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Toyomasa Fusé fonds

  • F0776
  • Fonds
  • 1930-2023

Fonds consists of manuscripts, personal and professional files, objects, sound recordings and interviews pertaining to Fusé’s expertise in the field of suicidology, autobiographical accounts of his personal life, cultural differences that he observed between North American and Japanese society, and biographical accounts of the Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose. The fonds has been arranged into three series: Personal files, Professional files, and Manuscripts.

Untitled

Drafts

File includes drafts of an unpublished manuscript by Fusé.

Going My Way – Reflection of a Wayward Samuri [sic] in North America: draft manuscript, chapters 1, 4-18

File includes chapters 1 and 4 to 18 from the manuscript of Fusé’s unpublished autobiography “Going My Way.” “Going My Way” includes the author’s lived experiences, research interests, important figures in Fusé’s life, and his views on important political, cultural, and socio-economic events that impacted Japan from the Meiji era (1867-1912) to the end of the 20th Century.

“Going My Way - Some Random Notes of a North American Samurai”

File includes notes for Fusé’s memoir, a bibliography of his books and a draft manuscript on United States General Douglas MacArthur, who was nicknamed the “Blue-Eyed Shogun” by the Japanese during his tenure as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan. Notes and bibliography are written in English and Japanese.

“Going My Way,” draft manuscript, chapters 13-16 and 20

File includes chapters 13, 15, and 21 from the manuscript of Fusé’s unpublished memoir “Going My Way,” a short biography of Fusé’s life and correspondence with Kaoru Murakami, editor of Japanese journal publisher Kurashi-no-Techosha (letter and pamphlet are in Japanese). “Going My Way” includes the author’s lived experiences, research interests, important figures in Fusé’s life, and his views on important political, cultural, and socio-economic events that impacted Japan from the Meiji era (1867-1912) to the end of the 20th Century.

“Going My Way,” draft manuscript, chapters 1-10

File includes chapters 1, 2, 3 and 10 from the manuscript of Fusé’s unpublished memoir “Going My Way.” “Going My Way” includes the author’s lived experiences, research interests, important figures in Fusé’s life, and his views on important political, cultural, and socio-economic events that impacted Japan from the Meiji era (1867-1912) to the end of the 20th Century.

Autobiography: early drafts, “Hello, Megumi and Kenji” Writing format

File includes an outline of Fusé’s goals in writing his autobiography and his early drafts depicting certain events in his life. This draft manuscript is written in the style of letters to Megumi and Kenji Fusé, the author’s children. File also includes a note from Lois Fusé with context on the manuscript’s development and Fusé’s review of the autobiographies of Kay Redfield Jamieson and Norman Ender.

Japanese Newspaper: Fusé on the 59th Anniversary of Japan’s Defeat in the Second World War

File includes a Japanese newspaper article featuring Fusé’s commentary on the legacy of the 59th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the Second World War. Fusé shares his recollection of the end of the war, war films, the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and his perspective on Japanese war crimes in China, particularly those committed by Shiro Ishii’s Unit 731. This article was printed on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Personal Recollection: “Subhas Chandra Bose in Tokyo”

File includes Fusé’s personal recollection of seeing Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose in person as Bose and other Asian leaders arrived for the Greater East Asia Conference hosted by the Empire of Japan in 1943. Fusé describes his experience going to Tokyo with his father to witness the event, expresses his admiration for Bose and his long-held desire to write a book about Bose.

Subhas Chandra Bose Book: Indian National Army Research

File includes articles compiled by Fusé on the subject of Subhas Chandra Bose’s leadership of the Indian National Army during the Second World War, the Subhas Chandra Bose Academy and information on and correspondence with prospective Japanese publishers for the Bose book Fusé wanted to write.

Manuscripts

Series consists of Toyomasa Fusé’s unpublished manuscripts for a book on Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose and the Greater East Asia Conference of 1943, his autobiography “Going My Way,” and “Marginal Man’s Perspective,” Fusé’s semi-autobiographical examination of his worldview and identity, which he believed was shaped by his existence as a ‘bicultural’ individual living between two different cultures.

Canada This Week

Item includes a sound recording of the Radio-Canada International program “Canada This Week.” Total duration of Side A is 27 minutes, 20 seconds. Total duration of Side B is 27 minutes, 20 seconds.

