Membership Renewal Reminder


Have you renewed your VNCS membership yet? ($10 for individual, $15 for family)
There are 3 ways to renew your membership:

  • e-transfer to  (Please make sure you write your name clearly) and please send your name/details to in a separate email so we can keep the database up to date.
  • Online with PayPal  at here or
  • Mail a cheque payable to Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society to 3933 Cumberland Road, Victoria BC, V8P 3J5 Canada



Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society宛ての小切手を4401 Tremblay Drive, Victoria BC, V8N 4W6 まで郵送してください。

President’s Message – Season’s Greeting

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year is an obvious understatement. Even if the Coronavirus did not infect you or someone close to you, the impact of the pandemic has played havoc with all aspects of our lives. So for most of us the end of 2020 could not come soon enough. It is heartening that we now have a COVID-19 vaccine. Hopefully by the summer of 2021 we will be able to get back to a more normal life.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a joyous Holiday Season. May your Holiday be blessed with the love and warmth of family and friends even if its only via Zoom. Please continue to keep safe and healthy and hopefully we will see you at some VNCS event in the not to distant future.

Tsugio Kurushima

NEWS RELEASE – Japanese community concerned with Victoria’s cherry tree removal

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.


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

Dick Nakamura…gone but never forgotten.

It is with heavy hearts the VNCS has learned that Dick Nakamura passed away on October 8th, 2018. Dick was a prominent leader in the Nikkei community not only in the greater Victoria area but also throughout Vancouver Island. During the 1980’s he worked tirelessly to mobilize the Japanese-Canadians on Vancouver Island in the fight for redress. It was because of Dick’s vision and hard work that the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society was established and got off the ground. We are forever indebted to Dick. He will be sorely missed and certainly not forgotten.

Dick’s full obituary which was published in the Times Colonist on Oct 16, 2018 can be seen here:

A Celebration of Dick’s life will be held:

Sunday, October 28th, 2018
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Beach House Restaurant
5109 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria BC.

Dick’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers or koden, please consider supporting the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Victoria-Morioka Friendship Society, the Nikkei National Museum or the Broadmead Care Society.

VNCS Board Members Needed

The VNCS AGM is on Feb 4, 2018. In preparation for the new fiscal year we need to finalize the make up of the VNCS Board ( Here is why you should consider becoming a VNCS Board member!

The VNCS is a very vibrant, active and successful Japanese Cultural organization. Each year we continue to add new programs, hold special events or grow our established activities. Our Cultural Society compares quite favourably to other Nikkei organizations across Canada, which for the most part have a larger and more established Nikkei community. One of the reasons for our growth and success is the leadership provided by the VNCS Board. We have been fortunate to have dedicated and hard working Board members who believe in what the VNCS is doing. Although we have added new Board members in the past several years, there is still a need for more new Board members. One, to provide a break for some of our longer serving Board members and two, to bring in new energy and ideas to the VNCS Board. The time commitment is small as we only meet 8-9 times a year but the rewards and impact you can make can be big.

Are you looking to serve and make a difference? If you are interested or require more information please contact Tsugio Kurushima at

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.

Announcing the VNCS Cultural Outreach Program!

VNCS Cultural Outreach Program

The mandate of the VNCS Cultural Outreach Program is to help promote the awareness of Japanese culture in the greater Victoria community. We strive to achieve the goal by providing the community with a variety of fun and educational Japanese cultural activities through hands-on workshops, lectures and presentations. Please contact us if you are interested in our service. After assessing your needs, we will be able to help you set up sessions you are looking for either by the VNCS directly or connecting you with suitable cultural groups that meet your expectations.

The attached is the application form for us to assess your interest and needs. Please fill it out in detail and send it to We will contact you as soon as possible!

Cheers from the Cultural Outreach Team!
Mieko Fedrau, Hitomi Harama,  and Tomoko Okada


Don’t forget to renew your membership!

VNCS Membership Renewal

Please renew your VNCS membership for 2017.  The membership fee is still only $10 for an individual and $15 for a family.

It’s a small amount, but collectively it helps pay for the operation of the VNCS.

We were hoping to have the online membership payment facility available by now, but it is taking a bit longer so you will have to pay the old way by writing a cheque payable to VNCS and mailing it to:

Membership – Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
4401 Tremblay Drive
Victoria BC, V8N 4W6

If you are new to the VNCS then please include a membership form which can be obtained at

Announcing the VNCS 2017 Board of Directors

At the VNCS Annual General Meeting on Sunday, February 5, 2017 the membership elected this year’s Board of Directors. Below is a list of the successful candidates.

2017 Executive

President: Tsugio Kurushima
Vice President: vacant
Treasurer: Ken Watai
Secretary: vacant

2017 Directors

Mieko Fedrau
Kyla Fitzgerald
Hitomi Harama
Debbie Ibaraki
Amy Kawano
Karen Kobayashi
Tomoko Okada
Yukari Peerless
Cristina Shore

For more information including board photos and biographies visit the Board of Directors page here:

Announcing the VNCS 2016 Board of Directors

At the VNCS Annual General Meeting on January 31st, 2016 the membership elected this year’s Board of Directors. Below is a list of the successful candidates.

2016 Executive

President: Tsugio Kurushima
Vice President: Debbie Ibaraki
Treasurer: Ken Watai
Secretary: vacant
Past-President: Mike Abe

2016 Directors

Mieko Fedrau
Kyla Fitzgerald
Hitomi Harama
Amy Kawano
Karen Kobayashi
Tomoko Okada
Yukari Peerless
Cristina Shore
Jeff Tanaka

For more information including board photos and biographies visit the Board of Directors page here: