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.

Dick Nakamura…gone but never forgotten.

It is with heavy hearts the VNCS has learned that Dick Nakamura passed away on October 8th, 2018. Dick was a prominent leader in the Nikkei community not only in the greater Victoria area but also throughout Vancouver Island. During the 1980’s he worked tirelessly to mobilize the Japanese-Canadians on Vancouver Island in the fight for redress. It was because of Dick’s vision and hard work that the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society was established and got off the ground. We are forever indebted to Dick. He will be sorely missed and certainly not forgotten.

Dick’s full obituary which was published in the Times Colonist on Oct 16, 2018 can be seen here: https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/timescolonist/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=190485391&referrer=0&preview=True

A Celebration of Dick’s life will be held:

Sunday, October 28th, 2018
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Beach House Restaurant
5109 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria BC.

Dick’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers or koden, please consider supporting the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Victoria-Morioka Friendship Society, the Nikkei National Museum or the Broadmead Care Society.

CFAX Interview on the Gorge Park Tea House Initiative

CFAX Interview on the Gorge Park Tea House Initiative (Thursday, August 16th)

Click the link below to hear Adam Sterling of CFAX 1070 Radio interviewing VNCS president Tsugio Kurushima on the recent research by UVIC’s Landscape of Injustice Project (https://www.uvic.ca/news/topics/2018+japanese-teahouse-gorge+news) that is helping to inform/support the intitiative to rebuild a commerative Tea House of somekind in the Esquimalt Gorge Park through the McLoughlin Amenity Funds.

Link to radio interview: http://www.iheartradio.ca/cfax-1070/tsugio-kurushima-president-victoria-nikkei-cultural-society-mike-abe-landscapes-of-injustice-project-manager-1.5948795?mode=Article&autoplay=1.5948795

 

For more on the Tea House initiative click here: https://vncs.ca/tea-house-initiative/

2018 Obon Grave Washing – Sunday, August 19th (10am start this year!)

Obon Grave Washing (2018)

Cost: FREE

ALL ARE WELCOME

Kakehashi (Bridge) Stone

Schedule

10:00am – Grave Washing (meet at the Kakehashi Stone)
12:30pm – Picnic Lunch (bring your own bento)
2:30pm – Obon Buddhist Service

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.

Ross Bay Cemetery Map showing Japanese Grave clusters.

10:00am – Grave Washing

2013 Grave Washing
2013 Grave Washing

Everyone meet at the Kakehashi Stone at 10:00am (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

12:30 pm – Picnic Lunch

After the grave washing is complete we invite all to stay for a picnic lunch. Please bring your own bento and the VNCS will provide light snacks, tea and water. This will be a time for folks to get to know each other better.

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

Hope to see you there!

Ross Bay Cemetery map – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/brochurerbc.pdf
Ross Bay Cemetery website – http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/cem_rb.htm

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.

Proudly Supported By

Obon-Logos