Canada This Week: Fusé Interview

Item includes a recording of the Radio-Canada International program Canada This Week, featuring interviews with Fusé. Side A includes an interview with Fusé on the topic of Quebec. Side B includes an interview with Fusé at timestamp 8 minutes, on the topic of cultural changes occuring in the City of Montreal.

Canada This Week: Fusé Interview

Item includes a sound recording of the Radio-Canada International program “Canada This Week,” featuring an interview with Fusé. On Side A, Fusé’s segment starts at the timestamp 19 minutes nd 20 seconds. Fusé discusses the film series Toro-san and suicide.

Canada This Week: Fusé Interview

Item includes a sound recording of the Radio-Canada International program “Canada This Week” featuring an interview with Fusé. On Side A of the cassette, Fusé engages in a conversation with the host on the topics of biculturalism and billingualism. Total duration of Side A is 27 minutes and Fusé’s segment begins at the timestamp 14 minutes, 0 seconds and ends at the timestamp 18 minutes, 0 seconds. On Side B of the cassette, Fusé discusses the difference between the cultural identifies of people living in Ontario and Quebec. Total duration of Side B is 26 minutes, 30 seconds and Fusé’s segment begins at the timestamp 14 minutes and ends at the timestamp 17 minutes, 20 seconds.

CBC Sunday Morning: Recruit Scandal

Item includes a sound recording of the program CBC Sunday Morning, which features an interview with Fusé on the topic of the Recruit Scandal in Japan. Fusé provides an expert analysis of the scandal and how the suicide of Ihei Aoki, an aide to Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, relates to Japan’s samurai culture. On Side A of the cassette, Fusé’s interview starts from the beginning of the tape and ends at the timestamp 9 minutes, 30 seconds.

Fusé Lecture

Item includes a recording of Fusé’s suicide seminar at a Buddhist organization in 2003. In the lecture, Fusé provides the Western etmology of the word ‘suicide,’ and its negative connotations (e.g. being defined as self-murder) in Western countries and contrasts it with over 30 different terms used to describe acts of suicide in Japanese, with indication of the motive and the number of people involved in the suicide. He makes additional references to Eastern and Western cultural differences as he compares Western individualism to Japanese collectivism, which are further showcased in the Western film “Shane” (1953) and the Japanese comedy “Tora-san.” As this lecture took place during the Iraq War, Fusé discusses the suicide attacks committed by Al-Qaeda hijackers that crashed two passenger airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. He explains that the tragedy caused his pacifist stance to waver momentarily and reignited memories of his own wartime experience, with memories of kamikaze pilots flying overhead and his military training as a teenager in the final years of the Second World War that prepared him for the same fate, had the war not ended in 1945.

Couchiching Conference 1987: The Future of the American Empire

Item includes a recording of the 56th Couchiching Conference (1987), which includes a discussion featuring Fusé and Black activist Jan Douglass on the World After America Panel. The panel begins at timestamp 00:38:10 and ends at 00:56:00. Fusé talks about his early years as a student studying in the United States in the 1950s and his eventual disillusionment with the country due to what he perceived to be its “moral and visionary decay” from the late 1960s onward, where the pursuit of “freedom” and “Individual pleasure” led to “excessive individualism.” Fusé also discusses the possible causes of higher suicide rates in Canada (14% in 1987) compared to the United States (12% in 1987).

NHK Educational Programming: How to Face Death with Professor Alfons Deeken

Item includes one VHS cassette featuring Professor Alfons Deeken’s 9-part educational series “How to Face Death,” which was originally broadcast on Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in 1993, and the CBC Radio-Canada documentary “Cine Club: Voyage a Tokyo,” which was likely also recorded in 1993. “How to Face Death” is separated into the following 9 parts: 1. Introduction (00:00:00 to 00:30:00), 2. Grief Work (00:30:00 to 00:37:25), 3. 12 Stages of Grief (00:38:00 to 01:06:00), 4. Fear of Death and Death in Art (01:08:00 to 01:37:00), 5. Hospice Care, 6 Stages of Grief and Life Review Therapy (01:38:00 to 02:07:00), 7. How Children Process Death (02:38:00 to 03:07:20); 8. Thnking about Your Mortality, Life Review Therapy and Preparing for Death (03:08:00 to 03:37:00) and 9. Hospice Care (03:38:00 to 04:07:00). “Cine Club: Voyage a Tokyo,” is documentary film analysis of the central themes used in the 1953 film Voyage a Tokyo (also known as Tokyo Story in English and Tokyo Monogatari in Japanese). It frames “Tokyo Story” as the seminal postwar depiction of Japanese family life already drastically different from the traditions and family structure of that of the first half of the 20th Century, and contrasts it with life in Tokyo during the 1980s and 1990s, with its many technological advances, Westernized lifestyles and social problems. Included in both the film and the documentary is a focus on the Japanese relationship with the dead.

