Norm Masaji Ibuki

Writer Norm Masaji Ibuki lives in Oakville, Ontario. He has written extensively about the Canadian Nikkei community since the early 1990s. He wrote a monthly series of articles (1995-2004) for the Nikkei Voice newspaper (Toronto) which chronicled his experiences while in Sendai, Japan. Norm now teaches elementary school and continues to write for various publications. 

Updated August 2014

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Unfurling The Symbolism of Canadian Artist Warren Hoyano - Part 2

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Can you talk a bit about your own artistic process? Referring to a few pieces in the JCCC show, can you please talk about your own creation process? Can you please go into some detail about what the pieces mean to you too?

I like to look for commonplace objects and symbols to work with. Almost everything has possibilities and it is up to me as an artist to see them. Through a process of experimentation, contemplation and manipulation, the mundane can be made into art. For example, I have a series of work based on the ...

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Unfurling The Symbolism of Canadian Artist Warren Hoyano - Part 1

“I am using flags as a metaphor for the fears, beliefs, aspirations, and behaviors which arise in societies under extreme stress, whether real or imagined. This anxiety could be caused by threat of war or terrorist strike, the effects of climate change, or the possibility of attack from infectious diseases, as examples. The flag symbol can embody pride and hope for the future, as in the case of a young person or a refugee but also, exclusionary forms of nationalism such as in the desire for racial purity.”

—Canadian Sansei Artist Warren Hoyano

With the approach of the Winter Olympics ...

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The 75th Anniversary of Internment - 16 Voices... A Time for Atonement - Part 2

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“Many people still do not know the full story about the internment of Japanese Canadians. My maternal grandparents, like other families who never returned to the west coast, remained in the tiny village of Slocan, and never returned to Cumberland (Vancouver Island) where the family had settled in the 1800s. Everything they owned was taken by the government. My father had to look after his mother (his father died during internment) and younger siblings so he never achieved his dream of going to university to study medicine. So much was taken, and our families endured. Their stories ...

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The 75th Anniversary of Internment - 16 Voices... A Time for Atonement - Part 1

NOTICE

TO ALL PERSONS OF JAPANESE RACIAL ORIGIN

Having reference to the Protected Area of British Columbia as described in an Extra of the Canada Gazette, No. 174 dated Ottawa, Monday, February 2, 1942:

  1. EVERY PERSON OF THE JAPANESE RACE, WHILE WITHIN THE PROTECTED AREA AFORESAID, SHALL HEREAFTER BE AT HIS USUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE EACH DAY BEFORE SUNSET AND SHALL REMAIN THEREIN UNTIL SUNRISE ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, AND NO SUCH PERSON SHALL GO OUT OF HIS USUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AFORESAID UPON THE STREETS OR OTHERWISE DURING THE HOURS BETWEEN SUNSET AND SUNRISE;

  2. NO PERSON OF THE JAPANESE ...

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1942 Vancouver Revisited in Nishihata’s Powell Street Diary

Nisei Jesse Nishihata (1929-2006) was working on a TV series idea in the 1980s about the Japanese Canadian community that lived in the Powell Street area of Vancouver in pre-World War Two days. While reading Powell Street Diary, I wondered if a TV series about our community couldn’t have some success in 2017? The ingredients are certainly all there...

First: way, way back in 1942 when Vancouver’s Powell Street area was home to a thriving Japanese Canadian community (yes, we did have one) that was vibrant, colourful, and ‘exotic’. At the time, Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ opera painted ...

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