Nori Tori 2024 coming Feb 25th

Nori Tori 2024

2023 Nori Tori Crew

If you are interested in harvesting nori from the beaches of Gabriola Island, mark your calendar for Sunday, February 25.

Nori is nourishing and grows naturally all around the Pacific Northwest, but the challenge is finding a beach with access to clean, cold, fast moving water and a convenient low tide. Foraging your own nori is a great way to explore Japanese cuisine, preserve tradition, and learn more about how we can be good stewards of this precious natural resource. It’s been a mild winter and with any luck the warmer weather will continue for another pleasant day on the beach for Nori Tori 2024!

Contact Bradley Kurushima ( for more information.

2024 Board of Directors

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Sunday, February 04, 2024 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre the Board of Directors for 2024 was elected by acclimation.

The 2024 elected Board of Directors are:

  1. President – Tsugio Kurushima
  2. Vice President – Deborah Ibaraki
  3. Treasurer – David Lawson
  4. Secretary – Djuna Nagasaki
  5. Karen Geiger
  6. Reyna Goshinmon
  7. Amy Kawano
  8. Craig Mercer
  9. Yumiko Mizuno
  10. Joyce Tobo
  11. Kimiko West
  12. Lily Yee

To find out more about our current directors visit the Board of Directors page here:

2024 Annual General Meeting – Sunday, Feb 04

2024 AGM Announcement

Sunday, February 4, 2024 – 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Esquimalt Recreation Centre, Craigflower Room

Please join us for us our Annual Genera Meeting. We will review what the VNCS accomplished in 2023, look at our financial status, introduce some initiatives for 2024, elect our 2024 Board and hear about the Royal Roads University’s plans to revitalize their Japanese Garden. 

NOTE: To vote at the AGM you must be a paid up member of the VNCS.  You can pay your membership at the AGM or do it online through our Web site.  Plan to arrive by 9:45 to register.

Continue reading 2024 Annual General Meeting – Sunday, Feb 04

Book Launch! Beauty of a New Land: The Lives and Legacies of Five Immigrant Women in Canada.


Please join me to celebrate the publication of my new book, Beauty of a New Land: The Lives and Legacies of Five Immigrant Women in Canada. 

Beauty of a New Land tells the stories of five elder women, including me, who immigrated to Canada, decades ago, from different parts of the world. The book celebrates their contributions to Canadian society and describes how each has managed to bridge the culture of her homeland with that of their adopted nation. It offers a glimpse into each of four women’s relationships with a daughter and a granddaughter and explores the cultural dynamics that tend to exist within immigrant families who become Canadians.  It bears witness to the vital self-confidence and the sensitive awareness of five women who have made meaningful and happy lives for themselves in Canada while working to forge a just society for others.

I will be reading from and signing the book as well as introducing these amazing women.

We hope you can join us. Please RSVP to

Michiko Sakamoto-Senge

Beauty of a New Land

The Lives and Legacies of Five
Immigrant Women in Canada

By Michiko Sakamoto-Senge

Date December 10, 2023
Location Wentworth Villa
Architectural Heritage Museum
1156 Fort Street, Victoria

Time 2:00-4:30 pm
Books Available for purchase.
Cash, cheque, or e-transfers accepted.
$40 (no tax)

Wheelchair access from the side door.

Street parking available.

NAJC Open Letter on Israel-Palestine

National Association of Japanese Canadians

November 17, 2023

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Via Email

Dear Prime Minister and Ministers:

Open Letter from the Japanese Canadian Community: Urgent Call for an End to the Deadly Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Japanese Canadian community calls on the Government of Canada to press for:

  • An immediate ceasefire to the fighting in Gaza;
  • The release of all hostages;
  • Increased access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and humanitarian corridors; and
  • Increased action against hate-crimes inflicted upon Arab, Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities in Canada.

The National Association of Japanese Canadians expresses its profound horror and shock at the level of brutality, loss of human life and the humanitarian crisis now occurring in Israel and Palestine. Although Palestinian people have endured decades of deprivation and human rights violations, the cruel atrocities and inhumanities carried out by Hamas on October 7 must be condemned. Retaliatory military actions by the Israeli government have however, resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians including children, helping to perpetuate the never-ending cycle of violence and hate. It is with heavy hearts and an urgent sense of responsibility that we reach out to call for an end to the deadly violence and destruction.

Japanese Canadians also stand against the evil of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We know all too well that wars waged in other parts of the world can result in those who are innocent being vilified and targeted here at home. We implore all to reject hate, never to inflict suffering upon people because of who they are, to uphold human dignity and rights and to stand in resolute solidarity today and tomorrow with Arab, Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian people.

We would like to remind all parties involved of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in its preamble that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” Article 3 of the declaration reaffirms that “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” We implore all parties to prioritize the lives and well-being of their fellow human beings. The world is watching, and the time for lasting peace is now.

