President Lorene Oikawa’s Message – June 2017

Asian Heritage Month events filled up our calendar for May. It was especially significant this year, because it is the 75th anniversary of the internment or as some of us are calling it, the incarceration. Words are powerful, and the government used many euphemisms to soften the harsh reality faced by 22,000 children, women, and men who were forcibly uprooted, dispossessed, and incarcerated.

We shared some of those stories at our Discover the Stories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey event, and we also shared the stories of the pioneers, the Japanese Canadians who came to Surrey and their contributions.

What is particularly disturbing about the incarceration is that the Canadian government acted against their own citizens. Most of those incarcerated were Canadian born, and Japanese Canadians arrived in Canada long before 1942. 2017 marks the 140th anniversary of the first documented Japanese arrival to Canada, but we now know there are accounts of earlier arrivals and indigenous oral history that appears to refer to even earlier contact.

In the late 1800s, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Surrey. For our event, we highlighted some of their stories. Some young men came to work in sawmills that were located in present-day White Rock, South Surrey, Crescent Beach, and Hazelmere. Some started boat building in Brownsville, the north shore of Surrey, directly across from New Westminster. Others settled in the Cloverdale area where they eventually purchased land. Japanese Canadians also had farms in other parts of Surrey including where we held the event at Surrey City Centre Library. One of the major stories is about the Strawberry Hill area.

I’ve lived my entire life, so far, in Surrey and I studied the history of our city in elementary school and I do not remember any stories about Japanese Canadians. I didn’t know that Strawberry Hill referred to the strawberry farms that used to be owned by Japanese Canadians. I also don’t remember any history of Japanese Canadians in our high school studies. This was the reason why I started this GVJCCA project. I was curious about the history of this city I live in, and I want to have the history of Japanese Canadians made accessible at community events and in our education system. Our history is BC and Canada’s history.

It was an inspiring afternoon that started off with recognition of the traditional and unceded Coast Salish land (Kwantlen, Katzie, Musqueam & Semiahmoo) and a warm, indigenous welcome from Roxanne Feeney, and then a rousing performance by Chibi Taiko at the Surrey City Centre Library. I was explaining to Shinobu Homma that his group would be performing in the plaza just outside of the library and as I was trying to point it out to him he said, “I know the design well, I looked after it, I am with Bing Thom Architects.” The Japanese Canadian community is always surprising me. There are so many talented individuals and we don’t always hear about their accomplishments. Another reason why sharing our stories is so important.

GVJCCA is thankful to have received a grant from the City of Surrey (thanks Sean Bindra) so we could carry out this project. The GVJCCA is a non-profit organization that depends upon our membership and donations. The grant helped us to do more including hiring a researcher/writer, Christine Kondo, who has over 10 years of experience including her time on the editorial committee for Nikkei Images, a publication of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.

Christine provided some highlights of stories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey which we shared at the event, and will be shared in The Bulletin and on the GVJCCA website. Sumi Kinoshita attended and shared her family story. Art Miki emailed and let me know about his father who was born in Surrey. It’s not too late, if you have a story of your Japanese Canadian family in Surrey, please let us know.

We also had a special guest from the Yukon, Lillian Nakamura Maguire, and we did a reading of a few scenes from her play, Hidden Memories. The play is the story of a Japanese Canadian family who was once in Surrey, inspired by her family’s story. Thanks to our volunteer readers Yoriko Gillard, May Hamanishi, Ron Nishimura, and Garin Fahlman.

A special note of thanks to Surrey’s Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar who co-hosted the event and also did a session inspiring us with some ideas on how we can write, and use poetry to tell our family stories.

