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

culture en

Canadian Nikkei Artist

Artist Akira Yoshikawa Joins JC Giants at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario - Part 2

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Can you talk a bit about your career as an artist? When did you become conscious of wanting to be one?

I was always good at art. In Japan I used to receive awards and special display status in public school. I was very confident about the art I made. Even after arriving in Toronto, my classmates used to gather around me to watch me make art.

My grade 13 art teacher at Parkdale Collegiate Institute, Mr. Crawford, encouraged me to apply to the Ontario College of Art (now Ontario College of Art and Design University) in ...

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culture en

Canadian Nikkei Artist

Artist Akira Yoshikawa Joins JC Giants at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario - Part 1

“Throughout a lifetime, one comes across by chance or by arrangement a certain energy that aligns with one’s own. Individual components are integrated to form a common energy to focus on how we see the world. This alignment when experienced, yields a state of well-being, comfort and assurance. The aesthetic and cultural practices in my work are related to my interest in Eastern philosophy, with its expression of serenity and spirituality. It recognizes the important aspect of time known as ‘the temporal moment’. There is a constant reference to appreciate the realm of ‘now’, not to focus on obsolete ...

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education en

Vancouver’s 106-year-old Japanese Language School now a Canadian Heritage Site - Part 2

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What is the state of the school today? What is the enrolment? What is the makeup of students e.g., from Japan, descendants of the first wave of immigrants, non-Japanese? Number of teachers?

Our organization today reflects our 114 year evolution to sustainability. We have three operational divisions: child care division (daycare and immersion preschool - 135 children); Saturday and adult weeknights; language division: adults - 300+; children 6-18 - 250; community programming (heritage education and outreach and community rentals). When I was attending Japanese school as a kid in the 1980s, I went Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and ...

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education en

Vancouver’s 106-year-old Japanese Language School now a Canadian Heritage Site - Part 1

“For over 100 years, it (VJLS) has served Vancouver’s Japanese Canadian and local communities as a community-based educational, social, and cultural centre. This designation is a stepping stone towards having historic Japantown recognized as a Historic District by the federal government and I wish everybody continued success in this greater vision.”

—​ Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia

The Vancouver Japanese Language School (VJLS) and Japanese Hall have been designated a National Heritage Site. ​What a long, bumpy ride it has been.

This is an auspicious event for all Canadians, especially those of us of Japanese ...

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community en

Canadian Nikkei Artist

Hayashi Studio of Cumberland, BC: A Documentary by Hayley Gray

“Close to 800 dry glass negatives abandoned by the Matsubuchi studio reappeared in the mid-1980s in garage sales, and were recognized and collected by Cumberland residents, Mr. Frank Kothlow, Mrs. Flowers and Jim Small. Thanks to the foresight of Dale Reeves, the former director of the Cumberland Museum, the prints from these negatives are now located in the Museum’s Archives as a research collection,” taken from Shashin: Japanese Canadian Photography to 1942 exhibition catalogue, Grace Eiko Thomson, Japanese Canadian National Museum, 2004

After watching Hayley Gray’s remarkable “Hayashi Studio” documentary, I stumbled out into bright afternoon sunshine wondering ...

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