VNCS :: ビクトリア日系文化協会

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society – Celebrating Japanese-Canadian Culture

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Esquimalt Japanese Tea House Commemoration Initiative – We Need Your Help

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).

Esquimalt Concept Building 1 (more details available once you complete the survey).

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.

Thank you
Tsugio Kurushima
Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society

Japanese Building Design at Portland’s Japanese Garden.

Hillside Centre Night of Lights – Tickets on Sale NOW (Nov. 17th)

Night of Lights Image

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013

The VNCS is once again participating in Hillside Centre’s Annual Charity Fundraiser event where you can support the VNCS and get some great deals and maybe even win a trip for two to Paris!

Night of Lights Ticket

When you purchase a $5 ticket to Hillside Centre’s special evening, Night of Lights, 100% of the proceeds support local charities in your community. The $5 ticket also buys you a special evening like no other! The evening includes fabulous in-store discounts, tasty treats, live entertainment and the chance to win one of over 100 door prizes including a GRAND PRIZE TRIP FOR 2 TO THE CITY OF LIGHTS – PARIS!

Get your Night of Lights tickets today! Limited number available. Entrance to the special evening is for ticket holders only. Tickets NOT available at the door – so tell your friends!

$5.00 per ticket

Get your tickets now!

Call Craig or Kana at 250-744-7755 or email and let us know how many tickets you would like and then arrangements can be made for pickup or delivery.

For more information visit: http://hillsidecentre.com/night-lights

Inside Community Photo-documentary Project (Oct.15-29)

Inside Community Photo-documentary Project

This project with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is nearing the grand finale. Attached please find the details of the opening on Tuesday, October 15. Each of the four communities has produced a three and a half minute audio-visual presentation which provide a little glimpse or entry point into the richness of each of their communities. The goal of this project is to create pieces that will speak to the wider community and interest people in finding out more about what makes your community and heritage special.

The VNCS is pleased to be a participant in this project, with special thanks to our photographer, Noreen Scarth, committee members Hiroko and Alder Currie and Cristina Shore and to all the members of the JC community who provided input and support.

Please join them at the gallery on Oct. 15. The exhibit runs until October 29.

*Tuesday October 15 at Dales Gallery, 537 Fisgard St, 7-10pm*

This will be the opening of the photo exhibit, and the multimedia pieces will also be on display. Drop in any time between 7pm and 10pm. The exhibition will be open during gallery hours until October 31. Dales Gallery is near the foot of Fisgard Street in Chinatown.


2013 – Japanese Film Night at UVic (Sunday, Oct. 6th)

Japanese Film Night

Sunday, October 6, 2013
Brave Story (anime) & Always—Sunset on Third Street 3
5:30pm & 7:35pm
Cincenta at UVic

Film Night

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan with cooperation from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the Japanese Friendship Society. With the generous support of University of Victoria Cinecenta.

Japanese with English subtitles
Both films are rated “G”

Please be advised that these screenings are very popular and seating is limited.

5:30pm – Brave Story

Brave Story Brave Story (ブレイブ ストーリー )
Released: July 8, 2006
Running Time: 111 min
Director: Koichi Chigira

“Brave Story” by Chigira Koichi is an animation based on the best‐selling manga by Miyabi Miyuki. It is about the adventures of Watari, a boy who “travels in search of a hidden treasure that has the power to change fate.”

When 11 year old Wataru’s father leaves home and his mother is taken ill to hospital, he decides to change his fate by travelling through the door shown to him by his friend Mitsuru. In a land of magic and monsters, Wataru must summon all his courage and embark on a journey with several comrades.

7:35pm – Always: Sunset on Third Street 3

Always: Sunset on Third Street 3Always San-Chome no Yuhi ’64 (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日’64)
Released: January 21, 2012
Running Time: 142 min
Director: Takashi Yamazaki

It’s 1964 and the Tokyo Olympics are about to open, and Ryunosuke Chagawa is excited to receive a new TV set to watch the upcoming events. His wife Hiromi is pregnant and he has built a second level on his shop to provide his adopted son Junnosuke with a private space to study for entrance to Tokyo University to set up a career with a major company. He dreams of sparing Junnosuke the struggles that he has faced as a writer. The family continues to rely upon Hiromi’s income from her bar. Meanwhile a rival story, The Virus, by a new writer has appeared in the periodical that has been publishing his stories “Boy’s Adventure Book” and he fears the new competition. Norifumi Suzuki also receives a new TV, but more of a deluxe model. Mutsuko Hoshino (Roku) is still the principal mechanic in the Suzuki family’s auto repair shop, but she dresses up some mornings to go to a nearby street with the hope of a “chance” meeting with Dr. Kikuchi, who earlier treated a burn on her arm. High school student Ippei Suzuki dreams of becoming a  rock star. All the residents on Third Street in the shadow of Tokyo Tower feel a  great sense of pride in Japan’s hosting of the Olympics.


