Essondale Patient File for Mitsuye Wakabayashi


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 Mitsuye Wakabayashi


Title Proper 93-5683 BOX 1322 FILE 20540
Date(s) 1942
General material designation
This file contains a textual record.
Scope and content
Mitsuye Wakabayashi was admitted on 29 October 1942 from Bridge River, MacGillivray Falls. Her mental health diagnosis was schizophrenic reaction – hebephrenic type. Her husband Genroku had not seen her for six months when she was admitted because he was away working in Roseberry. Mitsuye was born in Matsubara and spent 9 years in Vancouver prior to incarceration. Her medical certificate Form A lists ‘separation from husband’ as the supposed cause of her illness. Her clothing record includes a certificate of parole for enemy aliens. File includes correspondence with the R.C.M.P. and British Columbia Security Commission, and extensive correspondence with Mr. Wakabayashi. In a letter from on 5 November 1942, Genroku wrote that, “The fact that I have the responsibility of my two children, has made me impossible to go back to the road camp at Roseberry for the time being.” File also contains regular correspondence from I. Yoneyama and M. Ohashi of the McGillivray Falls Association [of Japanese Canadians]. On 15 December 1942, the hospital forwarded a $33.00 bill to Genroku; a reply from Mr. Yoneyama on 15 January 1943 indicated that, “Mr. Wakabayashi is a man without means, and he went to road work at the command of the Government on conditions that his family was to receive $20.00 for wife and $9.00 for his 2 children. However, since the family was evacuated under this Self Supporting Project the allowances of $9.00 for children was cut off, and the result was that Mrs. Wakabayashi could only receive the sum of $20.00 to provide for the family. This was one of her griefs, in our opinion, and found her very despondent over the matter quite often. Now that we requested Mr. Wakabayashi to stay here to take care of the children, this has entirely deprived him of any means of income whatsoever, and they are living on charity as well as a small sum of support at the hands of Mr. J. Nishimura, one of the members here.” The bill was returned unpaid. In a letter from 14 March 1943, Yoneyama and Ohashi ask if Mr. Wakabayashi may write to his wife in Japanese; Medical Superintendent E.J. Ryan replied that it would be “quite in order.” Mitsuye experienced a bout of tuberculosis in 1943. A letter from W.A. Eastwood of the B.C.S.C. granted Genroku special permission to visit Mitsuye, noting that they would cover accommodations but he would “travel at his own expense.” He was forbidden from entering the city of Vancouver. Ohashi and Yoneyama later wrote to the medical superintendent to thank him for the courtesy of the staff during Genroku’s visit. On 15 February 1944 Ms. Kay Nishimura wrote a letter to the hospital requesting Mrs. Wakabayashi’s measurements so she could sew her some dresses; the dresses were sent on 14 June. In a letter to Col. Lennox Arthur at the B.C.S.C. on 12 January 1945, Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr. A.M. Gee states that, “it does not seem that very much can be gained with visits from her husband. There would be no visiting restrictions, of course, if such were deemed necessary.” On 31 May 1947, Genroku asked Dr. Gee if Mitsuye could join the family in Lillooet, where “I have a very quiet home for her to live in and the children will be delighted to see her back after her long absence.” Gee advised that she remains in the hospital due to a lack of improvement in her condition. Genroku and the family remained at 70 Mile House after the war and continued to correspond with the hospital until Mitsuye was discharged on probation on 15 January 1957.
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 Mitsuye Wakabayashi
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