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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In Canada, May is Asian Heritage Month: Banzai!

I recently arrived back home after an intense four days in Victoria, BC where I attended as a member of the Landscapes of Injustice Community Council.

While there I had a rare opportunity to talk and immerse myself in an environment where I was with other Japanese Canadians (JCs), history students, and scholars whose efforts were being made towards helping to preserve important historical documents that relate to the dispossession of JCs of their property, business, and farms during WW2 which is still a little known part of Canadian history.

Back at my day job as a school teacher, I ...

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Equitably Speaking ... Lethbridge Nisei Rev. George Takashima - Part 2

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How did you become an educator?

After graduating from high school, I spent the first year of a five-year Chartered Accountancy program working in a CA firm. After one year, I decided this was not for me even though I excelled in mathematics. My girlfriend at that time was going to enroll at London Normal School (later known as Teachers’ College) so she said why don’t I join her? Tuition was free because there was such an acute shortage of teachers. I decided to give it a try and I rather enjoyed my experience at Normal ...

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Equitably Speaking ... Lethbridge Nisei Rev. George Takashima - Part 1

With May being Asian Heritage Month, I am wondering how our Nikkei voices will in fact be heard?

As a dedicated CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio listener and teacher who takes pride in celebrating all of the cultures that make up Canada’s highly celebrated multicultural society, I am curious somewhat about how our Asian stories of how we helped to build this country are going to be heard? Admittedly, there is a long lineup of marginalized voices who historically have been ignored by the mass media.

So, hey, CBC (and other media outlets), give us Asian Canadians our fair ...

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Toronto Nisei "Mush" Arima - Part 2

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What do you remember about life in the camps e.g., eating? Toilet? Baths? School? Your mother passed away there. Was she also buried there?

I experienced my first train ride from Vancouver (Hasting Park) to Slocan City, a four-day trip. Quite exciting for me – for mother and sisters, tiring and exhausting with only sandwiches to eat. We arrived in Slocan City in the fall of 1942. There were no living quarters available. Some families whose husbands or sons had arrived earlier to build houses for the arrival of their families were able to be put-up almost ...

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Canadian Nikkei Series

Toronto Nisei "Mush" Arima - Part 1

As the 75th anniversary of the internment came and went last year, I have promised myself to get more of the stories of the Nisei recorded in 2018 while I can.

As serendipity would have it, I met Nisei Masayoshi “Mush” (Allan) Arima, 86, at a 75th internment anniversary luncheon at the Momiji retirement home in Toronto last fall. He was hanging out, reading some of the displays and I started up a casual conversation asking about where he was interned. He asked about me too and made some nice comments about reading my work when I was living in ...

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