Cinecenta at UVic

Film screening of “A Sorry State” at UVic – Thursday, September 26th

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLITICAL APOLOGY “What comes after the government says “sorry”?

A Sorry State Poster

Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Location: University of Victoria | Harry Hickman Building, Room 105
Time: 5:00pm – 7:30pm
Cost: Free and open to the public. Everyone welcome.

A documentary film screening of “A Sorry State” and facilitated panel discussion with film director Mitchell Miyagawa and political scientist Dr. Matt James that will provide space for participants to explore three landmark political apologies across diverse cultural and historical settings and the implications for human rights, social justice, conflict resolution and peace-making.

This event is co-sponsored by UVic’s Equity and Human Rights Office, the Social Justice Studies Program, and the Centre for Global Studies.

Grand Opening Ceremony of the Bonsai Garden at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

Grand Opening Ceremony of the Bonsai Garden
at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

505 Quayle Road, (Saanich)
Victoria, B.C. V9E 2J7
Sunday, September 15, 2013
1:00 PM

In addition to the formal opening at 1:00pm, Tak Yamaura will demonstrate
pruning following the opening ceremony.

For more information about the Bonsai Garden please contact Amanda Price at 250 479‐6162 or. Anyone who would like to volunteer in the Bonsai Garden should contact Amanda to arrange a time to meet.

Information is also available through the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society at: http://www.victoriabonsai.bc.ca

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) – Golf Tournament Fund Raiser



Some of you may know about the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.
Their Mission: To assist in the settlement and adjustment of immigrants and refugees in Canada, and to provide services designed to increase the newcomer’s participation in Canadian society, by assisting the newcomer to overcome barriers.

They are holding a Golf Tournament and Dinner at Prospect Lake on Thursday, September 5, 2013 to raise funds for their Emergency Refugee Program. This is a nine hole best ball format called Around the World in 9 Holes.
Each hole will be sponsored by an ethnic community highlighting their community and the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is pleased to be involved as a sponsor.

We will have the opportunity to greet each group as they make their way to our tee box and let them know a bit about our society and the Japanese community in Victoria.

If you can assist with decorating, entertainment ideas, manning the tee box on this day, please contact Mike Abe at mkabe2011@gmail.com

Or if you are interested in golfing and/or attending the dinner, the details for registration are on the poster. They can process payment by credit card by phone but not on the day of the tournament. If you are able to put together a foursome, there is a bit of a discount. Contact Mike for more details.

We hope that you can come out and support a good cause. To learn more about the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, visit www.vircs.bc.ca

2013 Obon Matsuri – Sunday, August 11th

2013 Obon Matsuri

3rd Annual Obon Festival @ Ross Bay Cemetery & Ross Bay Villa
Sunday, August 11th, 2013
12:30pm – Grave Washing
2:30pm – Obon Buddhist Service
3:30pm – Matsuri
Cost: FREE

Hosted by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the Japanese Friendship Society with support from The Old Cemetery Society – we invite you to come and participate with us in honouring those who have gone before.

2011 Obon - washing the stoneTsugio Kurushima and Grace Yuki Mercer wash a stone together

The following is the scheduled program for Obon 2013 on Sunday, August 11, 2013
12:30 pm
Cleaning of Gravestones
Laying flowers and senko (incense)
Preparing the Kakehashi Stone
Donations of flowers welcome, please bring at this time.

2:30 pm
Obon service led by Reverend Grant Ikuta, Resident Minister of the Steveston Buddhist Temple and Bishop of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada

3:30 pm
Obon Matsuri at Ross Bay Villa. 1490 Fairfield Road

3:50-4:05 pm
Rina El-Nahas(Japanese Minyo-Folk singer)

4:10-4:30 pm
Furusato Dancers will perform the following:
Sansai Odori, Donpan Bushi, Heisei Ondo and Tokyo Ondo (audience participation)

4:30-4:55 pm
Suikawari (Japanese watermelon game)

4:55-5:20 pm
Uminari Taiko
4 songs and 1 performing  with children from the Taiko summer camp.

Hope to see you there!

2013 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembered (68th Anniversary)

Hiroshima Lanterns2013 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembered
68th Anniversary

Tuesday, August 6th 2013
7:30pm – 8:30pm
Esquimalt Gorge Park
(off Tillicum Road just south of the Gorge Waterway)
Cost: FREE

The annual lantern ceremony, marking the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan

Lantern making starts at 7 pm, with words/songs of peace at 7:30 pm, followed by floating the lanterns on the Gorge.

Free – Bring a blanket and/or chair to sit on, a flashlight and a battery candle if you wish.  Floating lantern supplies will be provided.

** Sponsored by the Victoria Raging Grannies, Victoria Peace Coalition, Canadian Department of Peace Initiative