We need your help to have the Township of Esquimalt build a multi-purpose building at Gorge Park that commemorates the Japanese history of that park! Please complete this online survey to vote for the multi-purpose building that incorporates Japanese design elements, Building 1. Below is the architectural rendering of Building 1. It incorporates modern Japanese architectural design elements. There is a comparable building in the Japanese Gardens in Portland (see image at the end of this post).
When you complete the online survey you will have an opportunity to see more information about the buildings being proposed and you can even suggest other Japanese design elements that they should consider such as a Zen Garden, bamboo garden or sliding doors and screens. You could even suggest a room to perform Japanese cultural demonstrations. The Township of Esquimalt is also going to hold an Open House on September 19 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre from 6 to 8 pm where you can speak to staff and the architects about the proposed building. You might like to attend the Open House. However the key action that needs to be taken is completing the survey by Sep 29. The more support we show, the greater the probability of the of the Esquimalt council proceeding with the Japanese style building.
We are very close to achieving our goal to have the Township of Esquimalt erect a multi-purpose building that commemorates the Japanese history of Esquimalt’s Gorge Park. Let us not be complacent and let this once in a lifetime opportunity slip through our fingers. Complete the survey and recruit others to do the same. You can forward this infromation to others to vote for the Japanese style multi-purpose building.
Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
Save the date – don’t miss our second annual Japan Fest on Saturday, July 27th from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM!Experience the taste and culture of Japan at Japan Fest on July 27, 2019 at the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre. Enjoy powerful Japanese drumming by Uminari Taiko, graceful Japanese folk dancing by award winning Furusato Dancers and savour delicious Japanese cuisine provided by FUDO Japanese Restaurant.
FUDO will be providing a special $7 snack menu. This event is a family friendly FREE event that will run from 3:00-5:00 PM in the court yard outside of FUDO.
For Immediate Release
February 26, 2019
Japanese community concerned with Victoria’s cherry tree removal
Victoria – The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is worried the City of Victoria’s urban forest plan could threaten the future of the culturally and historically significant cherry trees lining many streets in Victoria and beloved by the entire community.
Victoria’s first blossoming cherry trees were purchased and donated by the Japanese community more than eight decades ago after their float won first place and $300 in prize money in the Victoria’s 75th anniversary parade in 1937.
“It’s disappointing that City Hall has failed to consult with Victoria’s Japanese community and the wider community about council’s plans that could uproot history,” said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “It’s ironic that the history of Victoria’s cherry trees has been ignored at the same time VNCS is working with the Township of Esquimalt to right the historical wrong of the destruction of the Japanese tea house during the Second World War.”
Kurushima pointed out the cherry trees were selected by Victoria’s parks superintendent in the 1930s because native trees like firs and maples were buckling sidewalks. Cherry trees are also easier to maintain, require less watering, and prove hardier than many native trees.
“Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are a sign spring has arrived in Victoria and so many people love to celebrate the beauty they bring to our community,” Kurushima added. “For more than 80 years these trees have survived and thrived, and it’s clear that they can continue to spark joy for people many more decades.”
Kurushima noted that the points being made that climate change and drought resistance being the reasons to replace cherry trees has been debunked by University of Victoria forest biologist Dr. Patrick von Aderkas.
“Rather than climate change, it’s old age that is impacting the health of some of these 80-year-old trees. In fact, that time span is an incredible accomplishment for an ornamental tree,” Dr. von Aderkas said. “The reality of these cherry trees is the exact opposite of claims being made – they have an excellent adaptation in the face of climate change due to the superior water-seeking abilities of their roots. They are tough urban trees that are low on maintenance.”
Kurushima encouraged Victoria residents who share the Japanese community’s love of the cherry trees and their annual blossoming to share their concerns directly with the mayor and city councillors.
Tsugio Kurushima, President, Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
2019 Annual General Meeting
Sunday, February 24th, 2019
Gordon Head Recreation Centre, 4100 Lambrick Way.
- Registration – 9:30 am (Coffee/Tea)
- AGM – 9:45 am – 11:30 am (Reports, New Business, Election of Officers)
- Break and Refreshments – 11:30 am – 11:45 am
- Guest Speaker – 11:45 am – 12:45 pm
(Memberships can be created/renewed at the AGM or online)
Please plan to attend our Society’s Annual General Meeting which will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre, Multi-purpose Room, 9:45 AM to 12:45 PM. Following the AGM our special guest speaker will be Ken Watai, VNCS Board Member and sake importer.
Ken Watai, President of BC Sake Association, Board member and Treasurer of the VNCS
The Story of Sake
Ken’s presentation will cover the history of sake, the sake making process, the types of sake. He will show a video of the sake making process.
Ken Watai has been a long time VNCS Board member and our Treasurer since 2010. After retirement over 20 years ago, he became an international marketing consultant for various mineral commodities for Canadian mining companies. From year 2000, he started his importing business of sake. He is the representative of 5 sake breweries and is responsible for providing sake to the Western Canada.
