Essondale Patient File for Kinichi Kawata


The LOI Research Team has flagged this record for containing sensitive information. This record contains the following sensitivities:

  • Details or graphic images of serious illness (mental or physical) or mortality of identifiable individual(s).
  • Could cause undue or disproportionate dishonour / embarrassment to self or family.

Essondale Patient File for Kinichi Kawata


Title Proper 93-5683 BOX 1257 FILE 23763
Date(s) 1946
General material designation
This file contains a textual record.
Scope and content
Kinichi Kawata was admitted to Essondale from Roseberry on 12 September 1946. He died there on 22 January 1948 at the age of 64 of ‘general paresis of the insane’. A registration of venereal disease card indicates a diagnosis of acquired tertiary syphilis. His ward notes indicate that the British Columbia Security Commission made funeral arrangements. Kawata had been in Canada for 36 years; his occupation was listed as farmer. He was a widow but nothing in the file reveals what happened to his wife. The ward note from 3 April 1947 indicates, “This patient still asks to be taken to New Westminster, put on a boat there and sent back to Japan.” A propensity slip indicates he was suicidal when admitted. His visitor list is empty. His clothing record states he arrived carrying $186.70 in cash. A medical certificate indicates a monthly income of “$13.00 (relief).” He had no relatives in Canada. Officials - Department of Labour – Japanese Division and Dr. M. Uchida (New Denver) filled out his medical certificates. File contains correspondence with B.C.S.C., a hospital receipt for $70 paid by the patient, and a letter indicating that Kawata’s property was sent to the B.C.S.C. after his death. A letter from Kiyomi Yano of Toronto on 4 May 1953 indicated that, “his relatives in Japan are quite anxious to know of his whereabouts.” Another letter from Mr. Yano on 12 October 1953 requested, “I would like some personal article of his which we might place in his grave in Japan – a picture, book or letters.” Yano also requested a death certificate to file Kawata’s death with the Japanese government. Medical Superintendent T.G. Gaunt sent his regrets and confirmed that all Kawata’s possessions had been sent to the B.C.S.C.
Name of creator
British Columbia. Mental Health Services created this archive which were transferred to the BC Archives from 1987 to 2000.
Immediate source of acquisition
The digital copies of the records were acquired by the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective between 2014 and 2018.
This record was digitized selectively.



Essondale Patient File for Kinichi Kawata
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Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.