Thanks to all who participated, our wonderful speakers/presenters including Renée, Lillian, Roxanne, Chibi Taiko, Bruce Ralston who is a great supporter of our events and is the MLA for Surrey Whalley in which our venue was located, our project assistants, Christine Kondo research/writing, Kayla Isomura photography, Matt, Kevan and Jake film crew, and our volunteers, May Hamanishi, Ron Nishimura, Perry Nishihata, and Susanne Tabata. Thanks also to Surrey Libraries who were a wonderful support for the event (Carolyn, Ellen and Meghan for their help during the planning), Surrey Archives, and Nikkei National Museum (Linda for her help with the photos). The event is over, but the sharing of our stories will continue.

We also held a walking tour of the Powell Street area for Asian Heritage Month. Thank you to Grace Eiko Thomson who shared her stories of the Vancouver Asahi, and her personal remembrances of living in the area. I shared some stories from my family and from Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs who has partnered with me on previous walks. Geoff was unable to join us this time, but he kindly helped me with the handouts and map for the walk.

Thank you to Jeff Chiba Stearns for his support to show his film One Big Hapa Family at a community and labour Asian Heritage Month event the GVJCCA helped organize. The film really resonates with Japanese Canadian families as we see our families experience the highest rate of mixed unions (Statistics Canada term for a couple where one spouse or partner belongs to a visible minority group and the other does not or both belong to different visible minority groups).

We had lots to be thankful for during May, the month of celebration and remembrance of our Asian heritage. It’s only one opportunity to share our stories and work towards eliminating racism. Let’s make sure it continues throughout the year.

President Lorene Oikawa’s Message – May 2017

The sakura (Japanese cherry blossoms) started to appear last month. They seemed to be a bit late like much of our Spring weather. Our harsh winter weather is starting to float from our memories just like the cherry blossom petals that filled our skies and then covered our streets.

I hope you were able to enjoy some time outdoors, perhaps with your family and friends at Hanami. Hanami is a traditional Japanese flower viewing party adopted by many cities around the world. It is said to have started in the Nara period (710-794 AD) with ume (plum blossoms) and then by the Heian period (794-1185) it was associated with sakura. Today, many parties are held during the day and night with lots of eating, drinking, and playing and listening to music. The cherry blossoms don’t last long so enjoy them when you can. Good advice for flower viewing and for cherishing your loved ones.

My family experienced deep sadness with the loss of our mother. It was very long nights with visits to the hospital, and getting up early for work, and squeezing in volunteer work and errands. My thoughts are with many of you who are juggling the care of your elderly relatives, your family, and other responsibilities. It also saddens me to think of the elderly who do not have family to assist them, and it is even more critical for the government to take leadership and provide the resources for seniors.

Also, there are other individuals, families, students, workers, those who are unemployed, with disabilities, and in poverty who need a government who will consider their needs as priority. We have a responsibility to choose a government by voting. The provincial election is on May 9th, and you don’t have to wait until Election Day to vote. Find out more on the Elections BC website at http://elections.bc.ca/ Please vote and take the rest of your family too.

Every vote is important, and if you think it doesn’t make a difference, just look south to our neighbours when many chose to stay home for their presidential election. Japanese Canadians were not allowed to vote for years. Even those who bravely fought for Canada at Vimy Ridge were denied franchise, and were uprooted, dispossessed, and incarcerated 75 years ago. Who we elect makes decisions on laws that affect us all.

In 1900 Tomekichi Homma challenged the provincial law banning Japanese Canadians from voting. The trial judge and Supreme Court agreed with Homma. However, the BC government appealed the decision to the Privy Council who upheld the law. In 1936, the Japanese Canadian Citizens League sent S.I. Hayakawa, M. Kobayashi, H. Hyodo and Dr. E.C. Banno to Ottawa to plead for the right to vote. Independent MP A.W. Neill (Comox-Alberni) and Liberal MP Thomas Reid (New Westminster) were anti-Asian zealots who used literature from the White Canada Association to stir up anti-Asian hostilities. In the year before, both the Liberals and Conservatives won votes in the federal election by smearing the CCF (precursor to the NDP) as a pro-Asian political party. The Canadian parliament did not support the Japanese Canadians’ right to vote. It wasn’t until 1949 when Japanese Canadians won franchise. This was four years after the end of the Second World War.

