When Sake Goes Global – Feb. 10

Friday, February 10, 2023, 4:30-6:00 p.m. at UVic, CLE A127

Free and open to the public. No reservations.

When Sake Goes Global

Presented by the Alliance Française of Victoria, with Professor Yasuyuki KISHI (CAPI, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at UVic), from the Sakeology Center of Niigata University in Japan. In English with French translation if necessary, and Japanese translation for question period.

Description: What makes sake (“Japanese alcohol” in Japanese) so unique in the way it is made and its cultural meaning? Sake is now becoming more globalized, and Professor Kishi specializes in this question. He works closely with the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV) of the University of Bordeaux. He will answer all your questions about sake.


Vendredi 10 février 2023, de 16h30 à 18h à UVic, salle Clearihue A127

Entrée libre et gratuite, sans réservation. Ouvert à tout public.

Le saké, boisson planétaire ?


L’Alliance française de Victoria invite le Professeur Yasuyuki KISHI (Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives de UVic) du Centre de sakéologie de l’université de Niigata au Japon. En anglais avec traduction française si nécessaire (japonais possible en période de questions).

Description : Qu’est-ce qui fait la spécificité du saké, appelé “alcool japonais” au Japon, tant dans sa fabrication que dans son importance culturelle ? Or le saké s’internationalise actuellement, et le professeur Kishi est spécialiste de cette question. Il travaille étroitement avec l’Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV) de l’université de Bordeaux. Il répondra à toutes vos questions sur le saké.


Contact : Emmanuel Hérique  eherique@hotmail.com  250-595-2544

Alliance française de Victoria  https://www.afvictoria.ca/

2023 Annual General Meeting – Sunday, Feb 12

2023 AGM Announcement

Please join us for an exciting time at the VNCS AGM.  Hear about the amazing things the VNCS accomplished in 2022.  Find out whether we are wealthy or poor.  Have fun participating in the democratic election of the Board of Directors and the Officers.  It will be an event you don’t want to miss.

Sunday, February 12, 2023 – 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Esquimalt Recreation Centre, Pioneer A Room

On a serious note you will definitely want to be present for our guest speaker, Bradley Kurushima.  Bradley will show and talk about The Kiln Project video.  The Kiln Project is a dance film created collaboratively between BC-based artists Shion Skye Carter, filmmaker Brenda Kent Colina, and musician Prince Shima (aka Bradley Kurushima), filmed at a late-19th century Japanese charcoal pit kiln on Galiano Island, BC. Bradley would screen the 18 minute video and then talk about his experience and what he learned about the charcoal kiln pits on Galiano.


2023 AGM Schedule

  • 9:30 AM — Registration: coffee, tea, muffins, etc
  • 9:45 AM — AGM Call to Order
    • Land Acknowledgement
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Approval of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held Feb 27, 2022
  • 10:00am
    • Reports
      • President’s Report – Tsugio Kurushima
      • Treasurer’s Report – Ken Watai
      • Newsletter/Communications Report – Yukari Peerless
      • Website Report – Craig Mercer
      • Heritage Committee Report – Natsuki Abe
      • Uminari Taiko Report – Susan Kurushima
      • Furusato Dancers Report – Tsugio Kurushima
      • Sakura Fujinkai Report – Susan Kurushima
      • Cultural Fair Report – Craig Mercer
      • NAJC Report – Tsugio Kurushima
      • Membership Report – Tony Ibaraki
      • Human Rights Committee Report – Tsugio Kurushima
  • 11:00 AM — Election of Officers & Directors
  • 11:15 AM — AGM Adjournment

Snack Break

  • 11:30 PM-12:00 PM — Guest Speaker: Bradley Kurushima – Galiano Island Charcoal Kiln Pits

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.

2023 Mochi-Tsuki Shinnen Kai



Presented by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Japanese Friendship Society and the Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School Society
Esquimalt Rec Centre
2:30 PM – 5:15 PM (The door opens at 2:00 PM)
Details: Mochi-pounding and tasting, Japanese calligraphy contest, Hanetsuki, Fukuwarai, performances by Uminari Taiko, Language School Soran Dancers and Choir and Furusato Dancers

Dear Members of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society:

The Mochitsuki Shinnen Kai which was co-hosted by 3 Japanese groups located in Victoria prior to the Covid Pandemic is again being held after a 2-year break.

This event is co-hosted by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Japanese Friendship Society and the Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School Society, for the purpose of celebrating together the New Year with their members, people of Japanese heritage and of different generations.

