Obon Matsuri (2017) Sunday, August 13th at Ross Bay Cemetery

Obon Matsuri (2017)

Cost: FREE


Kakehashi (Bridge) Stone


12:00pm – Grave Washing
2:30pm – Obon Buddhist Service
3:30pm – Matsuri (Festival)

Hosted by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the Japanese Friendship Society with support from The Old Cemeteries Society – we invite you to come and participate with us in honouring those who have gone before.

What is Obon?

Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the spirit’s of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their graves. It is when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.” – from Wikipedia

This is a time for us to get in touch with our past, expressing our true joy and gratitude to not only our immediate ancestors, but to all past causes and conditions that have allowed us to be here today. It is the ultimate recognition and celebration of the oneness of life that has existed in the past and that we continue to be a part of today.

Japanese-Canadian Graves at Ross Bay Cemetery

The Japanese-Canadian community in Victoria was exiled by the Canadian Government during the Pacific War (WWII) and very few ever returned. Therefore, there are no descendants to care for the graves in Ross Bay Cemetery. The VNCS and Victoria Japanese Friendship Society are pleased to continue the work of the Kakehashi (Bridge Building) Project along with the Old Cemeteries Society in caring for the Japanese graves. For more information please read: http://www.jccovictoria.ca/rossbay.html.

The following is the scheduled program for Obon.

12:00 pm – Grave Washing

2013 Grave Washing
2013 Grave Washing

Everyone meet at the Kakehashi Stone at 12 (donations of flowers are welcome, please bring at this time) and then cleaning teams will be assembled to proceed with:

  • Cleaning of gravestones
  • Laying flowers and toys for children’s graves
  • Preparing the Kakehashi Stone

2:30 pm – Obon Service

Obon Service 2011
Obon Service 2011

Obon service led by Reverend Grant Ikuta, Resident Minister of the Steveston Buddhist Temple and Bishop of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada

3:30 pm – Matsuri (Festival at Ross Bay Villa)

Suika Wari 2014
Suika Wari 2014

Obon Matsuri (festival) at Ross Bay Villa (1490 Fairfield Road).
Light refreshments (including Kakigōri) will be provided as a thank you for all the hard work in washing the graves and entertainment will include the Furusato Dancers and other activities.

Hope to see you there!

Google Map
Ross Bay Cemetery map – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/brochurerbc.pdf

Click for a larger image
Obon Matsuri Map

Ross Bay Cemetery website – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/cem_rb.htm
Ross Bay Villa website – http://rossbayvilla.org/

Proudly Supported By


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 community@vncs.ca We will contact you as soon as possible!

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


The Right to Remain Film Screening

Public Screening:
A Right To Remain

Join filmmaker Greg Masuda for a screening of “A Right To Remain” followed by Q&A and discussion.

“The Right To Remain”, a CBC documentary, looks at the Downtown Eastside residents and the fight to save the community from development. Started as an idea five years ago, Greg Masuda accumulated over 300 hours of footage. He says “’The Right to Remain’ is a culmination of my entire career as a filmmaker. As a Japanese Canadian, I could not resist participating in the advocacy for the Downtown Eastside community as it looked down the barrel of the real estate industry in the second most expensive city in the world.”

Once known as “Japantown”, this area was home to thousands of Japanese Canadians before World War II.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
3:00-4:30 pm
University of Victoria
Victoria BC

Free and open to the public

“The Legacy of Japanese Canadian Redress: A Reflection/An Assessment”

“The Legacy of Japanese Canadian Redress: A Reflection/An Assessment”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
4:30 pm | David Strong Bld C116

With Roy Miki, GG award-winning poet and leader of redress movement.

Dr. Miki will offer an assessment of the legacy of redress including a comparative look at Japanese Canadian redress and the Indian Residential  Schools Settlement Agreement.
Free and open to the public

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 https://www.vncs.ca/resources/VNCS_Membership_Brochure.pdf.

2017 VNCS Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
2017 Annual General Meeting

Sunday, February 5, 2017
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss Street.

Registration 9:45 am
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
(Memberships can be created/renewed at the AGM)


Support your society and attend the VNCS AGM on Sunday, Feb 7, 2017 at the Greater Victoria Art Gallery.

Proceedings begin at 10:00 am with various reports recapping the past year.

This will be followed by nominations and election of the new board. Please consider sitting on the board, it’s a great way to get to know more about the Japanese community here in Victoria.

Our special guest speaker will be Barry Till, Former Curator of Asian Art, AGGV.  At the end of the AGM and presentation you are invited to visit the Art Gallery.  There will be no charge but a donation would be much appreciated.

9:45 am Registration (tea and coffee served)

10:00 am AGM

Call to order
Approval of Agenda
Approval of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held Sunday, January 31, 2016

a) President’s Report
b) Treasurer’s Report
c) Newsletter Report
d) Membership Report
e) Uminari Taiko Report
f) Furusato Dancers Report
g) Cultural Fall Fair Report
h) Sakura Fujinkai Report
i) Website Report
j) NAJC Report

New Business
11:15 am
Election of Officers and Directors

Adjournment of AGM
Coffee & muffins

11:30 am
Presentation –  Millennia, Asian Art through the Ages Exhibition

Mr. Barry Till, Former Curator of Asian Art
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Barry will examine the history of the Asian art collection at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and will discuss the importance of some of the finest pieces – art from China, Tibet, Japan etc.

Barry Till for the past 35 years has been the Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada.  He has a wide knowledge on Asian culture, history and archaeology. He has travelled extensively throughout Asia and has lectured on numerous expeditions and private jet tours for various museums, universities, and organizations such as National Geographic Expeditions (including three TCS trips entitled “Lands of the Great Buddha”). He has travelled to most of the sacred religious sites in Asia and has published more than 100 books, exhibition catalogues (including Art from The Roof of the World: Tibet and The Buddhist Arts of Asia and articles on various Asian art topics.  In 2008, Barry received the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Museums Association.

After the AGM you are welcome to visit the Art Gallery.  Admission is by donation.

2016 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair


The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society

proudly presents

The 17th Annual (2016)
Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 22nd
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
10:00AM TO 4:00PM

Family Friendly!

Savour the wonderful tastes of Japan (including delicious sushi, bento boxes and sweet manju desserts).

Experience demonstrations of ikebana, tea ceremony, bonsai, shodo, martial arts, and kimono dressing.

Enjoy performances by Uminari Taiko, the Furusato Dancers, Satomi Edwards (Koto), the VJHLSS Children’s Dance Group and Choir and many more!

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