So, if for no other reason than to honour our ancestors, please vote.

To learn more about the history of our ancestors, please attend two upcoming events.

GVJCCA Walking Tour, Reflections on Japanese Canadian Life & Work in the Powell Street District, on May 13th.  Join me and Grace Eiko Thomson, curator of Levelling the Playing Field, the popular Vancouver Asahi Baseball Team exhibit, who will share some fascinating insights into what life was like in the Powell Street District 75 years ago. Grace will also share some personal stories about growing up in the area. We will meet near Chapel Arts at the corner of Dunlevy and East Cordova in Vancouver at 10 a.m. The walk will take approximately 90 minutes. For more information, please check our website at gvjcca.org or email gvjcca@gmail.com or phone 604.777.5222.

GVJCCA Discover the Stories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey and learn how to share your family stories using poetry with Surrey Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar on May 20th at Surrey City Centre Library, 10350 University Dr, Surrey, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, please check our website at gvjcca.org or email gvjcca@gmail.com or phone 604.777.5222

Keep an eye on The Bulletin and our website for other events this year commemorating the 75th anniversary of the uprooting, dispossession, and incarceration of Japanese Canadians, and the 65th anniversary of the GVJCCA.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another anniversary this year is the 50th Annual BC Nisei Bonspiel which took place at the Richmond Curling Club. It was my honour and pleasure to attend the bonspiel as the Vice President of the NAJC (National Association of Japanese Canadians) and the President of the GVJCCA. Thank you to Bonspiel Chairperson Roy Murao and all the volunteers and participants. There were over 350 attending from across BC, Canada, and one team from the USA and Japan. It was a great event with wonderful people, and delicious food.

 

President Lorene Oikawa’s Message – April 2017

I come from a line of strong women. The men were bold in their endeavours such as the brothers who came from Japan in the 1800’s, and two of the brothers would settle in Cumberland on Vancouver Island. This was the Canadian beginning of my family on my mother’s side. My maternal grandfather worked in the coal mines, the mills, and as a faller, but his passion was for baseball, and he was recruited to play for the Vancouver Asahi. I have a few newspaper clippings of my grandfather as a Vancouver Asahi baseball player. My grandmother who was skilled in the culinary arts, pattern making, sewing, gardening, and playing the koto, was a woman of many talents, but none that would feature her in the newspaper. She was dedicated to making sure her family would survive and thrive.

Seventy-five years ago, when the government declared all Canadians of Japanese ancestry to be enemy aliens, and forced their uprooting, dispossession, and incarceration, my grandmother was determined to look after her young family. At the time, it was six children, the youngest a baby, and eventually it would be ten children who survived.

I think not enough is written about the women, especially the mothers who struggled to make sure their children had food, clothes, and were protected when the adults had no idea what was to come. My mother as a young girl survived those harsh times, and then had to call upon her resilience again, when many years later, as a young mother, she became a widow. She learned how to drive and got a job at Woodward’s [department store]. She ensured her children had enough to eat, warm clothes, a safe home, and love and support so they could survive and thrive. [Thanks mom.]

We owe so much to our mothers, grandmothers, and the women in our families. When you acknowledge the 75th anniversary of the internment/incarceration this year, take a moment to recognize the women in your lives. We honour those who came before us, and we will continue their work so all will have safe, welcoming, thriving communities.

The GVJCCA is planning a number of events for the 75th anniversary including a walking tour on May 13, reflecting on Japanese Canadian life and work in the Powell Street District, and a sharing stories event on May 20, discovering the stories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey through prose, a play and other creative formats, and learning how to use poetry to share family stories with our special presenter Surrey Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar. We are also looking at an intergenerational event, and a forum later in the year. As we firm up details, we will post all information in future editions of The Bulletin / Geppo, and on our website, gvjcca.org.

