Teruo (Terry) Adachi was born in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Life took him to Tottori-ken, Japan (ages 6 to 10), Vancouver, B.C. (his teen years), Jackfish and Valetta, Ontario work/farm camps during the war and, finally, Toronto in 1942.
He studied painting and drawing in Toronto at Central Tech and the Ontario College of Art while working as a commercial artist/designer in the Art Department at Brigden’s Ltd, a full-service advertising, catalogue, photography and printing company. In those pre-computer days, all design, illustration and lettering was done by hand and Terry was skilled in all aspects of commercial art. Terry’s design and illustration can be seen on the cover of Pat Adachi’s book, Asahi: A Legend in Baseball.
Adachi studied the art of sumi-e, Japanese ink-brush painting, under Kazuo Hamazaki in the 1960s and Chinese brush painting with Jeremy Tsai in the 1980s.
He was a member of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada from its start in 1980 and exhibited paintings in their annual shows from the first one in 1982. Beginning in 1986, he taught sumi-e at the St. Lawrence College/College Saint-Laurent summer school for several years and gave sumi-e workshops to schools in Toronto and to other sumi-e societies. His workshops often focused on the painting of birds, one of his specialties.
He won the National Chapter Area Award for his painting Blue Jays, the Ruth Yamada Award for Sparrow and Bamboo and several honorable mentions.
His Sumi-e paintings reflected both eastern and western influences and subjects – Japanese bamboo and landscapes, Canadian birch trees and blue jays (he was a Toronto Blue Jays fan.)