Suicide and Culture Interview, Scene et Mirroir: “Japan, Inc.”

Item includes an interview with Fusé conducted in English regarding his book “Suicide and Culture,” an interview with Fusé conducted in French regarding the 1980 National Film Board (NFB) Documentary “Japan, Inc.” and recordings of contemporaneous Japanese televsion shows and advertisements. The first interview (in English) with Fusé begins at timestamp 00:02:00 and ends at timestamp 00:11:00. Fusé discusses his book “Suicide and Culture,” the “Hungary Pattern” of suicide and the increase of suicidal ideation with age in some cultures and Japan’s history of suicides for atonement, such as the two suicides of aviation crew members in the aftermath of the Japan Airlines Flight 123 tragedy in which 520 passengers were killed. The second interview (in French) begins at the timestamp 00:11:30 an ends at 00:57:50, with discussion of the documentary “Japan, Inc.” an NFB documentary about the fast-paced and collective-focused work culture in Japan and the lessons it could hold for more individualistic Western work cultures. From timestamp 01:11:00 to the end of the tape at 01:19:33

Jerusalem On Line: Suicide Help Line Conference in Jerusalem

Item includes one VHS cassette featuring Fusé and Tal Perry’s interview on Jerusalem On Line, an Israeli news program hosted by Mike Greenspan. Fusé and Perry, the director of the Jerusalem-based crisis helpline Eran. both participated in the Crisis Help Line conference in Tel Aviv. The interview centres on the training and importance of crisis services. The segment begins at the timestamp 00:10:00 and ends at 00:20:21. They discuss the difference between “telephone befriending” and psychotherapy when speaking with people in distress. Fusé also discusses the growth of crisis helplines in post-Soviet Union nation states, which were not accessible before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Cinema Cinema: “Furyo” Interview with Toyomasa Fusé and Naoko Hata

Item includes one VHS cassette featuring Fusé and Naoko Hata’s interview on the subject matter of the film “Furyo” or “Goodbye Mr. Lawrence” on the French Canadian program “Cinema Cinema.” Fusé and Hata provide their lived experience and knowledge of Japan and the Japanese military during the Second World War. Fusé also provides his expertise on the tradition of seppuku, suicide by disembowlment.

Correspondence: Nawa, Shosuke, Hokkaido Shimbun

File includes correspondence with Shosuke Nawa, an employee of the Hokkaido Shimbun, regarding a double suicide and assistance with research on the Showa Era (1926-1989) and Subhas Chandra Bose. Two Hokkaido Shimbun news articles are attached to Nawa’s letter. Lois Fusé’s annotations on the original envelope provide some context for the articles enclosed.

bits magazine, vol. 11, issue 4

File includes two copies of bits magazine, a Japanese Canadian magazine based in Toronto. It includes an interview with Fusé regarding his work in Suicidology and his perspective on the topic of suicide in Japan.

Social Welfare and Suicide Prevention pamphlets

File includes three Japanese pamphlets with articles by Fusé on the topics of mental health and suicide prevention. One pamphlet is related to Fusé’s book Jisatsu to bunka (translation: Suicide and Culture). The other two pamphlets were distributed by a social welfare organization.

Introduction: “The Need for Suicide Prevention”

File includes an introduction written by Fusé for an unknown publication. To advocate the need for suicide prevention, Fusé tells the story of two individuals who committed suicide, which he had previously featured in one of his books.

York University articles

File includes three articles published by York University (including York Gazette) that feature interviews with Fusé. Titles include “Measuring Tragedy,” “Global suicide rates reveal surprising patterns,” and “The Pen is Mightier than the Couch.”