In preparation for the May 20th event, we are asking you to share your stories, experiences, and family histories of Japanese Canadians in Surrey. Please email gvjcca@gmail.com or phone 604.777.5222 for more information. Selected stories will be published in The Bulletin (if received before mid-April), and also on display at the Surrey City Centre Library in the week leading up to May 20th.

By the time you read this, we should have a researcher/writer in place who will be helping us search and find stories from the City of Surrey archives.

Also, we applied for the Canada Summer Jobs Grant for three summer student positions. It has been approved, and the GVJCCA will be hiring for the positions to start in May 2017. We will be looking for an Event Coordinator whose primary responsibility is organizing our major fundraiser, the GVJCCA Wild Salmon BBQ and Musubi food booth, at the 2017 Powell Street Festival, an Archival Assistant who will be helping us go through our historical information and digitize our archives, and a Communications Administrator who will be helping with our communications, producing content for our website, social media, and organizing and maintaining our online community calendar. All three positions will also help with our special events that take place during the summer.

The eligibility requirements include being a full-time student with plans to return to full-time studies in the upcoming academic year and being legally entitled to work in BC. Please see the complete eligibility requirements and job descriptions in the job postings in this edition, and on our website. If you are interested in applying for a position and meet the eligibility requirements, please email a resume and covering letter outlining your suitability for the position to GVJCCA President at gvjcca@gmail.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Annual General Meeting of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA) took place on March 12, 2017. Thank you for your continued support. Our current board members are committed to continue our work, and were acclaimed.

NAJC Statement – U.S. Election and Racist Acts in Canada

The National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and Japanese Canadians join with Japanese Americans and allies who are denouncing the racist acts and rhetoric following the US election.

The election of Donald Trump appears to have emboldened many to speak and act on their belief that differences in race, ethnicity, and religion are to blame for whatever is wrong in the world. The attacks provoke a chilling déjà vu for those of Japanese descent in the USA and Canada. Just as Japanese Canadians and Japanese Americans were targeted in the 1940’s and smeared with the “enemy alien” label, we see Muslims being targeted today. A surrogate for the president-elect has made the connection very clear by using the example of the internment to suggest a precedent for actions the new government can take against Americans who are Muslim.

Let us be very clear. The racist act of incarceration must not be repeated or used to support unfair targeting such as registering all Muslims or threats of violence or other hate crimes. In Canada over 22,000 innocent children, women, and men were forcibly uprooted, dispossessed, and incarcerated without any evidence or due process. These Canadians were unjustly targeted because of their ethnicity.
Canadians must not be complacent. Racism is not new or limited to south of the border. Across Canada we have seen the attacks on women wearing hijabs, racist graffiti, and flyers in Toronto and Richmond BC promoting the so- called “alt-right” and its racist messages.

We see the racist tone in politics and public policy. We have a Conservative leadership candidate who appears to be emulating Trump and has proposed screening immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values.” We also have Bill C51 which became the Anti-terrorism Act through fear mongering and threatens Canadian civil liberties and freedoms with unchecked sweeping powers for the government. Following a US model, Canada has adopted a no-fly list which includes the names of over 50 young children with no explanation for the families and a suspicion that racial profiling is at play.

Fear and discrimination must not determine our policies or our actions. We, as citizens, must take every opportunity to speak up and act to protect our rights and freedoms. Even the simple act of making an informed choice and voting can be powerful, and we must not take our right to vote for granted. Our families were denied the vote until four years after the Second World War.

The voices to challenge the government’s attack on its own citizens in the 1940’s was missing. We have an opportunity to join a loud chorus of voices to reject the current calls for hatred and division. We will stand together to face the uncertainty and ensure that the historical injustice our families endured is not repeated.

For more information please contact: National Association of Japanese Canadians Tel: 204.943.2910
Email: national@najc.ca

National Association of Japanese Canadians

Over 270 Submissions for Japanese Canadian Historic Places

Thank you for speaking up and submitting nominations for Japanese Canadian historic places. The deadline was November 30. Heritage BC reports that over 270 submissions were received and will be reviewed. We will keep you posted as we receive information.

