Before Edward Banno was an advocate for Japanese Canadian rights, he was a UBC student. Title: “1931 UBC Totem Yearbook belonging to Edward Chutaro Banno.” Collection: Banno Family Collection. Repository: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. Accession Number: 2016.30.4.1.1. Year: 1931.
BURNABY — The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (NNMCC) has been digitizing records from the Banno Family collection as part of the Behind the Lens: The Okamura and Banno Families project, thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program and the Government of Canada Museum Assistance Program Digital Access to Heritage—Museum Assistance Program.
Title: “1931 UBC Totem Yearbook belonging to Edward Chutaro Banno.” Collection: Banno Family Collection. Repository: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. Accession Number: 2016.30.4.1.1. Year: 1931.
One of the items in the collection is this 1931 Totem yearbook from the University of British Columbia belonging to Edward Banno.
Edward Chutaro Banno was a well-known figure in the Japanese Canadian community as a member of the 1936 Japanese Canadian Citizens’ League delegation to Ottawa, fighting for the federal franchise. While the delegation was not successful, it was an important moment in bringing attention to inequalities faced by Japanese Canadians. Several years before he travelled to Ottawa, Banno was a student at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1931 with a degree in Zoology and Bacteriology.
His jovial write-up in this Totem yearbook as part of the graduating class reads:
“Ed is a man of Utopian ideals despite his unaccountable attachment to chick embryos and T.B. germs. Although majoring in Zoology and Bacteriology, in which he holds his own with annoying ease, the chief object of his sojourn at Varsity has been to attain a liberal education. This accounts for his liberal outlook and attendance, even somewhat sporadic, at the Art Club and the International Relations Club meetings. After graduation, Ed contemplates an intensive study of medical science elsewhere.” (p. 17).
Edward Banno did seek out medical studies and went on to pursue a degree in dentistry from the North Pacific College in Oregon.
He would later open his dental practice in Kamloops, B.C., where he and his family settled after being forcibly removed from Vancouver and sent to the Kaslo internment camp.