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

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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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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