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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Raymond Moriyama's Sakura Ball Speech - Part 2

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CHAPTER TWO—AS A YOUTH 12/13 AND 18

War is hell! Physically facing an enemy is hell! It is even more of a psychological hell when your own country, the country of your birth, without warning, insensitively and officiously stamps you an “enemy alien,” disowns you and expels you to an internment camp in the mountains far away from home.

It was referred to in the House as a minor incident on the West Coast. Father was sent to a POW camp in Ontario for resisting the Government’s contradictory action of going to war to ...

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Raymond Moriyama's Sakura Ball Speech - Part 1

One of the most famous Canadian Nisei names is that of Raymond Moriyama, the internationally renowned architect of the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the new Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

Moriyama, 80, was imprisoned along with 21,000 Canadian Nikkei during World War Two. His family was held at the Bayfarm, British Columbia internment camp. It was during this tumultuous period of his life that he built his famous ‘treehouse’ which has since been the inspiration of many of his award-winning designs.

Founded in 1958 by Raymond Moriyama in Toronto, Canada, Moriyama & Teshima ...

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NAJC President Terumi Kuwada Interview

Come this fall, Terumi Kuwada, 63, the current National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) will be stepping down to make way for her successor.

As a Canadian community at a crossroads, it’s important for us to be proud of the contributions of Nikkei throughout Canada’s history towards helping build this nation’s sense of who and what it is as a multinational haven that is the envy of the world. However, as we have, to a certain extent, moved beyond the days of ‘open’ racism towards our community, beyond internment and into a new millennium, we have, largely ...

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My Aunt Hiroko Nagaike Sensei - Part 2

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Sensei’s eldest son, Fumiyasu, 61, is now the official head of the clinic, carrying on in traditional fashion. Her two other sons are also doctors: Yasuo is a dentist in Tokyo and Hiroshi has his own clinic in Saitama. However, the future of the women’s clinic is an uncertain one as there are no grandchildren in line to carry on the legacy into a third generation.

The unobtrusive, beige-tiled clinic is located in the remarkably tight and well ordered downtown area. The beige Mercedes S-class car is squeezed precariously on to a bit of sidewalk ...

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My Aunt Hiroko Nagaike Sensei - Part 1

One of the greatest laments that I have for the pre-WW2 immigrant generation is that our connections with Japan have largely disappeared.

When I went over to Japan in 1995, one of my intended goals was to make some sort of connection with the relatives who I had grown up hearing about on odd occasions. I knew little about both families: Mom’s siblings had visited their family in Kumamoto-ken. As an adult I learned that there was a mountain named Ibuki in Shiga-ken and that nearby Biwako was the largest fresh water lake in Japan. I had also heard ...

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