2021 Obon Grave Washing a huge success!

Volunteers at the 2021 Grave Washing.

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful volunteers who were able to come and make this year’s grave washing an amazing success. Although the forecast was for quite warm weather, as is typical at Ross Bay Cemetery, it was quite windy and cool. We had a great group of around 25 volunteers clean all of the graves of early the Japanese pioneers and Japanese-Canadians buried there. In addition so many flowers were donated that we even had some left over. Arigatou gozaimashita!

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 vncstreasurer@shaw.ca  (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 4401 Tremblay Drive, Victoria BC, V8N 4W6



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。

Annual Obon Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery

Annual Obon Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery

Sunday, August 15, 2021
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

The VNCS Heritage Committee will hold the annual Obon walking tour of Japanese gravesites in Ross Bay Cemetery in person, sharing the stories of several of the 152 pioneers interred.

Meet at Ross Bay Cemetery entrance at the corner of Stannard Avenue and Fairfield Road. COVID-19 precaution measures will be in place.

VNCS members: Free
Old Cemeteries Society members: $2
General: $5
No registration required.

For more information, email here.

VNCS Japanese Language Class 2021 (Adult ONLINE)

Dear VNCS members and friends:

VNCS is pleased to announce that the Adult Beginner & Intermediate ONLINE Japanese Courses will commence in September. The details are as follows:

Lesson Dates:
September 20, 27; October 4, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (10 Mondays)

Lesson Times: 
Beginner class: 7:00pm-8:00pm (office hours: 6:30pm-7:00pm)
Intermediate class: 8:05pm-9:05pm (office hours: 9:05pm-9:35pm)

Number of Students Expected: 7 – 20 (in each class on a first come basis)
Age of Students: 19 years old and up

Easy Japanese やさしい日本語 Conversation, NHK world Japan, 2019 *
Easy Japanese やさしい日本語 Grammar, NHK world Japan, 2015*

*These are free online materials.

Fees:                 $75 for VNCS members and $95 for non-members
Instructor:       Dr. Hiroko Noro, Associate Professor Emerita, University of Victoria
Registration:   Please email Mieko Fedrau for more information and registration form.
We hope to see many of you in our Zoom class!


2021 Obon Grave Washing at Ross Bay Cemetery

DATE: Sunday, August 15, 2021

TIME:  9:00 AM – 12:00 PM– Washing of Headstones/Graves

LOCATION:   Ross Bay Cemetery, 1495 Fairfield Road, Victoria – Kakehashi Stone area

Ross Bay Cemetery Map showing Japanese Grave clusters and the Kakehashi Stone.

Summer 2021 has been busy for so many of us, with many COVID-19 restrictions being lifted or modified in Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan. Our annual gathering for Obon has been affected again this year but we look forward to your continued support of this event.
The VNCS and The Japanese Friendship Society have joined this year to co-host this Obon event.

  • Buddhist Service & social gathering – The Buddhist service at the Kakehashi Stone as well as the social gathering that usually follows have been cancelled
  • Flowers – Donations of flowers for placement at the Kakehashi Stone and gravesides are appreciated. (These will be placed at the time of cleaning.)
  • Washing of Grave Headstones – We are looking for volunteers to assist with washing the headstones of the 152 graves of pioneers of Japanese descent. This task will take place in the morning as we hope it will be a more temperate time of the day.

For volunteers/participants:

  • Face Masks – Review the BC Restart Plan website for guidelines regarding your personal circumstance/choice about wearing a face-mask. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available at the site.
  • Gloves – Disposable gloves will be available. You are also welcome to bring your own work gloves.
  • Cleaning Equipment – Pails, brushes, and hoses will be provided.
  • Refreshments – Bottled water will be provided. No food will be provided.
  • Seating – Seating will be very limited. (Some benches may be available.)
  • Parking – New sidewalks have been installed along the Memorial Crescent side of the cemetery. Please take note of new signs regarding residential parking.

Please do not attend if you or anyone in your group:

  • has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to this event
  • is under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer to self-isolate
  • has arrived from outside of Canada and is still in the 14-day quarantine period

We look forward to welcoming you on this day – the first time in a year as a community!  If you have any questions, please email us.