VNCS January/February 2020 Newsletter 
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Volume 28, Issue 1 -- January/February 2020



President's Message

Happy New Year.

2019 has been another busy and successful year for the VNCS.   However, this last year was extra busy as we undertook a number of new major projects and also significantly expanded our advocacy activities.

New Projects

In spring and summer we had the Japanese Gravestone Refurbishment project where we refurbished 88 gravestones of Japanese pioneer immigrants buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery. Then on Saturday, June 15, 2019,  we had a very memorable banquet at the Hotel Grand Pacific to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of VNCS. Both of these projects had strong membership involvement.

Advocacy Activities

In February and March, we mounted a successful campaign to ensure the City of Victoria would not replace the Japanese cherry blossom trees that are not only an iconic symbol of Victoria, but also a link to the pre-war Japanese-Canadian community in Victoria. We also had a successful conclusion to a two year campaign to have the Township of Esquimalt approve the building of a multi-purpose facility in the Gorge Park. This building will include elements to commemorate the significant Japanese history of the Gorge Park. The VNCS will continue its involvement in this project to ensure that the Japanese design elements are appropriate. The VNCS has also been active in the NAJC’s efforts to have a more meaningful apology from the BC Government for their role in the internment and disposition of Japanese-Canadians living in BC during World War II. These advocacy activities have generated considerable positive public exposure for the VNCS. They have also reinforced the role of the VNCS as being the organization to represent the Nikkei community in Victoria.

We also had good outcomes with our regular events: Tanabata, Japan Fest, and our Japanese Cultural Fair — all experienced increased attendance and popularity.   

Our success is due, in large part, to the efforts of the VNCS Board members. I want to thank the Board members for their support, leadership, and hard work they provided throughout the year. 

The VNCS is in a good position to tackle the challenges that we will face in the coming year I am confident we will continue to grow and be successful. 

Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu!












(和訳 フェドロー 美恵子)

Debbie Ibaraki

It’s coming soon — looking forward to seeing you this Sunday!

What — 2020 New Year Celebration
              Mochi-Tsuki Shinnen Kai
              Potluck Dinner

When — Sunday, January 19, 2020
                2:30 PM – 6:15 PM 

Where: — Esquimalt Recreation Centre
                  527 Fraser Street, Victoria, BC

Join us to celebrate this New Year with a potluck dinner, entertainment, interactive participation including mochi-pounding, calligraphy writing and traditional games to celebrate this New Year.

This popular community event for all ages has a few guidelines that will be in place:

Attendees must be an active member of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Japanese Friendship Society, or the Victoria Heritage Japanese Language School.

Admission is 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 

Volunteer Help Still  Needed:

We still require 8 - 10 volunteers to work on teams including: 

  • Reception Greeting
  • Food/Drink Tables Attending
  • Kitchen Crew
  • Room Set-up or Take-down Crew
If you are able to assist, please contact the Organizing Committee at:
Excitement is mounting and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, January 19, 2020!



何でしょうか? — 2020年新年会です。

日時:1月19日日曜日2:30 PM - 6:15 PM

会場:エスクァイモルト・レクレーション・センター (527 Fraser Street, Victoria, BC)








  • 受付
  • 食べ物・飲み物テーブルの担当
  • 台所作業
  • 会場準備または片付け



(和訳 フェドロー 美恵子)


Please plan to attend our Society's Annual General Meeting which will be held:

  • Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 9:45 AM to 11:45 AM
  • Esquimalt Recreation Centre, Criagflower Room
  • Following the AGM,  our special guest speaker will be Michael Abe and Natsuki Abe, Landscapes of Injustice.

