Esquimalt Japanese Tea House Commemoration Initiative – We Need Your Help

We need your help to have the Township of Esquimalt build a multi-purpose building at Gorge Park that commemorates the Japanese history of that park!  Please complete this online survey  to vote for the multi-purpose building that incorporates Japanese design elements, Building 1.  Below is the architectural rendering of Building 1.  It incorporates modern Japanese architectural design elements.  There is a comparable building in the Japanese Gardens in Portland (see image at the end of this post).

Esquimalt Concept Building 1 (more details available once you complete the survey).

When you complete the online survey you will have an opportunity to see more information about the buildings being proposed and you can even suggest other Japanese design elements that they should consider such as a Zen Garden, bamboo garden or sliding doors and screens.  You could even suggest a room to perform Japanese cultural demonstrations.  The Township of Esquimalt is also going to hold an Open House on September 19 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre from 6 to 8 pm where you can speak to staff and the architects about the proposed building.  You might like to attend the Open House.  However the key action that needs to be taken is completing the survey by Sep 29.  The more support we show, the greater the probability of the of the Esquimalt council proceeding with the Japanese style building. 

We are very close to achieving our goal to have the Township of Esquimalt erect a multi-purpose building that commemorates the Japanese history of Esquimalt’s Gorge Park.  Let us not be complacent and let this once in a lifetime opportunity slip through our fingers.  Complete the survey and recruit others to do the same.  You can forward this infromation to others to vote for the Japanese style multi-purpose building.

Thank you
Tsugio Kurushima
President,
Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society

Japanese Building Design at Portland’s Japanese Garden.

Japan Fest 2019

Save the date – don’t miss our second annual Japan Fest on Saturday, July 27th from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM!

Experience the taste and culture of Japan at Japan Fest on July 27, 2019 at the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre. Enjoy powerful Japanese drumming by Uminari Taiko, graceful Japanese folk dancing by award winning Furusato Dancers and savour delicious Japanese cuisine provided by FUDO Japanese Restaurant.


FUDO will be providing a special $7 snack menu. This event is a family friendly FREE event that will run from 3:00-5:00 PM in the court yard outside of FUDO.

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.

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

2019 VNCS Annual General Meeting (AGM)

VNCS Logo

Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
2019 Annual General Meeting

Sunday, February 24th, 2019
Gordon Head Recreation Centre, 4100 Lambrick Way.
(Multi-purpose Room)

  • 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
MEMBERS ONLY EVENT

(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 Shinnen Kai and Potluck Dinner

Kagamimochi

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.