Yellow Fever, Living in Paradise and The Art of Protest, among others. His songs dealing with the Japanese/Canadian/American experience have been used as references in Asian-American history course studies at various universities.

His papers, personal, academic, literary and musical, have recently been installed in the East Asian Library Collection, Robarts Library, the University of Toronto. It has been designated as follows: Terry Watada Special Collections. His manuscripts and books are part of the permanent collection of the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, Robarts Library. His books have been accepted as part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, Washington DC. His theatre production papers are housed in the Guelph University Library.

For his writing, music and community volunteerism, he was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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