Speaking out about our collective concern about the short timeline for the nominations for Japanese Canadian historical places was effective. On September 8, 2016, Heritage BC announced an extended deadline to November 30, 2016.

On July 7, 2016, the Province of BC announced a call for nominations for historically significant Japanese Canadian places in British Columbia to be officially recognized. The deadline was set for September 9, 2016. The NAJC and GVJCCA along with other Japanese Canadian groups and individuals were concerned and spoke up about the short timeline. We wanted to ensure as many people as possible would have the opportunity to hear about the call and submit nominations. We created a Facebook page, JC Sites BC, to provide a forum for discussion and sharing information about the nominations process. We also set up a document so we can try to track nominations made and in progress. Seeing where there are gaps may encourage people to submit nominations and help each other so that important historical sites are not being missed. Please see the September edition of The Bulletin for more information and JC Sites BC on Facebook.

Tents at Bayfarm. Photo courtesy of Nikkei National Museum.

Media Release: Japanese Canadian Community Organizes so History is Not Forgotten

Vancouver, BC: Japanese Canadian community organizations and individuals have joined together and launched a Facebook page, JC Sites BC, in response to a provincial government call for nominations for historically significant Japanese Canadian places.

 

Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA) president Lorene Oikawa says, “We want to ensure as many people as possible hear about the call and are able to submit nominations. That’s why we spoke out about the original deadline date and the requirement to determine ownership of the property. It has been removed & the date changed.”

 

On July 7, 2016 Heritage BC announced on behalf of British Columbia Ministry of International Trade and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations that nominations of historic places for the Japanese Canadian Historic Places Recognition Project would be accepted until September 9, 2016. A letter signed by individuals and representatives from Japanese Canadian community groups including the GVJCCA, Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, and the National Association of Japanese Canadians was sent to Heritage BC requesting an extension.

 

On September 8, 2016, Heritage BC announced an extended deadline to November 30, 2016.

 

“We are pleased we were heard and we are looking forward to collaborating with Heritage BC for the nomination process, and the next steps which we are hoping will include a rich resource that will teach the stories of Japanese Canadians,” says Laura Saimoto, Alumni Director, Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall.

 

The Facebook page, JC Sites BC, provides a forum for discussion and sharing information about the nominations process. A document has been set up so people can self-report nominations being made, because the information is not being made available. Oikawa notes that seeing where there are gaps may encourage people to submit nominations and help each other so that important historical sites are not being missed. Oikawa says, “The ownership question on the application form is no longer a requirement thanks to the community speaking up.” Saimoto adds that people can submit more than one nomination and there can be multiple nominations for a historic place. Saimoto says, “Sites can be buildings to entire neighbourhoods. It can also be parks or land where there aren’t any buildings.”

 

Nominations must be made by November 30, 2016 on the application form available at the Heritage BC site, www.heritagebc.ca The Japanese Canadian community Facebook page is at http://bit.ly/2ba36Lz

 

“Japanese Canadians have been in Canada since the 1800’s so the history of Japanese Canadians is the history of BC,” says Oikawa. “Their contributions and the historical injustice of forced displacement and dispossession should not be forgotten, and it should be in the core curriculum. We need to know our history or we repeat the mistakes.”

 

Media contacts:

 

Laura Saimoto, Vancouver Japanese Language School & and Japanese Hall, Alumni Director

lsaimoto4@gmail.com           (t) 604-351-0788

 

Lorene Oikawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association, President

l.oikawa@najc.ca                    (t) 604-777-5222

Honouring Our People Book Launch

by Lorene Oikawa

It turned out to be a nice day. Sometimes when the weather is too good, it discourages people from attending indoor events. That wasn’t the case with the GVJCCA Honouring Our People book launch. The room was packed with about 60 people including about 15 storytellers and another three who were family representing storytellers who were in the book.