AGM Schedule

  • 9:30 AM - Registration - coffee, tea, muffins, etc
  • 9:45 AM - AGM Call to Order

    * Approval of Agenda
    * Approve of minutes of last AGM
       February 24, 2019

    * Committee and Special Event

    * New Business
    * VNCS Scholarship Update
    * VNCS Membership Increase
  • 11:15 AM - Election of Officers & Directors
  • 11:45 AM - AGM Adjournment

                  Snack Break

  • 12:00 PM-1:15 PM - Guest SpeakersMichael Abe & Natsuki Abe, Landscapes of Injustice

Natsuki and Mike will use examples of digital records to show how they can enhance a community members’ understanding of their family history. They will also introduce their proposal for a heritage sub committee for the VNCS and give a short update on the Landscapes of Injustice project.





9:30 AM  登録


9:45 AM 年次総会開会
  • 議題の承認
  • 前年次総会2019年2月24日の議事録の承認
  • 各委員会と特別イベントのレポート
  • 新規案件
  • VNCS 奨学金報告
  • VNCS 会員費の引き上げ
11:15 AM 役員と理事の選出

11:45 AM 年次総会終了


12:00 PM-1:15 PM

マイケル・アベ & ナツキ・アベ, 「不正義の風景」


(和訳:ピアレス ゆかり)


Nori Tori 2020

Bradley Kurushima

It's cold, wet, windy and dark, but spring is in sight. For those brave enough to forage in the Pacific Ocean, the annual Nori Tori will take place on Saturday, February 29, 2020. We continue to carry on this wonderful tradition for another year and pass on the knowledge of responsible seaweed harvesting with those eager to learn.   

*Please note that this harvest takes place on Gabriola Island and does consume most of the day. We will be coordinating carpooling and other logistical information so please "sign-up" by way of email. This way we can communicate with all participants more easily.

To sign-up or for more information, please contact Bradley Kurushima at





参加登録や、その他質問等ございましたら、ブラッドリー・クルシマ にメールでご連絡ください。


Uminari Taiko
Susan Kurushima

Open House
You are invited to our Open House, Sunday January 26, 4-5:30 PM.  Come for a chat, enjoy some refreshments and try hitting a drum. We are in the Bert Richman Building at the Gordon Head Rec Centre complex. 4100 Lambrick Way.

You can see that member Clara Chin is back and Arlin Ablaza is the apprentice.  We have 2 new apprentices starting in January, Lisa Paulo and Julie Gervais.  

UT Taiko Courses

The following are the workshop and classes for the new year. For more information about these courses or to register for a course go to Uminari Taiko and click on classes.

3 Hour Introductory Workshop

Sunday February 9, 2020
2:30PM to 5:30PM

Cost: Regular $54; VNCS members $49

6 Week Class

Sundays from February 23 to Mach 29 
2:15PM to 3:45PM

Cost: Regular $99; VNCS members $89





ぜひ和太鼓を体験しにお越し下さい。当日はメンバーとのおしゃべりや軽食もお楽しみ頂けます。場所は、Gordon Head Rec Centre complexのBert Richman Building (4100 Lambrick Way)です。ぜひお立ち寄りください。

なお、メンバーのClara Chinが戻って来ました。Arlin Ablazaが弟子として活躍中です。

1月からLisa PauloとJulie Gervaisの2名が新しく弟子入りしました。




3時間 入門ワークショップ

2020年2月9日(日) 2:30PM〜5:30PM

料金:一般 $54; VNCS会員 $49


2020年2月23日(日)から3月29日(日) 2:15PM〜3:45PM

料金:一般 $99; VNCS会員 $89


Furusato Dancers
Tsugio Kurushima

The highlight of the past two months was the Dance Workshop we had with Hirano Sensei on December 1.  She taught us two dances, Reiwa Ondo and Sawayaka Ondo. Reiwa Ondo is a dance celebrating the new Reiwa era in Japan which began on May 1, 2019 when Crown Prince Naruhito assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne. Reiwa means “Beautiful Harmony”.  Sawayaka Ondo is a dance portraying the cool gentle breeze. We are planning to perform these two new dances at our upcoming gigs.

