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"ASA" 2003 Obituary


ASA 

ASA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-10 published
Police investigating retailer's death
By Colin FREEZE Monday, March 10, 2003 - Page A10
John ASA, a boyhood survivor of the Hiroshima bombing who grew up to co-found the Japan Camera retail chain, died after falling from a car said to have been driven by his wife.
"All of us are just waiting to find out what happened, really, said Mr. ASA's nephew, Bryan, in an interview last night.
He said the entire family is grieving for his uncle, whom he described as an inspiring and visionary Canadian entrepreneur who never tired of building his business or of taking snapshots.
According to CFTO News, Mr. ASA had just left his home in the hamlet of Leaskdale, northeast of Toronto, about 8: 30 a.m. on Thursday when he saw his wife of two years driving the other way.
According to the report, they pulled over to the side of the road and he got into her car. But after about 15 metres, he fell out of the passenger side and hit his head.
Mr. ASA died of the head wounds in hospital.
Police in Durham Region are investigating the case. Constable Robert HAWKES, the lead officer, said he expects to receive a reconstruction of the incident tomorrow from investigators. The Durham homicide squad is not involved.
John ASA was born in Canada but was brought to Japan as a child shortly before the Second World War started. When he was about 7, he and his older brothers heard the U.S. bomber Enola Gay fly over their small village about 10 kilometres from Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Then they saw the tremendous mushroom cloud engulfing the city.
The explosion at Hiroshima killed his mother.
With his two older brothers, Kenji and Roy, Mr. ASA made his way to Canada in 1954. They opened the first Japan Camera store near Yonge Street in 1959.
Twenty years later, the enterprise had grown into a leading chain with outlets across Canada.
Japan Camera was the first company in North America that allowed customers to have their photos developed within an hour.

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ASA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-10 published
Japan Camera co-founder dies in car accident
John Asa was a passenger in his wife's car when he fell out and hit head, reports say
By Colin FREEZE With a report from Jennifer LEWINGTON Monday, March 10, 2003 - Page A10
John ASA, a boyhood survivor of the Hiroshima bombing who grew up to co-found the Japan Camera retail chain, died after falling from a car said to have been driven by his wife.
"All of us are just waiting to find out what happened, really, said Mr. ASA's nephew, Bryan, in an interview last night.
He said the entire family is grieving for his uncle, whom he described as an inspiring and visionary Canadian entrepreneur who never tired of building his business or of taking snapshots.
According to CFTO News, Mr. ASA had just left his home in the hamlet of Leaskdale, northeast of Toronto, about 8: 30 a.m. on Thursday when he saw his wife of two years driving the other way.
According to the report, they pulled over to the side of the road and he got into her car. But after about 15 metres, he fell out of the passenger side and hit his head.
An witness who came on the scene told the Uxbridge Times Journal that "when I saw the amount of blood I was surprised he was still alive."
Mr. ASA died of the head wounds in hospital.
Police in Durham Region are investigating the case. Constable Robert HAWKES, the lead officer, said he expects to get a reconstruction of the incident tomorrow. The Durham homicide squad is not involved in the probe.
Bryan ASA, who is a Japan Camera vice-president, described his uncle as the youngest and most charismatic of three brothers who overcame hardships early in life.
John ASA was born in Canada but was brought to Japan as a child shortly before the Second World War started.
When he was about 7, he and his older brothers heard the U.S. bomber Enola Gay fly over their small village about 10 kilometres from Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, then saw the tremendous mushroom cloud engulf the city. The explosion killed his mother, who was travelling, but the radiation-filled smoke blew away from his village.
With his two older brothers, Kenji and Roy, Mr. ASA made his way to Canada in 1954. They settled in Toronto, where their first jobs were picking mushrooms.
As a teenager, John ASA went on to become his high-school class president. He and his brothers opened the first Japan Camera store near Yonge Street in 1959.
Twenty years later, the enterprise had grown into a leading chain with outlets across Canada.
Japan Camera was the first company in North America that allowed customers to have their photos developed within an hour.
For the last 20 years, Mr. ASA had lived in Leaskdale, a tiny village in the community known as Uxbridge. His first wife died five years ago, and he had remarried.
Bryan ASA said his uncle never stopped urging people to take pictures.

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