After completing high school, he worked for 6 months in the Ocean Falls’ pulp and paper industry and then for the fishing industry in Prince Rupert. In November 1937, he went to Japan to study at Wasada University in the two-year International Students program. He returned to Smithers in May, 1940, and proceeded to work on a farm and then, in the summer of 1942, for Columbia Power as a mechanic//night watchman. In 1943, he moved to Toronto, where in 1944, he was hospitalized for 4 years with tuberculosis. Come 1949, he also moved to Stouffville, Ontario to join his family.
Around 1938, Sadako Aida visited Japan with her two youngest children, Sumiko and Asao, to care for her parents and their properties in Yokohama. However, during their stay, World War II impeded them from returning to Canada until several years after the war had ended. Kintaro Aida continued to run the family business until his eldest son, Tatsuo, married Elsie Anderson, passing the business onto him. He then moved to Vancouver to work solely as a tailor and at some point, moved to Stouffville, Ontario to begin a dry-cleaning business.
As of 2008, Fujio was still living in Stouffville, Ontario.
As of 2008, Tatsuo was still living in Stouffville, Ontario.
As of 2008, Tetsuo was residing in the Altamont Nursing Home.
Asao was born in 1927 in Smithers, BC. In 1938, he visited Yokohama, Japan with his sister, Sumiko, and mother, where they were unable to return to Canada until the war ended. However, Asao never returned to Canada and instead married and had a son, Mikio.
Born on May 14, 1919, in Prince Rupert, BC, Tetsuo, like his brothers, was an avid athlete. He also played left-wing forward for the Elks and played on the All-Star baseball team of 1935/1936. Tetsuo participated in ski jumping and at age 14, fractured his back while attempting a new technique. During his teenage years, Tetsuo earned money by running a trap line. His line was just outside of town behind the old skating rink. He caught muskrats, weasels and squirrels, selling the pelts for 25 cents to 35 cents to a local furrier.
Fujio Aida/Joe Aida
Fujio was born September 14, 1917, in Prince Rupert, BC. He was a member of several sports clubs in Smithers and played left-wing forward for the hockey team, The Elks. Further, he was a champion ski jumper and in 1939, he won first place in the Class B Men’s British Columbia Ski Competition held in Wells, BC. When he graduated from high school he worked in the fishing industry in Prince Rupert, as well as for the Ocean Falls’ pulp and paper industry. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1941 to 1943 and returned to Smithers shortly after the war. He then moved to Stouffville, Ontario to work for his father’s dry cleaning business.
Kintaro Aida was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1888, and immigrated to Canada in 1906, completing part of his high school education in British Columbia. Kintaro had two brothers who also immigrated, Eitaro and Kamataro. Eitaro resided in Cumberland, BC, while Kamataro returned to Japan sometime before WWII. The son of a tailor in Japan, he was hired by Mr. Fuseya who owned a tailoring business on Main Street in Vancouver, BC. By 1912, he married Sadako Fuseya-Wanibe, who immigrated to Canada in 1909 with her brother to join their parents. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Prince Rupert where their three sons were born: Tatsuo (Tat), Fujio (Joe) and Tetsuo (Ben). Eventually, the family moved to Smithers because of its prosperity at the time due to the mining industry.
Sumiko was born on May 8, 1929, at her parent’s house on Broadway Street. Her best friends were Betty Leach and Ina Pearson. She was first in several of her classes in Smithers and enjoyed tap-dancing. She was 8 when she went to Japan with her brother, Asao, and her mother, remaining there until the war ended.
Tatsuo Aida/Tat Aida
Tatsuo and Elsie continued to run the family business until 1951 when they moved to Stouffville, Ontario to join family who had moved there earlier to start a dry cleaning business. After moving away from Smithers, their son’s headstone in the Smithers’ cemetery was vandalized. The pre-existing, upright headstone was replaced by Elsie’s parents with a headstone embedded in the ground.
Tatsuo was born in Prince Rupert in April 24, 1916, and graduated from Crockett High. He was a member of the Legion hockey team and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He married a Smithers local, Elsie Anderson, who was the daughter of Axel and Lydia Anderson. The Andersons owned a farm on Anderson Road, as well as Anderson Brick. Elsie and Tatsuo had a son, Joey, who was born on October 22, 1942. Tragically, Joey passed away on August 11, 1944, possibly from sudden infant death syndrome. Controversy ensued over the burial of Joey in the Smithers’ graveyard, as Tatsuo was of Japanese ancestry. However, the argument was made that considering Elsie Anderson was local and Tatsuo was raised in Smithers, Joey should be buried in the Smithers’ cemetery. After the passing of Joey, Elsie and Tatsuo adopted three children who were of Japanese/Anglo Saxon background. Kenny, the eldest, was from Vernon, BC, Benny was from Castlegar, BC, and Margaret was born in Vancouver.
Tetsuo Aida/Ben Aida
Tom Jenkinson, a local builder, was contracted by Kintaro Aida to construct a rooming house, tailor shop and laundry on Broadway Street. The family purchased a home beside the business. Kintaro ran the tailor shop and rooming house, while Sadako managed the laundry. Rooms were rented for 50 cents per day and an extra 50 cents for the bathing facilities. In 1927, the Aida’s had a son named Asao and on May 8, 1929, they had a daughter, Sumiko.
Scope and Content
Fonds includes records collected and created by the Aida Family. Records include Tetsuo's school certificates, Aida Cleaners signs and photographs.