Tomasaburo Inohara (1888-1923) was a Japanese-Canadian who was born in Okayama, Japan, in 1888, and enlisted at Calgary, Alberta, in August 1916. He listed himself as being a salesman in Calgary, while his attestation paper states that he had a wife who was living in Japan. Inohara served initially with the 175th (Medicine Hat) Battalion, and later with the 50th (Calgary) Battalion. Approximately 222 Japanese-Canadians joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The recruiting station at Calgary was the only place that did not turn them away based on their race. All went on to serve on the Western Front. About a quarter of those who enlisted did not return. Inohara survived the war and lived in Vancouver until his death in 1923.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: March 15, 1888 (Okayama-ken, Japan)
Date of Attestation: August 15, 1916
Age at Enlistment: 28 years
Height: 5 feet, 4 inches
Weight: 135 pounds
Description: Dark complexion, brown eyes, dark hair. Three vaccination scars on left arm and three on right arm. Methodist.
Home Address: Calgary, Alberta
Married: Yes—Wife, Kazaye Inohara, living at Obara Gonai Son, Koji ma-gun, Okayama-ken, Japan.
Details of Family: Father, Kamesaburo Inohara, and mother, Shipuko Inohara.
Next of Kin: Wife (Kazaye Inohara)
Theatre of War: France
Casualties / Medical History
- May 19, 1917 – He is admitted to the No. 2 Australian General Hospital in Wimereux, France, for a shrapnel wound to the head. (Page 8)
- October–December, 1917 – Within a period of two months he is twice admitted to hospital for haemorrhoids. (Pages 8 and 9)
- January–March, 1918 – Having suffered from chronic constipation for a year, he is sent to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bear Wood, in Wokingham, England, for 30 days for treatment. He ends up staying in hospital for over six weeks. When he is discharged on March 22, his condition is improving. (Pages 20 and 53)
- May 1918 – He is provided with prescription eyeglasses. (Page 29)
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- September 25, 1916 – In addition to his immediate family, Shigenori Fujii of Okayama-Ken, Japan, is also to be notified in the event of his death or injury. (Page 5)
- October 13, 1916 – He arrives in England on the SS Saxonia. (Page 8)
- December 11, 1917 – In his military will, he leaves everything to his wife. (Page 6)
- July 11, 1919 – Upon discharge from the army, he is attached to the 21st Reserve of the 50th Battalion. (Page 16)
- May 23, 1922 – His address after the war is listed as 457 Powell St., Vancouver, B.C. (Pages 37-38)
- November 21, 1923 – A note added to his demobilization paperwork in blue coloured pencil shows that he died on September 28, 1923. (Page 16)
- 1924-1925 – A file card lists his widow as Mrs. Haru Inohara of Japan, and indicates, in brackets, that he remarried after discharge. (Pages 39-40)
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Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)