Financial Times of Canada: “Suicide rates and The Swedish Lie”

File includes newspaper clippings of the article “Suicide rates and The Swedish Lie” by Robert Fulford of the Financial Times of Canada. Fusé is interviewed regarding the Swedish Lie, a phrase originally coined from misinformation on Swedish suicide rates by United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

New York Times: “Loyal Samurai’s Suicide: An Alarm Bell for Japan?”

File includes a letter from the New York Times’ Tokyo correspondent David E. Sanger and a photocopy of Sanger’s article on the suicide of Ihei Aoki, a close aide of former Japanese prime minister Noboru Takeshita. Fusé contributed his expertise in the cultural importance of suicide throughout Japanese history to Sanger’s article.

La Suisse: “Vague de suicides au Japon”

File includes a newspaper clipping from the Swiss newspaper La Suisse, which tells the story of singer Yukiko Okada’s suicide and that of Yoshiaki Kobayashi, a teenager. Fusé’s expert opinion is that the adjustment period during a shift to new environments can be stressful. For young Japanese people, these changes in relation to schooling and employment often occur in April.

York Gazette, vol. 11, no. 20

File includes an issue of the York Gazette, which contains an interview with Fusé titled “Cross-Cultural Study of Suicide Yields Surprising Finds.”

Japanese Canadians [edited collection]; edited with an introduction by David Fujino

File includes a collection of writing and lectures featuring Japanese Canadians’ lived experiences and areas of concern and expertise, which they shared with the Annex drop-in centre, which was a community space for Japanese Canadians located in the East York neighbourhood of Toronto. Fusé’s 1979 guest lecture on “Loneliness and Suicide” is transcribed in this collection.

The Kazoku – A Vanishing Caste?

File includes two articles written by Fusé on the topic of the Kazoku, the Japanese nobility. The Japanese article is a translation of the English original, first published in the second volume of the journal Asia Quarterly in 1972.

Professional files

Series consists of Toyomasa Fusé’s professional files and media appearances related to his study and publication of research on sociological issues in the 1960s and 1970s and his contributions to the study of suicide and methods for suicide prevention. Series also includes two framed awards relating to his achievements in the field of suicidology.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1960 diary written in English.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1959 diary written in Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1958 diary written in Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1956 diary written in Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1954 diary, written in both English and Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1953 diary written in Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1952 diary written in both English and Japanese.

Diary

File includes Fusé’s 1951 diary written in Japanese.

Student Diary

File includes Fusé’s student diary for his first year as an international student in university.

Goji Tsushin: Fusé’s Essays and Lois Fusé’s translated letter for Goji Tsushin contributors

File includes Fusé’s contributions to the essayist collective Goji Tsushin, where authors agreed to each write essays at the same time each month, at 5:00 on the 5th day of the month), publish and share their work. File also includes a copy of Goji Tsushin’s publication and Lois Fusé’s english translation of a letter she sent to the other members of Goji Tsushin after her husband’s death.

Newspaper articles regarding Fusé’s childhood and school life

File includes two newspaper articles, in English and Japanese respectively. The English article features an interview with Fusé’s friend Frank Jones, who recounts stories Fusé shared regarding his childhood during the United States Occupation of Japan and his first experiences living in the U.S. The Japanese article discusses Fusé’s scholarship to study in the U.S. and his academic career in North America.

Correspondence: Kennedy, Robert F.

File includes a signed letter from United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy after Fusé wrote to him regarding the Vietnam War. File also includes a copy of the US Congressional Record regarding Kennedy’s position on the Vietnam War.

Toronto Tora-san Movie Club

File includes handwritten notes, newspapers, emails and information on the Tora-san film series, which were used during informal meetings of the Toronto fanclub for Tora-san. The Japanese-Canadian newspaper clipping includes a photo of Fusé, founder of the fanclub, with Yoji Yamada, the director of Tora-san.

Correspondence: Plans for “Tora-san” Joint Lecture

File includes correspondence and notes in Japanese and English regarding a planned joint-lecture about the film “Tora-san,” which would be discussed by the film’s director Yoji Yamada and lead actor Kiyoshi Atsumi in Toronto. Fusé writes to Mamoru Iwamoto, Executive Director of JETRO regarding the reply he received from Toshio Hatano, the New York Bureau President of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. File also includes a letter written to Fusé by Kiyo Kurosu, a general manager working for Shochiku Corporation (a Japanese entertainment company)’s International Division.

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