2022 Obon Grave Washing, Sunday, August 14th at Ross Bay Cemetery

OBON 2022 in Victoria – SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2022

ROSS BAY CEMETERY – 1495 Fairfield Road, Victoria, B.C.

Ross Bay Cemetery Map showing Japanese Grave clusters.

Summer has arrived! And in this very busy season, we will be gathering to mark Obon and look forward to your participation in the day’s activities.

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and The Japanese Friendship Society have come together to host this event and highlight the following activities and times in historic Ross Bay Cemetery:< LOCATION: ROSS BAY CEMETERY – Kakehashi Stone and surrounding area<

  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon) – Grave Headstone washing of 152 graves of pioneers of Japanese descent and placement of flowers on these gravestones. Your assistance with this task is greatly appreciated.
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Heritage Walk of Japanese Pioneer Graves
  • 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Buddhist Obon Ceremony at Kakehashi Stone The ceremony will be presided by Reverend Grant Ikuta, resident minister for the Steveston Buddhist Temple and Bishop of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.

Following the Ceremony, light refreshments will be served – Please join us as we welcome travellers from the Steveston area to the Ross Bay Cemetery joining our Obon observance.


VOLUNTEER HELP – As well as the help needed for the Grave Headstone washing, we would appreciate some EXTRA assistance in the setting up and taking down of tents, chairs, tables, signage, decorations, and food services. If you are able to assist with any of these tasks, please contact us – thank you.


Flower Donations – We appreciate the donation of flowers for both the laying on the gravestones and for the Kakehashi Stone.


2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the internment and displacement of citizens of Japanese descent from the west coast of British Columbia after which many people did not return to their former homes. This includes former Japanese Canadian residents of the greater Victoria area and because of this, the pioneer graves fell into disrepair. In this year, we remember not only the pioneers, their descendants and community, but also the small group that came together about thirty years ago to bring about repairs or to replace individual headstones and to raise the Kakehashi Stone in Ross Bay Cemetery.


We look forward to meeting you and your family. Please come, wear your Yukata, and share in the friendship at this unique event.


Proudly Supported By

2022 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair – Saturday, August 27th

HOLD THE DATE! The VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair is BACK!
Saturday, August 27th, 2022 at the new Gorge Park Pavilion.

The planning team is hard at work to re-launch our fair that we haven’t been able to have in person since 2019. We are also looking for volunteers…so if you have experience working for fairs and want to join in or just want to learn how to work in a fair…send us an email to info@vncs.ca and we’ll get you sorted out.

Anglican Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians – Programs are Open

An update from the
Anglican Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians

Applications are now open

If you are a survivor or a survivor family member of Mr. Gordon Goichi Nakayama’s abuse you are eligible to apply for healing funds. Counselling support is being offered immediately and we have a counsellor available who is able to help you with your application, whenever required.

Education grants will be collected and reviewed every semester. Education grants are valued at up to $10,000 and can be applied for retroactively to June 15, 2015. If you were undertaking postsecondary education on or after June 15, 2015, and are a survivor or survivor family member then you are eligible to apply for an education grant.

Apply Today


June 25, 2022 11AM PDT
National Outreach Online Meeting

Pre-registration is required to attend our National Outreach Meeting. We will be discussing Healing Fund application forms and our other supports moving forward. Please Join us for this important meeting!

Register Here

Guest Speaker Dr. Nicholas Harrison

Dr. Harrison will speak on his personal experience with abuse and the lifelong act of healing from this trauma.

For more information his book Safe Space: A True Story of Faith, Betrayal, and the Power of the Force is for anyone who wants to understand how abuse continues to affect victims and their families long after the act.

Japan Fest is BACK July 23!

Japan Fest is back!  It will be held on Saturday, July 23 at the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre from 3 to 5 PM, in the courtyard by the fountain.  This summer matsuri (Japanese Festival) is a joint collaboration between the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and FUDO Japanese Restaurant.

Enjoy Japanese cultural performances by:

  • Uminari Taiko, Vancouver Island’s premier Japanese drumming ensemble:
  • Furusato Dancers displaying traditional folk dancing; and
  • the Soran Youth Dance Ensemble who will present contemporary Japanese dances.

Savour delicious Japanese festival food prepared by FUDO:

  • Spicy Scallops rolls;
  • Deep fried korokke (kabocha squash); and
  • Seaweed salad

There will be a raffle for prizes donated by the merchants of the shopping centre.

Proceeds from this event will help the VNCS support its cultural programs and groups.  It will allow the VNCS to fund  community initiatives such as the recently opened Gorge Park Pavilion and the restoration of Japanese gravestones at the Ross Bay Cemetery.  It will support the VNCS grant program which provides up to $500 in funding to other organizations or individuals who promote Japanese culture.

Come early to secure a good vantage point.  If the 2019 turnout is any indication, there will be a good turnout.  Japan Fest is free, a safe outdoor event and family friendly.  Don’t miss it!


80th Anniversary of Internment Luncheon (July 10th)

Please join us on July 10, 2022 at the 80th Anniversary of Internment Luncheon taking place at the Hotel Grand Pacific from 1:00 to 4:30. We are gathering to honour the few remaining seniors who experienced first hand the internment, dispossession and forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians during WW II. The theme of gathering is “Okagesamade” – We are who we are because of you. It is because of their strength, perseverance and stoic efforts in overcoming the hardships they endured, that we are here today. The cost of this Anniversary Luncheon will only be $15 (JC survivors are guests at no charge). This highly subsidized price is because of the generous grant we received from the JC Survivor Health & Wellness Fund. Tickets for this event can only be purchased through Eventbrite.


Please join us in honouring our JC survivors on July 10, 2022.