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/

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.

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.

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

Takata Garden and Teahouse Celebration!

Takata Garden and Teahouse Celebration!
Sunday Feb 21st 2016 at Gorge Park, Esquimalt
1:00pm to 4:00 pm

VNCS will have a table where participates can try their hand at sumie, shodo and orgami. Keiko Alkire will be doing shodo, Mike Abe sumie and origami by Kana Mercer & her children, Natsuki and Izumi Abe.

The Furusato Dancers will be performing and so will the children choir from the Victoria Heritage Japanese Language School.

1:00 pm – Event kick-off – official welcome
1:00 – 2:00 – Shodo (Keiko Alkire) and Origami (Kana Mercer)
1:30 – 1:50 – Furusato Dancers
1:50 – 2:00 – VHJLS Children Choir
2:00 – 3:00 – Sumie (Mike Abe) and Origami (Natsuki or Izumi)
2:00 – 2:10 – Furusato Dancers will lead an audience participation dance
2:45 – 3:15? – Dennis Minaker will give a guided tour of Gorge Park
3:00 – 4:00 – Shodo (Masami Barclay) and Origami (JFS)


Book launch and lecture – Introducing 2 NEW Japanese Canadian books

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies at UVic are pleased to present talks by the authors on their books of Japanese Canadian interest.

When: Monday, November 23, 2015
6:00-7:30 pm

Where: David Strong Building Room C116
University of Victoria
Victoria BC

This event is free. The authors will have their books available for purchase and signing.

For more information, contact the VNCS at info@vncs.ca

Sakura in StoneSakura in Stone – Ann-Lee and Gordon Switzer

SAKURA IN STONE: Victoria’s Japanese Legacy is the second book on the subject of Japanese Canadian pioneers to be released by Gordon and Ann-Lee Switzer. In 2012, they published Gateway to Promise, Canada’s First Japanese Community, which won second prize from the B.C. Historical Federation that year. A ground-breaking study, Gateway revealed in detail the little-known history of Victoria’s Japanese community that disappeared during the Second World War. Since then, the Switzers have researched further and found new material shedding light on this early community.

Those discoveries form the basis for this book and for their lecture including information about the first true settler from Japan to reach Victoria and make Canada his home (hint: it is not the well-known Japanese pioneer named Nagano)


toshikocoverToshiko – Michael Kluckner

Michael Kluckner will be talking about his graphic novel Toshiko, set in BC in 1944 with a Japanese-Canadian protagonist, and the story’s genesis in the non-fiction of his book Vanishing British Columbia and the Japanese-Canadian families on Mayne Island. He will also reflect on the value of graphic novels for historic storytelling and describe the reception of the book, including its relation to the Landscapes of Injustice program and the response to it by a class which used it in the Canadian Studies program at McGill.

Michael Kluckner is an artist and the author of more than a dozen books, mostly about Vancouver and British Columbia history. He is the president of the Vancouver Historical Society and a member of the Heritage Commission, and lives with his wife in Vancouver’s Grandview neighbourhood.