This event provides for families an opportunity to enjoy some traditional Japanese games, mochi-pounding and tasting and cultural performances. Please mark your calendar to attend this special private event which is not open to the public as it is a members’ only function!

As we are not yet completely out of the pandemic, the potluck (as previously held) has been cancelled.

Although the admission to this event is free, in order to help cover the cost, a donation box will be available at the reception area (suggested donation amount: $5 per person).

Mochi tasting will be available for free but your donation will always be welcomed. There will also be some pre-packaged snacks for sale, so please be sure to bring some cash.

Reminders for Safe Gathering:
COVID-19, flu and other viruses are still in our broader community. Here are some reminders to help keep our event safe for our members.

  • Masks are recommended during this event, but not required.
  • Please wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizers before eating/drinking.
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the event.

Currently, there are no province-wide restrictions regarding COVID-19 in place. Please be advised that we may cancel this event if any provincial regulations become more stringent in the future and we find it difficult to hold the Mochitsuki Shinnen Kai on the day of the event.

POSTER & HAIKU CONTEST – Entries are still being accepted until January 6, 2023 – one prize will be awarded for each category (selection by random draw) so please submit your entry(s) if you haven’t already done so and are planning to do so. (Please see below for original information regarding the contest, thank you.)

VOLUNTEERS WANTED – Thank you to the members who have already volunteered to help put on this event. However, more assistance is needed as there are many tasks to “make it happen” and if you are able to help, please send in your name to info@vncs.ca.

We look forward to seeing you all there.
2023 Mochitsuki Shinnen Kai Planning Committee

Komorebi – Japanese Canadian Vancouver Island Book Club – Launching February 11, 2023

At our inaugural Komorebi Zoom, Kunio Yamagishi the author of The Shadow Returns will join us and talk about his novel. As well, Mike Abe will give a brief historical tour of Japanese Canadians on Vancouver Island.

On this day we will also explain the book club, figure out as a group ideas about our future schedule and book selections.

I hope that you can join us!

Let us know if you have any questions.


Starts Saturday, Feb 11 at 10:00am on Zoom.

 Komorebi (Japanese Canadian Vancouver Island Book Club) is a community healing space where members of the Japanese Canadian Community can get together and read books, share their stories, personal history and feelings.

The Book Club will gather for 6 months on Zoom at least once a month and in a few in person meetings (held in Victoria or Nanaimo). It will also be integrated with a private social network platform from which members can connect with everyone within the Komorebi community.

Japanese Canadians share a unique history and culture; there are many stories that are untold. We believe that it is now a safe time and place to start telling and relating to the emotional fabric that these stories contain. There are many feelings to process individually and collectively.

As we realize that there are many topics that will be difficult to deal with along the way, we have a registered counselor, Yumiko Kakutani https://kitsunevi.ca/ participating in these discussions and available to help guide our discussions in a healthy way.

All facilitators will be trained in ‘Circles for Change’ developed by Satsuki Ina https://www.satsukiina.com/

Komorebi is generously supported by the Anglican Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

Remember – Recount – Reconcile

On Saturday October 29th, the Ucluelet & Area Historical Society is holding a round-table story-telling event, bringing together families of all three ethnic groups affected when the Japanese Canadians were removed from the coast, and particularly from the fishing village of Ucluelet where they made up one half the population, while  First Nations plus White settlers were the other half.

We invite survivors of that time, descendants and others, to meet for the day at the Ucluelet Community Centre, 500 Matterson Drive, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2022 or to participate by Zoom.

Our concept for the day is to remember and share our stories as a path to reconciliation

Please join us in person or by Zoom on Saturday, October 29th, for an all-day Round-Table storytelling event on the effects of the removal in 1942 of Japanese Canadians from the West Coast, Ucluelet in particular.

This event is open to all interested people, whether they choose to actively share stories and memories, or to listen and learn. Our facilitator for the event will be Paul Kariya, a member of the BC Redress Negotiations Committee and the society overseeing the $100 Million Redress Fund. Paul grew up in Ucluelet and has returned to live part-time in the community.


Email the UAHS:    info@ucluelethistory.ca  with name and email address

OR register by telephone 250-726-5000

OR send mail to UAHS, PO Box 397, Ucluelet BC V0R 3A0, with name and telephone number

There is no fee for the event. Complimentary light lunch provided. Participants may join in by ZOOM.

Please let us know if you are attending in person by Friday, Oct. 21, so the caterer will have the correct lunch numbers. Those registering for Zoom attendance by Friday Oct 28 will have the Zoom link emailed to them.

When you register, you may also like to add why you are interested in attending. Feel free to ask questions.

We encourage participants to bring family stories, and any memorabilia, such as photos and letters.

The day will begin with a traditional welcome from the Ucluelet First Nation, a welcome from the Ucluelet and Area Historical Society, and an introduction to the day’s proceedings by the facilitator. After introductions, there will be three short introductory talks, on the perspectives of the three Ucluelet Community groups of that time: The First Nations Community, the Japanese Canadians, and the White settlers, on the pre-WWII period.

This will be followed by a break, and continued facilitated conversations on the period of the actual removal. After lunch discussion will continue with focus on the period following the return of the few to the coast. The aim is for a relaxed environment in which participants will feel comfortable sharing their perspectives. The day will wrap up with evaluation of success reaching objectives set by participants at the start, and ideas for any next steps.

CCPA hosts Tetsuro Shigematsu’s powerful display of emotion: Empire of The Son (Sep 22)

VNCS Members invited to complimentary one night only performance of
Empire of the Son

The Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) is pleased to present Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire Of The Son on Thursday, September 22, 2022 for one night only at CCPA’s Performance Hall.

Empire Of The Son is a poignant portrayal of a father and son, and the cultural differences experienced as intergenerational conflicts across the Japanese diaspora. Inspired by a series of audio interviews, Tetsuro discovers vast worlds contained within his emotionally remote father who, as a young boy, stood in the ashes of Hiroshima as he witnessed the end of the world and the birth of a new one.

What: Empire Of The Son by Tetsuro Shigematsu

Who: Tetsuro is presenting in-person to CCPA students, and wishes to extend the invitation to VNCS members as well, free of charge. For more show information, please contact Yukari Peerless.

When: Thursday, September 22, 2022, 7:00PM

Where: Canadian College of Performing Arts, 1701 Elgin Road. Seats are limited.
Reserve your seats today.

VNCS Adult IN-PERSON Japanese Class 2022 (Begins Sep 19)

Dear VNCS members and friends:

VNCS is pleased to announce that the Adult Beginner & Intermediate IN-PERSON Japanese Courses will commence in September.

Would you like to learn Japanese at a Japanese person’s house? The details are as follows:

Lesson Dates:
September 19, 26; October 3, 17, 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21, 28 (10 Mondays)

Lesson Times: 
Beginner class: 6:30PM-7:30PM
Intermediate class: 8:00PM-9:00PM

Lesson Location:
Gordon Head residential area, 3km from UVIC, BC transit 27 route

Number of Students Expected: 7 – 10 (in each class on a first come basis)
Age of Students: 19 years old and up

Text: Hand-outs
Fees: $85 for VNCS members and $105 for non-members

Instructor: Junko Hicks – Former DJ, Announcer and emcee in Japan. Studied at Japan Broadcast Member Association in Osaka, Japan.

Registration: Please email Junko Hicks for more information and registration form.

We hope to see many of you in our class!


Volunteers needed for GEI:ART Symposium (Sep 16-18)


Volunteers needed for GEI:ART Symposium

The GEI:ART Japanese Canadian Artists Symposium organized by the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC), in collaboration with UVic and funding from the Canada Council will see one hundred Japanese Canadian artists from across Canada gather in Victoria for a three day symposium at the newly restored Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion September 16-18, 2022.

We invite you to join our elite volunteer crew to showcase what a warm and welcoming Japanese Canadian community we have here in Victoria and to make them feel at home.

The symposium itself is a closed event, although the opening evening is being live streamed to the public. Volunteering for the symposium will give you a chance to meet and interact with the artists. Duties include tending the refreshment break station, keeping it stocked and serviced, tending the information table, providing local information, tending the book table, collecting payment for Japanese Canadian book sales, assisting with lunch, greeting and ushering people throughout the pavilion, shuttling those requiring assistance to and from the bus pick up area, audio visual support, picking up lunches to name a few. One of the duties even includes being a personal driver for Joy Kogawa throughout the weekend.

If you have already signed up, thank you. If you are interested please contact Michael Abe.

For those volunteering, we will have 2 orientation zoom sessions, please attend one of these if you can.
Otherwise we can communicate by email.

Volunteer Session A
Wednesday, September 7 at 2:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting

Volunteer Session B
Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting