Manuscript Collection MS Coll. 00036 - Terry Watada Papers

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS Coll. 00036


Terry Watada Papers


  • 1996 - 2018 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

19 boxes (2.5 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Terry Watada is a well-known writer, poet, journalist, playwright and musician. He was born on 16 July 1951 in Toronto, Ontario after his parents and older brother were interned in British Columbia during WWII. Watada received his Master of Arts in English at the University of Toronto and was a Professor of English at Seneca College for 32 years until his retirement in 2012.
He is well-known for his monthly column in The Nikkei Voice, a Japanese-Canadian newspaper, in addition to his poetry, fiction and essays. His publications include Daruma Days: A Collection of Fictionalised Biography (1997), Ten Thousand Views of Rain (2001), Obon: The Festival of the Dead (2006), Kuroshio: The Blood of Foxes (2007), The Game of 100 Ghosts (2014) and The Three Pleasures (2017). He has currently published two volumes of a planned trilogy of manga on the Japanese Canadian experience, beginning with The Sword, the Medal and the Rosary (2013) followed by Light at a Window (2015). He has also contributed to and edited various anthologies, including a collection of Asian-Canadian short stories written for the York District School Board in 1993 and Vancouver Confidential (2014). As a playwright, he has had a number of plays staged, beginning with Dear Wes/Love Muriel, which premiered during the Earth Spirit Festival at Harbourfront in 1991. His best known play, Vincent premiered in 1993 and has been subsequently restaged including for the Madness and Arts World Festival. In addition to his literary work, Watada is known as a singer and songwriter, his most-well known album, Runaway Horses (1977) was re-released in CD format in 2015.
For Watada’s efforts as an activist for the Japanese-Canadian community, he has been presented a number of awards including the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award from the City of Toronto, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Award.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Terry Watada, 2018

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Terry Watada’s second accession primarily contains material relating to his publications, most notably drafts and proofs for two novels: Kuroshio: The Blood of Foxes and The Three Pleasures. The papers also include drafts and correspondence pertaining to individual

poetry submissions as well as his published work: Ten Thousand Views of Rain, Obon: The Festival of the Dead and The Game of 100 Ghosts. The collection includes correspondence, drafts and promotional material for Watada’s contribution to anthologies, as well as his involvement in cultural and academic conferences and events.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • Japanese

Script of material

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Existence and location of copies

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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Dates of creation revision deletion




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