Yours sincerely,

Les Kojima

Dementia Advocate Workshop/ 認知症サポーターワークショップ (Sunday, September 17th)

Workshop title: Dementia Advocate Workshop/ 認知症サポーターワークショップ

Organization: JAMSNET-CANADA, supported by VNCS

Admission: Free 無料イベント

Instructor: Okada Yuka, Geriatric Nurse (Momiji Healthcare Society) 高齢者ナースプラクティショナー、岡田由佳 (モミジ・ヘルスケア・ソサエティ)

Data and Time: September 17th (Sun) 10AM (English) 9月17日(日)午後1時半(日本語)

Place: Esquimalt Gorge Pavilion, 1070 Tillicum Rd, Victoria, BC V9A 2A1

Pre-registration: 事前登録はこちらからお願いします

Content and time schedule: Please see the below 内容とタイムラインは下記をご覧ください


Part 1: Lecture “What is Dementia?”
10:00 to 10:50 PM (50 min)
Basic information, prevention, and institutional care of dementia
(10 min break)
Part 2: Activity “Dementia and Living”
11:00 to 12:10 PM (70 min)
Discussion, group work, and role-play of how to support people with dementia
(5 min break)
Part 3: Introduction of Team Orange “Initiatives of supporting people with dementia”
12:15 to 12:30 PM (15 min)
Examples of Dementia Dementia-friendly Communities in Japan

午後1時半~2時20分 (50分)
(10分休憩 )
午後2時半~3時40 分 (70分)

Thank You 2023 Japanese Cultural Fair Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors!

A big thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors/donors that made this year’s Japanese Cultural Fair a big success! We just could not do it without YOU! 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!



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 Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors. ARIGATOU!

We encourage all those who attended the fair to frequent our sponsors below.


Proudly Sponsored By:

Exclusive Media Sponsors
Print Media Sponsors

PLATINUM Level Sponsors

Bento Sushi
Chieri Uegaki
Fudo Japanese Restaurant
Fujiya Japanese Foods
Keiko Hicks
Janice Nakamura
Robin Hood Inn & Suites
Sakura Sushi and Grocery
Standard Furniture
Township of Esquimalt

GOLD Level Sponsors

Jim Pattison Auto Group
La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Decor
Marlene Howell
Peter Jarvis
Sushi Rice Studios
Sushi Story
Think Communications Inc.

SILVER Level Sponsors

Ardmore Golf Course
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Barb Humm
Blenkinsop Driving Range
Camilla Schuett
Campus Auto Group (Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Nissan)
Carlton Plaza Hotel, Best Western
Craig & Kana Mercer
Curtis Cross (Assante Wealth Management)
Elements Casino Victoria
E:ne Raw Food + Sake Bar
Fairway Market
Ghost Ramen
Janice Nakamura
Jayne Takahashi
Joanne Rollins
KODO collection
Koto Sushi Izakaya
Lisa Nakamura
Mark Compton
Nessa Herman
Nicholas Randall
Pacific Mazda
Patti Kagawa
Pendray Tea House
Pharmasave Oak Bay
Ramen Arashi
Royal BC Museum
Ruffell & Brown
Sawyer Sewing Centre
ScanDesigns Furniture
Sen Zushi Japanese Restaurant
Silk Road Tea
Starbucks Coffee (Hillside Mall)
Yuriko Takane

BRONZE Level Sponsors

Alexander’s Coffee Bar
Barbara Gilbert
Bao Restaurant
Butchart Gardens
Butterfly Gardens
Cameron Barnard
Cozy Koji
Deb Shepherd
Discovery Cofee/Yonni’s donuts
Dumpling Drop
Ecotopia Naturals
Goodside Pastry House
Hey Happy Coffee
Hide + Seek Coffee
Gardens at Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP)
Ivy’s Bookshop
Japanese Village Restaurant
Jo Caragata
Keiko Saunders
Kendra Savich
KOME KOME (Rice Crackers)
Kuma Noodle
Level Ground Coffee & Tasting Room
Lily Jer Nakamura
Lorrainne Nygaard
Lynn Thomson
Melinda’s Biscotti & Bistro
Munro’s books
Murchie’s Tea and Coffee
My Thai Cafe
Ono Poké
Pacific Shiatsu
Politano Café
RockCoast Confections
Russell Nursery
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
Shiki Sushi
Shizen Sushi
Side Street Studio
Sidney Museum
Subway (Eagle Creek Village)
Sushi Time Express
Taste of Tokyo
Tulipe Noire Clothing
Umi Nami Farms
Vessel Liquor
Wholesome Suds Natural Handmade Soap
Yoshi Sushi
Yukari Peerless
Yuiko Hammer


With much thanks from the Japanese Cultural Fair Planning Team: Amy Kawano, Craig Mercer, Debbie Ibaraki, Donovan Aikman, Jo Brooks, JO Caragata, Kana Mercer, James Harada-Down, Kyle Armour, Lily Yee, Lorin Goshinmon, Marlene Howell, Maureen Bird, Patti Kagawa, Rebecca Barnard, Reyna Goshinmon, Susan Ikeda, Susan Kurushima, Tsugio Kurushima, Yukari Peerless, and Yumiko Mizuno.

2023 Obon Grave Washing a huge success!

The small buy mighty volunteers of the 2023 Grave Washing crew.

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful volunteers who were able to come and make this year’s Obon grave washing another amazing success. It was hot but the occasional cool breeze encouraged us to keep going. We had a great group of 15 volunteers clean all of the graves of early the Japanese pioneers and Japanese-Canadians buried in Ross Bay Cemetery. We had just enough flowers to ensure every grave got one. Arigatou gozaimashita!