This was Hirano Sensei's last workshop with us.  She is stepping back from many of her dancing commitments as she gets older.  Hirano Sensei has been our Sensei since our inception in 2006. We have had a long fruitful relationship with her and she will be deeply missed. Fortunately her daughter, Karen, has agreed to be our Sensei going forward.  She came to the workshop on December 1 and it is obvious that she has had a lot of dancing experience. We look forward to working with her.

In January we have two performances.  On January 12 we will perform at the Welcome Day Celebration 2020, an event to welcome newcomers, immigrants and refugees to Victoria.  Then on January 19 we will be performing at the annual Mochi Tsuki Kai, our communities Japanese New Year Celebration. If this is any indication, it looks like it will be a busy year for us.

If you are interested in joining the Furusato Dancers contact either Tsugio Kurushima or Tomoko Okada.








BC Redress

Tsugio Kurushima

Here is a a summary of where the NAJC are in the BC Redress Campaign.

  • BC Redress Consultation Report compiled, edited and delivered to Minister Lisa Beare, Tourism, Arts, and Culture with a copy made available to the general public online:

Read the report:

Read supporting appendices:

  • Witnesses present at the submission heard the BC Government's commitment to working with the NAJC on legacy initiatives. Event was live streamed and a permanent record of the statement was recorded:
  • All Members of the BC Legislative Assembly (MLAs) given hard copy of report. All MLAs also sent an email with a link to the report, it’s appendices and a copy of the Minister’s Statement.
  • BC Redress Strategy Committee formed with the mandate to establish future strategy for pursuing BC Redress.

Here are the the strategies going forward:

  • Meetings with individual MLAs have begun. Hearing from two Liberal MLAs and making a case for BC Redress, the approach to community rebuilding was well received.
  • The NAJC is now working on refining the asks and circling through the different constituencies in the province, and the different community stakeholders in those constituencies.
  • The NAJC will begin meeting with the Provincial Government in January. The BC Government has indicated support for following up on the recommendations from the community consultations and is open to entering negotiations for this purpose.
  • The NAJC needs to be nimble in responding to the BC Government and engage individuals with the suitable background, experience and expertise to facilitate the negotiations.
  • The BC Redress Negotiating Strategy Team is comprised of members of the NAJC National Executive Board, BC based representatives, and specialists in governmental relations (Paul Kariya), communications (Angus McAllister) and the 1988 Redress Settlement (Art Miki and Maryka Omatsu). Individuals may be added to the team to match the strategy being pursued.



  • BC州戦時賠償の協議会のレポートがまとめられ、編集されたのち観光・アーツそして文化省のリサ・ベアー相に提出され、そのコピーはオンラインで一般に公開されています:

  • 提出の同席者はBC州政府のNAJCと共に行っていく遺産イニシアチブへのコミットメントを聞きました。このイベントは生配信され、スピーチは記録されました。:

  • 全てのBC州立法議会のメンバー(MLA)はレポートのハードコピーを渡されました。全てのMLAはレポートへのリンク、その付属書類そして大臣の声明の載ったメールを送られています。

  • 将来のBC州戦時賠償の戦略を立てるため、BC州戦時賠償戦略委員会が設立されました。


  • 各MLAとのミーティングが開始されました。二名の自由党のMLAと面会しBC州戦時賠償について訴え、コミュニティの再建に関するアプローチは歓迎されました。

  • NAJCは要求をさらに洗練させ、州内の様々な選挙区の様々なコミュニティの関係者を回っています。

  • NAJCは州政府と1月に会合を開く予定です。BC州政府はコミュニティ協議会で提出された提案をフォローアップすることに好意的な反応を示しており、そのための交渉を開始する用意ができているようです。

  • NAJCはBC州政府に素早く対応し相応しい専門の関係者と交渉に挑む必要があります

  • BC州戦時賠償戦略委員会はNAJCの取締役会、BC州在住の代表者、そして政府関連(ポール・カリヤ)、コミュニケーションズ(アンガス・マカリスター)の専門家そして1988年の賠償和解担当者(アート・ミキそしてマリカ・オオマツ)で成り立っています。戦略によって新たにメンバーが追加される可能性もあります。

