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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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Japanese Fair Shows Off Culture, Food, Music in Greater Victoria

The thunder of the Japanese Taiko drum. The quiet contemplation of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The traditional taste of a sweet Japanese manju dessert.

All this and more will be there to experience along with other Japanese food, entertainment and crafts at the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s 18th annual Japanese Cultural Fair Oct. 21 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

“The cultural fair is a highlight of the season for our community – it’s our chance to share our culture as Japanese-Canadians with our friends and neighbours,” said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “It’s an all-ages event – with activities for old and young to get a taste of Japanese food and culture.”

On the cultural front people can try their hand at writing Haiku, find out about Japanese classical theatre, or enjoy learning about Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and bonsai.

There will also be demonstrations of a number of Japanese martial arts, including Iaido and Kendo (two types of swordsmanship), Judo, and Aikido.

On the musical front there will be the ever popular taiko drums, as well as the ever popular Soran Bushi and Youth Choir, and a Bon Odori performance by the Furusato Dancers.

And no cultural experience can take place on an empty stomach – one of the reasons why the food offerings are always popular at the fair. Ready to eat are chicken or vegetarian bento boxes, the only-at-the-fair YYJ Dogs (hot dogs with special Japanese toppings), homemade onigiri rice balls, and tasty bean-jam filled manju desserts. And of course, there will be plenty of sushi.

The complete schedule of events is at goo.gl/quYnY3.

“Everyone from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is looking forward to welcoming the community and giving a glimpse into Japanese culture right here in Greater Victoria,” Kurushima added.

Where and When:
What: 18th Annual Japanese Cultural Fair
Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser St..
When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: FREE

Fair offers chance to try Haiku – NEW EVENT

Aspiring poets young and old can learn about traditional Japanese Haiku poetry and contemporary North American haiku (primarily written in English) at the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s 18th annual Japanese Cultural Fair Oct. 21 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

Terry Ann Carter, the Victoria-based president of Haiku Canada, will host a Haiku table all day long at the fair to give people the chance to try their hand at  the art form tracing its origins back hundreds of years. She will be joined by other members of Haiku Arbutus, a haiku study group that she formed here in Victoria four years ago.

Carter, and the other poets at the table, will be aiming to go beyond counting syllables, to teach the techniques for composing haiku which ultimately juxtaposes the natural world and human nature. Participants at the Fair may also ask for a personal haiku written just for them.

Carter has published five chapbooks of haiku and has just released Tokaido, (Red Moon Press, 2017) a collection of haibun — or combination of prose and haiku — that mirrors the journey on the old road between Kyoto and Tokyo, the two cities at the heart of Japanese culture.

Some example of haiku by the poets who will be at the fair:

dark moon

we all have

our secrets.      

Terry Ann Carter

 

scattered ashes

the lilacs bow down

with rain            

Dan Curtis

 

evening tide

sandcastles

becoming sand      

Nika

 

leaving Tokyo subway

a hundred umbrellas

rise in unison                   

Sidney Bending

Taste of Japan at 18th Annual cultural fair

Bring your appetites when you come to the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s 18th annual Japanese Cultural Fair Oct. 21 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

A variety of Japanese and Japanese-inspired foods are on the menu for the day to make sure that everyone can have a taste of the rich food culture of Japan and the Japanese community in Greater Victoria.

The homemade bento boxes are sure to fly off the shelves as they are one of the most popular — and delicious — items at the fair. Available with either chicken or in a vegetarian version, they come with rice, and delicious Japanese vegetables. This is the kind of traditional boxed lunch Japanese workers bring from home for their midday meal.

For those looking for a snack rather than the full meal of a bento box, there will be delicious homemade onigiri — rice balls. One of the most popular snack foods in Japan, the onigiri at the fair have either salmon or umeboshi (traditional Japanese sour plum) wrapped in rice and held together with a large piece of nori — the dried seaweed sheets used to make sushi rolls.

Another handmade and homemade treat is the ever popular manju. These traditional Japanese desserts have a flour and rice powder pastry-type shell wrapped around a sweet red bean filling. They are a true taste of Japan — and you’ll want more than one.

There will also be a wide variety the Japanese food that has become a staple in every corner of the world – sushi. Sushi’s origins are as a street food — something you picked up and ate at a small stand in the middle of a market. So the experience at the cultural fair is like a time travel trip to old Edo (the name of Tokyo before it became the capital in 1868).

Some folks wait the entire year for the cultural fair for the once-a-year and only-in-Victoria Japanese style treat — the YYJ dog. It may look like a hot dog. It may come in a bun. But the magical blend of special Japanese toppings make this a mouthwatering treat worth waiting for!

Admission to the fair is free — so mark your calendar and come hungry to enjoy a taste of Japan!

Trees to permanently honor Japanese Canadian internees 75 years later

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is creating a permanent tribute to the Japanese Canadians dispersed and interned during the Second World War with the donation of three cherry blossom trees to the Township of Esquimalt.

