2016 Obon Matsuri – Sunday, August 21st at Ross Bay Cemetery

2016 Obon Matsuri

Cost: FREE


Kakehashi (Bridge) Stone

6th Annual Obon Festival
@ Ross Bay Cemetery & Ross Bay Villa

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
12:30pm – 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.
Continue reading 2016 Obon Matsuri – Sunday, August 21st at Ross Bay Cemetery

2nd Annual VNCS Summer Social (Tanabata Family Picnic)

VNCS Summer Social
Tanabata (Star) Festival
Family Picnic
Esquimalt Gorge Park
Sunday July 10th
11am – 2pm

This event is open to all VNCS members and their friends. This event is less structured to allow folks to get to know each other better.

Please bring your own bento (lunch) to Esquimalt Gorge Park at 11:00am. The park has large picnic tables, lots of parking and full restroom facilities at the Gorge Waterway Nature House.

Make a wish to celebrate Tanabata

We’re pleased to provide tanzaku (coloured paper for writing wishes), origami paper for decorations and small bamboo for hanging the tanzaku that each family will be able to take home with them. Tanabata (Star Festival) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata


Cool off with some Kakigori!

We’ll also be making kakigori (shaved ice dessert) for everyone. Kakigori – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakigori



Please direct questions to our organizers:

Yukari Peerless

Kana Mercer


Don’t forget to wear your yukata or jinbe!

Japanese at Ross Bay – Tour at Ross Bay Cemetery

Sunday, June 5, 2016 Ross Bay Cemetery. Japanese at Ross Bay. This tour will be conducted by Gordon and Ann-Lee Switzer, authors of Sakura in Stone (2015) and Gateway to Promise (2012) on the histories of Japanese in Victoria. RBC includes graves of about 150 Japanese and is the location of the impressive Kakehashi Monument dedicated to Japanese pioneers.

SUNDAY TOUR START AT 2:00 PM   Charge:  $5 for non-members;  $2 for members.  Tours at Ross Bay Cemetery are signified RBC and start in front of Oregano’s, Fairfield Plaza, 1516 Fairfield Rd.
No reservations needed.

Contact www.oldcem.bc.ca or 250.598.8870.

Yung Nikkei Stories – Change of Venue to Quadra Village Community Centre

Change of Venue
Quadra Village Community Centre
901 Kings Road (Udon Spring Social venue)

“Join the “Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society” for a free event organized by young people in our community. Erica Isomura, Angela Kruger and Jeff Tanaka will be sharing their voices as Nikkei youth through spoken word, poetry and more.  There will be a home cooked meal followed by performances. The event will be held on Saturday, May 14th at Quadra Village Community Centre from 6pm to 9pm. All are welcome but we especially encourage young people, elders and artists to attend! Please rsvp to Jeff Tanaka by email
jrtanaka at gmail.com
Also, let him know if you have any special dietary requests.”

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)


2016 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 24, 2016
Esquimalt Rec Centre
3:00PM – 6:30PM

Join us for our annual tradition of mochi-pounding and potluck dinner to celebrate the New Year.
Doors open at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 24th at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (site of the VNCS Cultural Fall Fair.)


Please bring a main course sufficient to feed your family plus two others. Drinks and dessert will be provided. Label your dishes and serving utensils and if you can, please prepare a tent card describing your entrée. (and ingredients)


In addition to mochi pounding there will be plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained.

To help defray costs of this free event there will be a 50/50 draw, Silent Auction and mochi sales so please help support your event. As always, there is plenty of work to be done on the part of preparation and organization. If you can assist please contact Michael Abe at mkabe2011@gmail.com.

Kitchen set up starts from 1:00 pm and the hall is available for set up from 2:00 pm. Help make this event a success by lending a hand: We need volunteers for set-up, kitchen crew, reception desk, mochi seller, and clean-up crew, etc. We are also seeking donations, big or small to add to our Silent Auction.

See you there!

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.