    (和訳:ピアレス ゆかり)


Esquimalt Tea House Update

As reported in the last Newsletter at the Nov 18 Council Meeting the Township of Esquimalt approved the multi- purpose building at Gorge Park.  The building will have a smaller footprint, 3,000 sq ft versus 4,000 sq ft. but will still include design elements which will commemorate the Japanese history of the park. The cost of the building is estimated to be $5.3 M which is the lion share of the $7M set aside for park improvement projects. Note that this budget also includes an expansion to the Japanese Garden.

The Township is now in the stage of hiring a design consultant/architect for the actual design and construction of the building. This phase is scheduled to run from January to April, 2020. In May they would tender for construction and they hope to have the building completed by end of 2020. It was noted that this is a very aggressive schedule.

We have asked if the VNCS would have some input to the Japanese design elements of the building.  Scott Hartman, Director of Parks and Recreation Services for the Township of Esquimalt said there would be opportunity for our input and ideas for the final design. Based on current project timelines, we anticipate that this would occur sometime in February.

So our campaign to have a structure to commemorate the Takata Tea Garden appears to have been successful.  It has been almost 2 years since Dan Armstrong brought this opportunity to our attention. Along the way many people have been involved in this campaign and have contributed to its success. Jordan Stanger-Ross and his associates at the Landscapes of Injustice project were a key ally in our fight.  The involvement of Dillon Takata, great grandson of Kensuke Takata, one of the original owners, was also critical. But our work is not over. The VNCS will continue to advocate for the completion of an appropriate commemorative building.






VNCSが建物の日本風デザイン要素に関わる機会があるのかを尋ねたところ、エスクァイマルト市の公園およびレクリエーションサービスディレクターのScott Hartman氏は、最終デザイン決定の際にVNCSがインプットやアイデアに関わる機会がある旨を言及しました。



Dan Armstrong氏にこの機会を与えていただいてから約2年が経過しました。この間、多くの人々がこのキャンペーンに参加し、成功に向けて取り組んでまいりました。Landscapes of Injusticeプロジェクト(不正義の風景プロジェクト)のJordan Stanger-Ross氏と彼の仲間たちは、この戦いにおいて大変重要な同志でした。また、本来の所有主の1人であるケンスケ高田氏の曾孫にあたるディロン高田氏の協力もなくてはならないものでした。



Japanese Films at Victoria Film Festival

February 7-16, 2020

Visit Victoria Film Festival website for more films and details 




$13.33 — Tuesday, February 11, 2019 - 9:00 PM, Capitol 6

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa  
Japan/Uzbekistan/Qatar 2019
120 min. Unrated: Membership Required

Every person attending requires their own $2.00 membership
Trailer Buy tickets

To the Ends of the Earth is the return of Japanese master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Using a brilliant shift in tone from his usual fare he chronicles the misadventures of a Japanese TV host compiling travelogue video journals on assignment in Uzbekistan. With a stunning and assured performance by pop-star, Atsuko Maeda, To the Ends of the Earth offers a stirring and darkly humorous examination of culture class in a classic fish-out-of-water tale with a modern twist.

Yoko, a cautious, introverted, and determined host of a popular TV travel show is full of charisma and game-for-anything attitude. Gallivanting through the gorgeous and unknown areas of the fabled Silk Road she’s often forgotten or ignored by the small crew she’s on the road with. Soon everything goes wrong. As the programme runs dry on ideas, she tries to forge her own connections to Uzbekistan and soon her cultural assumptions knock her off course. Frustrated by the failed filming, she decides to set aside her host duties and take a stroll on her own. Lost in the streets of a foreign city, she finds herself adrift and alone, confronting her fears and hidden aspirations.