Storytellers and co-editors. Roxanne Ryan back row, far left.

Storytellers and co-editors. Roxanne Ryan back row, far left.

Members of the Honouring Our People Book Committee were greeting people, people were chatting, and it was reminiscent of how this book started.

On three days in September, 2009, families, friends, and survivors came together for the Honouring Our People: Stories of the Internment conference in Burnaby, BC, at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. The conference paid tribute to the Japanese Canadians who experienced racism, alienation, betrayal, restrictions, uprooting and loss during and after WWII. We also acknowledged the resilience and perseverance shown by Japanese Canadians who not only endured, but often prospered after the war. We created a safe space for a dialogue between generations, and descendants of survivors had the opportunity to learn more about their family’s history.

Miyuki Nagata and Lillian Nakashima

Miyuki Nagata and Lillian Nakashima

For some, it was the first time they heard the stories of what their families went through. It’s quite common for Japanese Canadian families to not know their family’s history. One of the book’s co-editors and a storyteller herself, Mary Kitagawa observed at the conference, “It is often stated that many have kept this trauma deep within their psyche because it is so painful to talk about it. Many children and grandchildren are not aware of their ancestors’ past.”

At the book launch, Editor Randy Enomoto offered a glimpse of the huge amount of work that goes into producing a book. He gave an example of how he ran into problems when checking a few references to online material that were now “dead links” one year later and he had to get the co-editor to find updated references. He also teased the audience with some other “secrets” and said, “You’ll have to buy the book to find out what happened.”

Editor Randy Enomoto

Editor Randy Enomoto

Tosh Kitagawa, another co-editor and storyteller, who led the work to obtain the funding for the book shared some of his experiences. Tosh and his family were interned on a sugar beet farm in Diamond City, Alberta. He gave kudos to Emi Kordyback, who was in the audience, for her work as chair of the conference organizing committee. Indeed, we owe a lot to everyone who worked on the conference.

I noted that we have many people to thank including a list of volunteers, transcribers, our storytellers, my fellow co-editors, book designer John Endo Greenaway, and our editor Randy Enomoto. We acknowledge all the contributions to our book.

Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence is where you will discover what happened to the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were forcibly removed from their homes. We’ve included stories from people representing their various internment locations such as the internment prison camps and sugar beet farms. You’ll read some very personal stories, most of which are transcriptions of what the storytellers told us. Their voices convey their joy and pain, and allow you to share their laughter and tears.

Sadly, we have lost some of our storytellers in the book: Harry Aoki, Teruo Ted Harada, Emi Hirata, Jiro Kamiya, Isabel Kimoto, Yukio Tony Nasu, Bob Nimi, Dr. Nori Nishio, Seichi Bill Tahara, Dr. Teiso Uyeno, David Yamaura, and Yonnie Yonemoto.

Mary Kitagawa presents book to Ray Iwasaki

Mary Kitagawa presents book to Ray Iwasaki

At the launch, we expressed our gratitude to them for sharing their voices, the gift of their stories, and extended our condolences to their families.

We were fortunate to have a few family members present who were able to receive a copy of the book, and each co-editor was also pleased to acknowledge and present some storytellers with a copy of the book. For those storytellers in the book who weren’t able to attend the launch, we will be sending a copy of the book to them.

Our launch ended as it began, on unceded traditional Coast Salish territory with a special Aboriginal greeting of words and drumming by Roxanne Ryan.

The gathering continued with refreshments including a special cake with the cover of the Honouring Our People book. The storytellers and members of the book committee got together for a group photo, and there were lots of conversations as people looked at the photos and read over the stories in the book.

Bulletin founder and first editor Mickey Tanaka (nee Nakashima) and Min Tanaka

Bulletin founder and first editor Mickey Tanaka (nee Nakashima) and Min Tanaka

With Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence, we are hoping the stories will be shared, and be the inspiration for continued storytelling and for creating the opportunities for dialogue and learning.