The trees along with a commemorative plaque will be placed in the Japanese Garden in Esquimalt Gorge Park to mark the 75th anniversary of the Japanese Internment. The donation was announced at a Sept. 10 luncheon honoring Greater Victoria’s many living survivors and attended by 120 people.

“There are people in our community who lived through the Interment — being forced to leave their homes, losing their properties, being separated from the families,’ said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “These trees honor all the lives touched by the tragedy of the Internment — and will serve as a reminder to future generations so it does not happen again.”

Esquimalt’s Japanese Garden has a history directly tied to the Internment. The Takata Teahouse and Garden originally located there was the first Japanese garden in Canada when it opened in 1907. It closed in 1942 when the Takada family were sent to internment camps in the Kootenays. They never returned and the gardens and buildings fell into disrepair and were eventually lost.

Lasting from 1942 until 1949 (four years after the end of the war), Japanese-Canadians living in Coastal British Columbia were detained by the government, relocated to camps and farms in the Interior and in the rest of Canada, and stripped of their businesses and homes. In fact, the sale of their personal property was used to fund the Internments.

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society was able to donate the trees with financial support from the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

2017 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair (Saturday, October 21st)

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society

proudly presents

The 18th Annual (2017)
Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 21st
2017 Program (PDF)
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
10:00AM TO 4:00PM

FREE ADMISSION
Family Friendly!

Savour the wonderful tastes of Japan (including delicious sushi, bento boxes and sweet manju desserts).

Experience demonstrations of ikebana, tea ceremony, bonsai, shodo, and various martial arts.

Enjoy performances by Uminari Taiko, the Furusato Dancers, Satomi Edwards (Koto), the VJHLSS Children’s Dance Group and Choir and many more!

NEW THIS YEAR

Haiku – Terry Ann Carter in the Craigflower Room at 1:15pm.

Japanese Classical Theatre – Professor Cody Poulton in the Craigflower Room at 2:15pm.

SPECIAL MENTION

Kamishibai Story Telling – Rebecca Kool is returing this year and will be presenting stories in the Kamishibai tradition (Kids Room at 11:45am).

Harumi Ota (master potter) will be doing pottery demonstrations in the Kids Room all day (you don’t need to be a kid to drop in and watch!).

Continue reading

Luncheon shines a light on Japanese-Canadian Internment 75 years later

For Immediate Release
August 28, 2017

Luncheon shines a light on Japanese-Canadian Internment 75 years later  

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is sharing the story of the tragedy of the Second World War relocation and internment of Japanese Canadians with the community at a special luncheon slated for Sunday, Sept. 10.

More than a dozen Internment survivors living in the Greater Victoria area will speak about their experiences on the 75th anniversary of the Internment to highlight this important history to the broader community.

Because it’s so hard to imagine this happening today, it’s critical that all Canadians — whether they have Japanese heritage or not — remember what happened with the Internments during the Second World War,” said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “We are fortunate to still have first-hand witnesses who can share their stores with the generations who followed them.

Lasting from 1942 until 1949 (four years after the end of the war), Japanese-Canadians living in Coastal British Columbia were detained by the government, relocated to camps and farms in the Interior and in the rest of Canada, restricted in their movement and stripped of their businesses and homes. In fact, the sale of their personal property was used to fund the Internments.

People who never committed a crime were treated like criminals simply because of their heritage,” Kurushima added. “It’s a wrong the Canadian government apologized for in 1988 along with the launch of a redress program.

There will also be a presentation by Jordan Stanger-Ross, Project Director of the Landscapes of Injustice project housed at the University of Victoria. He will give a an update on the project exploring the forced dispossession of Japanese Canadians.

Where and When:

  • What: 75th Anniversary of Internment Luncheon
  • Where: Ambrosia Event Centre, 638 Fisgard St.
  • When: Sunday, Sept 10, 1 to 4:30 pm
  • Cost: $15 (Children 5-12 half price), includes buffet lunch with 2 hot entrees including a vegetarian lasagna option
  • Tickets: Contact Patti Ayukawa at Real English Victoria, #301 – 1111 Blanshard St (250-858-8445).
  • More info: InternmentAnniversary@vncs.ca

 

Media contact:
Tsugio Kurushima, President
Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
(250) 384-2654

Adult Beginner Japanese Course coming this Fall!

Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society once again presents Adult Beginner Japanese Course!

Dear VNCS members and friends:

VNCS is pleased to announce that the Society is once again offering an Adult Beginner Japanese Course from September.  Our goal is to provide the VNCS members and non-members who are interested in learning basic command of Japanese language with an opportunity to participate in a small group lessons.  The details are as follows:

Lesson Time:  7:00pm – 8:20pm (80 min lesson) on Mondays

Lesson Dates:  September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20 (Total of 10 lessons)

Location:  Cook Street Village Activity Centre (Games Room)
1-380 Cook Street, Victoria, BC V8V 3X7, Tel: 250-384-6542

Number of Students Expected: 7-10 (on a first come basis)

Age of Students: 19 years old and up

Textbook:  “Nihongo Fun & Easy” Survival Japanese Conversation for Beginners* and supplementary materials, selected chapters will be covered     *The textbook is approx. $30.