$9.00 — Sunday, February 16, 2019, 11:30AM,  The Vic

Director: Kitaro Kosaka, Japan, 2018 94 min
Trailer Buy tickets

After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko starts living with her grandmother who runs a traditional Japanese inn built on top of an ancient spring in the countryside. While she completes her chores and prepares to become the inn’s next caretaker, Okko discovers there are welcoming spirits who live there that only she can see. Kitaro Kosaka’s touching anime Okko’s Inn offers a unique ghost story for all ages that stays true to Japanese traditions while also paying homage to them.

Based on a popular series of children’s books, Okko’s Inn centers around the encounters and relationships Okko builds while becoming the young innkeeper of Harunoya. She meets the ghost of Uribo, a rambunctious boy who loved her grandmother when they were children. Just as she’s starting to accept Uribo’s presence, Miyo, the spirit of the older sister of Okko’s snooty classmate Matsuki, shows up.

The latest feature from famed anime studio Madhouse and director Kitarô Kosaka, who was a key animator on numerous classic films at the venerable Studio Ghibli, seamlessly combines mesmerizing, idyllic landscapes with the storybook charm of Okko’s beloved ghosts.


$13.33 — Saturday, February 15, 2019, 7:45 PM,The Vic

Canadian Premiere
Director: Miki Dezaki
Japan/USA/South Korea  2019  120min
Unrated - Membership Required
Every person attending requires their own $2.00 membership
Trailer Buy tickets

What historians call the Imperial Army’s sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II is perhaps Japan’s most heated present-day diplomatic dilemma. Director Mike Dezaki explores the issue dividing the country across clear ideological lines.

Many activists and contemporary historians view staunch conservatives who unequivocally deny the claim as “revisionists,” and use terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of those accusations. Dezaki, a second-generation Japanese-American who grew up in Florida and learned little about the comfort women from his Japanese immigrant parents, questions whether historical accounts in the Western news media had gotten it wrong somehow. With great detail and precision, Dezaki interviews historians, advocates and lawyers who supplement their evidence with documents that prove the Japanese military’s direct role in managing the brothels, and hundreds of women have described harrowing conditions in so-called comfort stations. What’s at stake is shaping the next generation of Japanese society with a clear-eyed view of their own history.


$13.33 — Thursday, February 13, 2019, 9:00 PM,   Capitol 6

Director: Makoto Nagahisa
Japan 2019, 120min, Special Jury Award for Most Original  Sundance Film Festival. Special Jury Mention  Berlin International Fil, Festival

Unrated - Membership Required
Every person attending requires their own $2.00 membership
Trailer Buy tickets

World premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and taking home a special Jury Prize for most original film, We Are Little Zombies is a truly innovative, roller coaster ride of a film.

Their parents are dead. They should be sad, but they can’t cry. So, they form a kick-ass band. This is the story of four 13-year-olds in search of their emotions.

After their radical DIY music video announcing their manifesto goes viral, it captures the hearts of the entire nation; the group is faced with record deals, photo-ops, and idol status and the Little Zombies must now grapple with their newfound responsibility of being cynical role models to an admiring sea of impressionable teens.


2020 年2月7日-16日


旅のおわり世界の始まり   TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

$13.33 - 2月11日(火)  9:00PM  Capitol 6
2019年 120分
予告 チケットを購入

カンヌ国際映画祭で受賞を果たした「岸辺の旅」など国内外で高い評価を受ける黒沢清監督が、「散歩する侵略者」「Seventh Code」でもタッグを組んだ前田敦子を主演に迎え、シルクロードを舞台に、日本とウズベキスタンの合作で製作したロードムービー。