2019 MOCHI-TSUKI KAI and POTLUCK DINNER
Presented by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Japanese Friendship Society and the Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School Society
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Esquimalt Rec Centre
2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
MEMBERS ONLY EVENT
Please join us for a potluck dinner, entertainment and interactive participation which includes mochi-pounding and traditional games to celebrate this New Year.
As this is a popular community event for all ages, there are a few guidelines that will be in place:
- Attendees must be Active Members of the Host Organizations
- Admission with a Main Course Dish to share: Please bring sufficient food to feed your family plus 2 (two) other people.
- As well, please LABEL your serving dish and utensils with your name and your food item with an ingredient list.
Drinks and Dessert will be provided for guests.
A big thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers that made this year’s Japanese Cultural Fair a big success! お疲れ様でした！And to all you who made it out to the festival we hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on!
Proudly Sponsored By:
An event like the VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair is only possible when many people work together. Here the VNCS would like to express a big thank you to our Sponsors/Donors. ARIGATOU!
PLATINUM Level Sponsors
Campus Auto Group (Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Nissan)
CFAX 1070 (Exclusive Radio Sponsor)
CTV Vancouver Island
Fudo Japanese Restaurant
Fujiya Japanese Foods
Jim Pattison Auto Group (Toyota, Lexus, Subaru)
Kool FM (Exclusive Radio Sponsor)
Township of Esquimalt
GOLD Level Sponsors
Sushi Rice Studios
SILVER Level Sponsors
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Blenkinsop Valley Golf Centre
Carlton Plaza Hotel, Best Western Plus
Heart and Hands Health Collective
Jack & Elizabeth Watanabe
Jean Murata & Ken
Joyce Matzke (Kimono Closet)
Joyce’s Kimono Closet
Kodo, The Way of Fragrance
Obara & Company Chartered Accountants
Royal BC Museum
Silk Road Tea
Vancouver Island Bonsai Club
Yoshi Sushi Japanese Restaurant
BRONZE Level Sponsors
Bon Sushi (Royal Oak)
Buckerfield’s Feeds & Pet Supplies (Saanich Store)
Gardens at HCP
Golden City Restaurant
J&J Wonton Noodle House
Japanese Village Restaurant
Koto Japanese Restaurant
Kuma Noodle Japan
Milestones Grill & Bar
Picnic (coffee shop)
Sen Zushi Japanese Restaurant
Shirley & Bruce Gorle
Shizen Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Sushi Plus Restaurant
Sushi Time Express
Taste of Tokyo
The Pedaler Cycling Tour
The Roost Farm Centre
Umi Nami Farms
Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre (Cannor Nursery)
Harumi Ota trained in the forming and decorating of traditional Kutani-style ceramics in Ishikawa, Japan. Ota’s art may be best described as an eclectic fusion of Japanese esthetics with a contemporary style reflective of his adoptive country, Canada. His art also contains vibrant influences of his year of mountaineering in South America. Ota’s works have been shown at major ceramic exhibitions including the International Ceramics Competition Mino and the Kutani International Decorative Ceramics Competition in Japan, as well as the Fletcher Challenge Competition in New Zealand. After having moved to Canada from his native Japan in 1998, Ota established his first studio in Victoria, B.C. Shortly thereafter, Ota’s passion for creating his own art evolved into offering workshops and formal art instruction. In 2001, his work was selected for Eye Candy, an exhibition of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. In 2013 he was artist in residence at the Fairmount Empress.
Ota most enjoys making non-functional pieces using the slip casting technique. These are high-fired once and fired again low temperatures, often several times depending on the type and quantity of colours used for the overglaze. He also makes colourful unique functional pieces that reflect a combination of the Japanese enjoyment of tableware and his own sense of fun. Ota uses an electric kiln at his studio in Victoria and still maintains two anagama kilns that he built in Ishikawa and Toyama, Japan.
For more information visit the 2018 Japanese Cultural Fair page here: http://www.vncs.ca/wordpress/2018-japanese-cultural-fair/
It is with heavy hearts the VNCS has learned that Dick Nakamura passed away on October 8th, 2018. Dick was a prominent leader in the Nikkei community not only in the greater Victoria area but also throughout Vancouver Island. During the 1980’s he worked tirelessly to mobilize the Japanese-Canadians on Vancouver Island in the fight for redress. It was because of Dick’s vision and hard work that the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society was established and got off the ground. We are forever indebted to Dick. He will be sorely missed and certainly not forgotten.
Dick’s full obituary which was published in the Times Colonist on Oct 16, 2018 can be seen here: https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/timescolonist/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=190485391&referrer=0&preview=True
A Celebration of Dick’s life will be held:
Sunday, October 28th, 2018
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Beach House Restaurant
5109 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria BC.
Dick’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers or koden, please consider supporting the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Victoria-Morioka Friendship Society, the Nikkei National Museum or the Broadmead Care Society.