David Kenji Fujino

Region: Toronto Ontario
Generation: Sansei
Born 1945, Greenwood British Columbia
Died 2017


David Fujino was a multidisciplinary Sansei artist who wrote poetry in the form of concrete visual poetry; he was also an actor and a writer of reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces.  Born in the internment camp of Greenwood, Fujino became a fixture of the Toronto Japanese Canadian community and the arts scene. In the 1970s, he wrote for the Sansei-driven publication Tora*, published by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Fujino continued to be involved with important community initiatives in the 1990s, such as the Toronto Chapter NAJC Art Committee’s Second Saturday Arts Nite (SSAN), Weener Matsuri, the Ai Symposium,  and he worked on the follow-up to Aiko Suzuki’s directory of Japanese Canadians in the Arts – the Resource Listings about Japanese Canadians, which he revised for a new edition in 1996. He served on the board of the Toronto NAJC for several years, and was president of the chapter from 2014-2015.

From 2012-2017, he was a columnist for The Bulletin*, providing a Toronto Japanese Canadian perspective to the west coast community. * In addition to his full-length poetry collections, air pressure and the self-published Lines, and his 1987 chapbook, FAST, Fujino’s poetry appears in a number of anthologies and journals, including Paper DoorsWhite Wall of Sound #33, and the journals West Coast LinedANDelion, and filling station. His 2006 collection, air pressure, published by BookThug, is described as ‘a book composed by eye…a continuous visual sequence.’

Fujino said of this work: ’In an age when poetry is dead, it’s interesting that people keep writing it. Sometimes I believe poetry is forever. In air pressure you will find a poetry written for the page and its potential.’