WADA, Juhn A.

Author Tags: Japanese, Medicine, Physician Author

A member of the Order of Canada, Juhn A. Wada, O.C.,D.Sc.(Hon) MD., Med.ScD., F.A.A.N.,F.R.C.P.(C) wrote Spirit of the North (literal translation of the original Japanese title: Kita No Tamashii”) in 2006.

Dr. Wada’s book, written in Japanese, is composed of two parts. The main section (475 pages) is a collection of his essays and travelogues as he traveled to academic meetings over more than forty years. He visited various European countries, the former Soviet Union, now Russia, the Middle East, South America, Africa, Australia and other countries. From time to time some of his literary pieces were written in response to requests from his alma mater, Hokkaido University Alumni Association Annual Journal or the Annual Journal of the National Japan Epilepsy Center at Shizuoka. However in the 1980 the Japanese Choral group of about 120 members visited BC. and Dr. Wada assisted them to perform at UBC, the Government House in Victoria, the University Hill United Church, also in Edmonton, and even with the Vancouver Bach Choir. Some of the Choral members were graduates of the Hokkaido University and they urged him to make his non-academic writings and poetry available to a wider audience. After several years of pleading he finally relented and his collection of literary material along with his sketches and paintings were bound and titled “Spirit of the North” – “Kita No Tamashii”. The title was appropriate, because the writings represented the spirit of the North, and because Hokkaido is a northern Island of Japan and BC is also a northern place.

A second part then was added by the Choral group to the main section of the book– “Witness of the Spirit of the North” (“Kita No Tamashii no Akahi”) – representing a collection of the Choir members’ impressions of their performing visit in Canada.

Dr. Wada was born in Tokyo in 1924. He received his medical degree in 1946 and his Med.Sc.D. degree in Clinical Neurophysiology in 1950 from Hokkaido Imperial University, Japan. (see attached curriculum vitae). He joined the Department of Neurological research (Dr. W. Gibson) in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC in 1956.

Dr. Wada has written, "Reflecting on my years at UBC I was tremendously privileged to have worked with many bright young neuroscientist – nearly 60 – who came to work with me here at UBC. It is gratifying to see that, among them, twenty five became Full Professors (many became Department Heads) in their chosen field. Six served as Presidents of various national Neurological, Neurosurgical and Psychiatric societies, one served as Vice President of an International Medical Organization. Currently, one is Vice President (Research) at a Canadian University and another is President of a Japanese University”.

Dr. Wada became a naturalized Canadian Citizen in 1961. He is married to Mary Iwasaki, a professional concert pianist. They have two children.

As of March, 1014 Dr. Wada had completely retired from clinical activity. Of his retirement he has written, “Since May 2013 I began learning piano and continue to struggle to play Bach I loved throughout my life. It is difficult to describe how joyful it is when I succeed to hear the melody I love being generated through my own finger movement. I am blessed to share this joy with my professional pianist wife. I used to jog, but no more, but I am blessed to live near the UBC Aquatic Centre that enables me to walk there to swim daily. Finally I continue to write review papers on topics of my own interest – such as: Enigma of Music, Music and Art and Science of Medicine, Sculpting the brain-neuroplasticity, etc.”


Spirit of the North (Literal translation from Japanese: “Kita No Tamashii”
Published in Japanese by the International Choir Promotion Association (May 20, 2006)
ISBN 4-9903399-24 C0071

[BCBW 2015]

Curriculum vitae

Juhn A. Wada, O.C., D.Sc.(Hon),

M.D., Med.Sc.D., F.A.A.N., F.R.C.P.(C)

Professor Emeritus,

Neurosciences & Neurology

Born in Tokyo (1924). Naturalized Canadian (1961).

Married to Mary Iwasaki with 2 children

Received M.D. (1946) and Med.Sc.D. (1950) in Clinical Neurophysiology from Hokkaido Imperial University. Japan. As an Assistant Professor of Neurology & Psychiatry (1951-54), he organised and developed Brain Surgery Unit that later evolved to the Department of Neurosurgery at the Hokkaido university.

He came to University of Minnesota as a fellow in Neurology (Dr. Baker) and Neurophysiology (Dr. Gellhorn) (1954) and moved to Montreal Neurological Institute as a fellow in Neurology (Dr. McNaughton), Neurosurgery (Dr. Penfield) and Neurophysiology (Dr. Jasper) (1955).

He joined the Department of Neurological Research (Dr. Gibson), Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (1956) and developed Experimental Epilepsy Program & Primate Colony (1956-1996) in Kinsmen Laboratory, Epilepsy Surgery Program (1961- ) at UBC and VGH, the EEG Department (1969- ) and the Seizure Investigation Unit (1980- ) at UBC Hospital.

