Author: VNCS Web Team
Watch the Japanese Cultural Fair Virtual Edition right here on the VNCS website on Saturday, October 24th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm (Pacific Daylight Time). Below is the performance schedule line up. Please note that as this is a live broadcast event…times may not be exact.
Virtual Edition – Performance Line Up
Uminari Taiko (12:05)
The fair opens with Uminari Taiko and the thunder of Japanese drums. Vancouver Island’s only taiko drumming ensemble their name translates as “roaring sea” – the sound of the crashing waves and the silence in between – a tribute to the drums and our windswept island.
Tea Ceremony (12:30)
Chado Urasenke Tankokai Victoria Association – Urasenke style traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, the Way of Tea, has been taught by Mrs. Mito since 1998. Her group will demonstrate the casual Chabako style, which has a box containing all the utensils and is suitable for outdoor gatherings where the guest can enjoy a bowl of tea outside.
Ikebana Demonstration (12:50)
Sensei Michiko Segeuv will demonstrate Sogetsu Ikebana flower arranging through four different arrangements with dried and fresh plant materials and Ikebana containers. Seguev is a certified Sogetsu Ikebana School teacher who trained in Tokyo and has been teaching for 20 years.
Interview with special guest Jordan Stanger-Ross (1:10)
Jordan Stranger-Ross will talk about UVIC’s Landscapes of Injustice project, its successes, and its next steps highlighting the dispossession of
Kimono and its Seasonal Differences (1:25)
Hitomi Harama, a specialist of Kimono and Japanese culture, will introduce the Kimono, its culture, and its 1,300-plus years of history. Though it ceased being daily wear for Japanese people around 1940, it is at the heart of Japanese culture and embedded with deep cultural matters.
Sake Q&A with Shino (1:35)
Shino Yamashiro is from Okinawa and Sake sommelier and manager at Ené Raw Food + Sake Bar. She will answer viewer’s questions about sake and give us suggestions on paring sake with various food. Send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win 1 Sake Flight Free!
Enjoying Daikon (Japanese Radish) in your Kitchen and Garden (1:55)
Umi Nami Farm
Interview with special guest Natsuki Abe (2:15)
Natsuki Abe will join the Virtual Fair to talk about the recently formed VNCS Heritage Community that she chairs and share its goals. She is a research assistant on UVIC’s Landscapes of Injustice project that focuses on the dispossession and forced sale of property owned by Japanese Canadians.
Lynn Howard-Gibbon, a sushi chef at Sen Zushi since 2005, will demonstrate how to make popular sushi rolls such as Futomaki and California rolls easily at home. Lynn lived in Japan from 1994 to 1999 and is active in the Japanese community, including Urasenke Tankokai (tea ceremony).
Uminari Taiko Finale (3:00)
The roar of the Japanese drum will close out the virtual fair with a second, unique performance by Uminari Taiko.
Victoria’s annual Japanese Cultural Fair & Auction go online with live-streaming this year.
The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s 21stAnnual Japanese Cultural Fair is going new places this year – online.
The Virtual Edition of the fair is being presented as a three-hour long live online show combining pre-taped vignettes and live performances, all highlighting Victoria’s Japanese community.
“For more than two decades the fair has been the main event on our society’s calendar, and it is our way of sharing our history and culture with everyone in Greater Victoria,” said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “We decided a few months ago that we would face the pandemic like so many people are facing it – we would adapt to it but we would not let it stop us.”
Viewers can expect performances of Taiko drumming, Koto playing, Ikebana flower arranging, the Japanese tea ceremony, Kyudo Japanese archery, Kimono dressing, and Kamishibai story telling, as well as a look at Japanese vegetables by Umi Nami Farms.
“We’re disappointed we can’t get together in person, and enjoy the fabulous food made by volunteers that’s always a delight, but we are looking at the positives,” Kurushima said. “We’re looking forward to having video presentations that will be able to provide a closer look than any stage performance ever could.”
The full schedule of events will be posted at VNCS.ca as soon as it is finalized.
Where and When:
- What: 21st Annual Japanese Cultural Fair – Virtual Edition
- Where: Online at vncs.ca
- When: Saturday, Oct. 24, noon to 3 pm
- Cost: FREE
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.