Fees:  $65 for VNCS members and $85 for non-members to cover the room rental fees and supplies

InstructorMieko Fedrau (Mieko is one of the VNCS board members.  She taught Japanese language and culture program at a public high school for over 20 years in Edmonton and moved to Victoria in the fall of 2015 upon her retirement. She piloted this course last year and is ready for an improved course this year!)

If you are interested, please contact Mieko via e-mail for more information and registration:  mieko.fedrau@gmail.com.  We hope many of you will start learning Japanese this fall with Mieko.

Gambatte!

VNCS Board of Directors

 

Go-Bid Auction for Fudo Gift Certificates

Fudo Gift Certificates available on Go-Bid

As a part of the Japanese Cultural Falll Fair (coming up in October), select items are being auctioned via Go Bid.

We currently have gift certificates from Fudo…Victoria’s newest sushi bar available for bidding.

To visit Go-Bid and make your own bid click here: http://www.gobid.ca/auction/882

The auction is active right now…until August 24th!  Please bid and share the link with others so more folks know about it too.

Remembering the Internment 75 years on

Remembering the Internment 75 years on

Detained having never committed a crime. Forced to leave home. Stripped of property and possessions. Threatened with deportation to a country they had never seen.

It’s hard to imagine from the distance of 75 years that anything like this could happen in Canada. But it did. It is exactly the experience so many Japanese Canadians survived through as the government forced them to abandon their lives on the B.C. coast and move to internment camps in the Interior and through the rest of Canada.

Because it’s so hard to imagine, it’s critical that all Canadians — whether they have Japanese heritage or not — remember what happened during the Internments during the Second World War. To help people remember the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is marking the 75th anniversary with a special luncheon Sept. 10.

A number of individuals from the Greater Victoria Nikkei community who lived through the Internment will share their experiences and memories at the luncheon. Their stories will offer a living document of what must never happen again.

There will also be a presentation by Jordan Stanger-Ross, Project Director of the Landscapes of Injustice project housed at the University of Victoria. Jordan will give a summary of their findings and describe the next phase of the project exploring the forced dispossession of Japanese Canadians.

There are a limited number of tickets available, so be sure to get yours today.

Where and When:

  • What: 75th Anniversary of Internment Luncheon
  • Where: Ambrosia Event Centre, 638 Fisgard St.
  • When: Sunday, Sept 10, 1 to 4:30 pm
  • Cost: $15 (Children 5-12 half price), includes buffet lunch with 2 hot entrees including a vegetarian lasagna option
  • Tickets: Contact Patti Ayukawa at Real English Victoria, #301 – 1111 Blanshard St (250-858-8445). Also available at Obon Matsuri event August 13 (noon to 4:30pm) Ross Bay Villa
  • More info: InternmentAnniversary@vncs.ca

Obon Matsuri (2017) Sunday, August 13th at Ross Bay Cemetery

Obon Matsuri (2017)

Cost: FREE

ALL ARE WELCOME

Kakehashi (Bridge) Stone

Schedule

12:00pm – Grave Washing
2:30pm – Obon Buddhist Service
3:30pm – Matsuri (Festival)

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

What is Obon?

Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the spirit’s of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their graves. It is when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.” – from Wikipedia

This is a time for us to get in touch with our past, expressing our true joy and gratitude to not only our immediate ancestors, but to all past causes and conditions that have allowed us to be here today. It is the ultimate recognition and celebration of the oneness of life that has existed in the past and that we continue to be a part of today.

Japanese-Canadian Graves at Ross Bay Cemetery

The Japanese-Canadian community in Victoria was exiled by the Canadian Government during the Pacific War (WWII) and very few ever returned. Therefore, there are no descendants to care for the graves in Ross Bay Cemetery. The VNCS and Victoria Japanese Friendship Society are pleased to continue the work of the Kakehashi (Bridge Building) Project along with the Old Cemeteries Society in caring for the Japanese graves. For more information please read: http://www.jccovictoria.ca/rossbay.html.

The following is the scheduled program for Obon.

12:00 pm – Grave Washing

2013 Grave Washing

2013 Grave Washing

Everyone meet at the Kakehashi Stone at 12 (donations of flowers are welcome, please bring at this time) and then cleaning teams will be assembled to proceed with:

  • Cleaning of gravestones
  • Laying flowers and toys for children’s graves
  • Preparing the Kakehashi Stone

2:30 pm – Obon Service

Obon Service 2011

Obon Service 2011

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 – Matsuri (Festival at Ross Bay Villa)

Suika Wari 2014

Suika Wari 2014

Obon Matsuri (festival) at Ross Bay Villa (1490 Fairfield Road).
Light refreshments (including Kakigōri) will be provided as a thank you for all the hard work in washing the graves and entertainment will include the Furusato Dancers and other activities.

Hope to see you there!

Google Map
Ross Bay Cemetery map – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/brochurerbc.pdf

Click for a larger image

Obon Matsuri Map

Ross Bay Cemetery website – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/cem_rb.htm
Ross Bay Villa website – http://rossbayvilla.org/

Proudly Supported By

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