Professional Qualifications

Medical Licentiate, (1946) Health Ministry, Japan ; and (1959) Medical Council of Canada.

Certified Neurologist, (1961) Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Hospital Appointement

1961-1980 Active Staff, Neurology & Associate in EEG, Vancouver General Hospital

1981- Honorary Staff, Neurology, Vancouver General Hospital

1969-1994 Active Staff, Neurology & Psychiatry, UBC Hospital

1969-1994 Director, EEG Department, UBC Hospital

1980-1994 Director, Seizure Investigation Unit, UBC Hospital

1994-Present, Honorary staff, Neurology; Director Emeritus, EEG & Epilepsy Program, UBC Health Sciences Center

Sabbatical Research Leave from UBC

1959-1960 (6 mos), University of Iowa (Drs.Knott and Ingram) and Brain Research Institute

(Drs. Magoun & French), University of California, Los Angeles;

1965 (3 mos), California Institute of Technology (Dr. R. Sperry), Palo Alto

1970-71, Hopital Timone (Dr. H. Gastaut) &, Centre National Recherché Scientifique (Dr. R. Naquet), Marseilles, and Functional Neurosurgery (Drs. Talairach and Bancaud), Centre Sainte-Anne , Neuropsychology (Dr.H.Hecan),Paris

1983-84, Centre National Recherché Scientifique,(Drs. Fessard & Naquet), Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Scientific Publication

Eleven books edited and 323 papers on human brain asymmetry , neurobiology of epilepsy and kindling.

Professional Society Administration:

Executive Committee Member

1975-1981, Epilepsy International Organisation

1984-1988, International Federation of EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology.

Founding Presidency

1977-1979, Canadian League Against Epilepsy

1975-01, Vancouver Society for Epilepsy Research


1977-79, Western Institute of Epilepsy (USA)

1976-78, Epilepsy International (Organised major Public Awareness Campaign that became the tradition since)

1985-86, AmericanEEG & Clinical Neurophysiology Society (Created Herbert H. Jasper Lecture & Award Program)

1988-89, American Epilepsy Society ( Raised $800.000 for World-Wide Epilepsy Research Program for Childhood-Onset Epilepsy)

1975, 1980,1985,1990, 1995 International Kindling Symposium

1993 International Congress of EEG & Clinical Neurophysiology.


1961 Fellow, Royal college of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

1963-94 Career Investigator & Associate, the Medical Research Council of Canada

1972 Fellow, American Academy of Neurology

1975 Creation of Juhn A. Wada Award by the Japan Epilepsy Society

1981 Fellow, American Electroencephalographic (EEG) Society

1981 William G. Lennox Lecturer, American Epilesy Society

1986 Herbert H. Jasper Lecturer, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society

1986 Wilder Penfield Lecturer, Japan Neurosurgical Association

1984 International Exchange Professorship, Hokkaido University

1985 William G. Lennox Visiting Professorship designated by American Epilepsy Society

1989 Birch Memorial Lecturer, International Neuropsychology Society

1989 Rosen Memorial Lecturer, American Medical EEG Association

1992, Officer of the Order of Canada, Ottawa

1993 C.L.Dolman Lecturer, University of British Columbia/ Vancouver General Hospital

1994 Wilder Penfield Lecturer, Western EEG Society (USA)

1995, The Order of Japan (Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star), Tokyo

1995, Inclusion of the Wada Test in the Dutch Neurological Society’s Centennial book by Kohler et al “Het Neurologisch Onderzoek in Eponym”, Arts & Boeve, Nijmegen.

2003, Doctor of science honoris causa, University of British Columbia


1976, Distinguished Service Award, New York, Epilepsy Foundation of America

1978, Gold Medallion, Vancouver, Epilepsy International Organisation

1981, Ambassador Award , Kyoto, Epilepsy International Organisation

1988, Wilder Penfield Gold Medal, Montreal, Canadian League Against Epilepsy & Canadian Neurological Congress

1989-1990 William G. Lennox Professorship, Epilepsy Foundation of America

1997, Distinguished Research Award and Gold Medal , Tokyo, Japan Epilepsy Research Foundation

1998, William G. Lennox Award , Boston, American Epilepsy Society

2001, Herbert H. Jasper Award, Philadelphia , American Clinical Neurophysiology Society.

2008, Distinguished Graduate Award, Sapporo , Hokkaido University Faculty of Medicine

Honourary memberships:

1977 Japan Epilepsy Society, Tokyo

1981 Eastern EEG Association (USA), New York

1991 German Epilepsy Society , Nuernberg

1994 Western EEG Society (USA), Los angeles

1996 Canadian Neurological Society, San Francisco

1996 Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists, San Francisco