若おかみは小学生! OKKO's INN

$9.00 - 2月16日(日)  11:30AM  The Vic

日本 2018年 94分
予告 チケットを購入


小学6年生の女の子おっこは交通事故で両親を亡くし、祖母の経営する旅館「春の屋」に引き取られる。旅館に古くから住み着いているユーレイ少年のウリ坊や、転校先の同級生でライバル旅館の跡取り娘・真月らと知り合ったおっこは、ひょんなことから春の屋の若おかみの修行を始めることに。失敗の連続に落ち込むおっこだったが、不思議な仲間たちに支えられながら、次々とやって来る個性的なお客様をもてなそうと奮闘するうちに、少しずつ成長していく。人気子役の小林星蘭が主人公おっこの声を担当。「もののけ姫」「千と千尋の神隠し」などスタジオジブリ作品で作画監督を務めてきた高坂希太郎が、「茄子 アンダルシアの夏」以来15年ぶりに長編劇場アニメの監督を手がけた。脚本は「映画 聲の形」「夜明け告げるルーのうた」などヒット作を数多く担当する吉田玲子。(映画.com)



$13.33 - 2月15日(土) 7:45PM   The Vic
日本/アメリカ/韓国 2019年 120分
予告 チケットを購入



$13.33 -2月13日(木) 9:00PM   Capitol 6
日本 2019年 120分
サンダンス映画祭 審査員特別賞 オリジナリティ賞
ベルリン国際映画祭 審査員特別賞
予告 チケットを購入


火葬場で出会ったヒカリ、イシ、タケムラ、イクコは、両親を亡くしても泣けなかった。ゾンビのように感情を失った彼らは自分たちの心を取り戻すため、もう誰もいなくなってしまったそれぞれの家を巡りはじめる。やがて彼らは、冒険の途中でたどり着いたゴミ捨て場で「LITTLE ZOMBIES」というバンドを結成。そこで撮影した映像が話題を呼び社会現象まで巻き起こす大ヒットとなるが、4人は思いがけない運命に翻弄されていく。「そして父になる」の二宮慶多、「クソ野郎と美しき世界」の中島セナらが主人公の子どもたちを演じ、佐々木蔵之介、永瀬正敏、菊地凛子、池松壮亮、村上淳ら豪華キャストが脇を固める。第69回ベルリン国際映画祭ジェネレーション(14plus)部門でスペシャル・メンション賞(準グランプリ)、第35回サンダンス映画祭ワールドシネマ・ドラマティック・コンペティション部門で審査員特別賞オリジナリティ賞を受賞。(映画.com)


New year, New membership! 
Have you renewed your VNCS membership yet? ($10 for individual, $15 for family)
There are 2 ways to renew your membership:
  • Online payment with Paypal - click here or
  • Mail a cheque payable to Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society to 4401 Tremblay Drive, Victoria BC, V8N 4W6


  • オンライン(ペイパル)での更新はこちら または
  • 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。
Welcome new members

Tung Cheng Yang     Yuko Sakata      Wylie Thomas and Marc Waterman

Thank you for your donations

Mieko and Don Fedrau     Kaori and Kenji Ujimoto
VNCS Newsletter Editorial Team VNCSニュースレターチーム
Editors:     Yukari Peerless       Scott McDonald
Translators:     Mieko Fedrau   Kana Mercer  
Satoko Clayton   Masako Hegge  Rieko Hatakeyama

Can you help with Japanese translation?
We are always looking for more translators. Contact Yukari for details! 

Submission Guidelines

Please submit your articles, photos and flyers by Saturday, February 1, 2020 for the next VNCS newsletter to

If you are sending articles, please use Microsoft Word (font: Arial, size: 12, title: bold) and attach it to your email.  

If you are sending photos, please attach them as JPG file (name the file with your name and title) to your emails.
Editor's Note

Happy New Year!

The success of  the newsletter is due, in large part, to the efforts of the writers, translation team members, and my co-editor, Yukari Peerless. I want to thank all for their commitment and hard work. 

To the readers of the VNCS Newsletter, for your patience when we are late, and for reading — from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Scott McDonald



ニュースレターの成功は、ライター、翻訳チームのメンバー、そして私の共同編集者ゆかりさんの努力によるものです。 私は彼らのコミットメントと努力に感謝しております。


マクドナルド スコット

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