Postscript: Our first printing sold out and we will be going to a second printing. We will be selling the book at our GVJCCA community booth at Powell Street Festival on July 30 and 31. Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence will also be sold at a few locations including the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. The book price is $24.95 plus GST.

NAJC – GVJCCA In Solidarity with the LGBTQ2 Community

As Pride parades and events are underway, many are taking the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting. The signs say “never forget” and some list the names of the 49 who lost their lives in the horrific shooting at Latinx Night at the gay nightclub in Florida.

The National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) offers heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of those who were killed, and our thoughts are also with the 52 people who were injured. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ2 community.

The NAJC condemns violence against any group of people, and also finds the xenophobic and anti-Muslim response to the shooting to be very troubling. Just as we speak out against homophobia, we must also speak out against Islamophobia.

This isn’t just a problem in the US. We have seen increasing attacks on Muslims including a recent one against a mother wearing a hijab in a London, Ontario supermarket. We’ve also seen xenophobia used to support the vote for Britain to leave the European Union, and now in the backlash after the Brexit win.

On this Canada Day, let’s make a commitment to work together and drive out the hate from our communities. Japanese Canadians know too well how discrimination and racism can harm communities. Our history includes the unjust uprooting and incarceration of 22,000 innocent Canadian children, women and men who were targeted because of their Japanese ancestry. Never again. The NAJC will continue our work for inclusiveness, diversity, and equity and equality for all Canadians. Individuals, organizations, and government can make a difference to ensure Canada is the safe, welcoming country we want it to be.

Formed in 1947, the National Association of Japanese Canadians is a non-profit incorporated community organization that represents the Japanese Canadian community, and focuses on human rights and community development.

The GVJCCA is a member organization of the NAJC.

2nd Annual GVJCCA Japanese Canadian Community Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser

Bowling2016_1333EDIT

On February 21, over 100 bowlers took over much of Rev’s Bowling in Burnaby for the 2nd Annual GVJCCA Japanese Canadian Community Bowl-a-thon. A whole range of ages was represented as the players raised funds for the GVJCCA, Nikkei Place Foundation, Tonari Gumi, Powell Street Festival Society, Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall, and the Vancouver Buddhist Temple

Kat Hisanaga had the top score of 212 for male bowlers, while Bowl-a-thon committee member June Nishi scored 170, the highest for the female bowlers. Of special note was Ken Yada, who raised the highest amount of pledges for the second year in a row.

Bowling-Sponsors-2016

Thank you to our donors!

Coast Hotel • Meadow Gardens • Safeway • Hi Genki • Gudrun Tasting Room • Perry Nishihata • Ciccone-Mackay Financial Corp. – Steven Bicego • Canfisco • Glico • Van Houtte • Richards Buell Sutton Law Firm • Mr. Ho’s • Anton’s Pasta • Isami Sushi • Hi Genki • Boston Pizza • David’s Tea • Lavilletta Restaurant • White Spot • Me-n-Ed’s Pizza • Fortuna Bakery & Deli • Rev’s • Earl’s • Surrey Whalley NDP – Bruce Ralston • Cosmos Café • Dueck’s on Marine – Dean Isobe and Skip Parker


Thanks to all those who collected pledges for the Bowl-a-thon!

Highest amount of pledges: Ken Yada

$300+ Tomi Asakawa, Rika Uto

$100-299 May Hamanishi, Perry Nishihata, June Nishi, Momoko Ito, Lorene Oikawa, Audrey Nishi, Michael Nakanishi

Thank you to Sorab Vesuna, Minuteman Press, North Burnaby, for support with printing.


Thanks to our JCCA Bowl-a-thon volunteers!

Connie Kadota, Emi Kordyback, and Kathy Shimizu


JCCA Bowl-a-thon Fundraising Committee: April Shimizu, Perry Nishihata, June Nishi, May Hamanishi, Yuji Matson, Rutsu Shikano, Ken Nishi, and Lorene Oikawa (chair).