Eiko Henmi

Region: British Columbia Montreal QC
Generation: Nisei
Born 1914, Victoria, BC
Died 1990


Eiko “Cindy” Henmi was a popular writer for The New Canadian in the 1940s. Originally from Victoria, Henmi graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1939.

She usually wrote under the pen name “Cinderella”, and was best known for her regular column “Femme-Fare” (1940-1942), but also occasionally contributed short stories and essays under her own name. She won first prize in the Japanese Canadian Citizens’ League short story contest in 1940 with her short story “Let Her Keep Her Dreams.” Henmi was also a member of the Scribbler’s Circle, a group of young aspiring Nisei writers in Vancouver, and an amateur actress prior to the forced removal.

In 1942, she was one of the Japanese Canadian staff members at Hastings Park; her close friend Muriel Kitagawa describes some of Eiko’s experiences at that time in her letters, published in This is My Own. Henmi’s contributions to The New Canadian became infrequent after she was uprooted and sent to Sandon internment camp, where she was a social welfare worker and principal of the high school correspondence teachers for many months.

She relocated to Montreal in 1944, where she worked as a secretary during the war years. After the war, she was involved in theatre in Montreal.

Montreal, c. 1944. From left: Yaeko Henmi, Setsuko Yamaoka, Eiko Henmi, Wes Fujiwara. From “Letters to Wes.”