Herbert Norman was born on September 1, 1909 in Karuizawa, Japan to the Reverend Daniel and Mrs. (Kate) Norman, Methodist missionaries who had been in Japan since 1897.
In this formal portrait taken with his parents, Herbert is probably in his mid- to late teens.
Engaged in one of his favourite pastimes: Discussing Japanese historical texts with Japanese colleague Okubo Genji.
As Canadian Head of Mission to Occupied Japan from 1946 to 1950, Norman had unusual access to Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) General Douglas MacArthur. Here MacArthur is shown attending a Dominion Day reception at the Canadian Embassy (1947)
In the grounds of the Canadian Chancery with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru and the British Commonwealth Representative to the Allied Council McMahon Ball of Australia. (1949)
In 1950, Lester Pearson, then Secretary of State for External Affairs, visited Japan at a time when the Cold War atmosphere was distinctly chilly and Norman was facing U.S. Congressional allegations of being a communist and even a spy on behalf of an enemy power. Norman, a long-time friend of Pearson, is shown here greeting his "boss" at the airport in Tokyo.
In 1956, on the eve of the Suez crisis, Norman was named Canadian ambassador to Egypt He is shown here presenting his credentials to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
(Except where noted, the photos on this page are all reproduced with the kind permission of the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of the Library, University of British Columbia.)