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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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

The Great Tohoku Disaster - Part 2

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I will try to recreate my personal experiences from the e-mails that I sent to friends in Canada and Japan, TV news reports in Canada, the U.S., and Japan, and from what my wife Akiko tells me.

Saturday, March 12

We woke up exhausted from worry about family and friends in Sendai. Still no contact.

***

I got mail from Judith, the sister of my pal Tomo. She was frantic about his whereabouts:

Another message from Marnie from Australia, an old girlfriend of Senji, a good friend who lives in Sendai. The message is the same: “is ...

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Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

The Great Tohoku Disaster - Part 1

I lived in Sendai, Japan (1995 to 2003) where I worked as an English teacher and correspondent for the Nikkei Voice newspaper in Toronto, Canada. I travelled extensively throughout the Tohoku Region that has been devastated by the March 11th tsunami and earthquake. My wife, Akiko, is from Sendai where her family lives. I still have many friends that I correspond with who live in the affected area. I am writing the “Great Tohoku Disaster” with the intent to give Discover Nikkei readers a truer sense of the magnitude and extent of this catastrophe from the point of view of ...

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New Canadian Leader Focuses on Human Rights and Heritage - Part 2

>> Part 1 of interview with Ken Noma

What does being Nikkei mean to you? How do you envision our connection with Japan?

As Nikkei we are all “Birds of Passage” and each of us struggle to adapt and integrate as a minority within a predominant culture which has yet to embrace the practice of equity for all peoples. Equality without equity is simply the present status quo. I sincerely believe that once you leave your ancestral country, you are a Nikkeijin. The ease in which one adapts to a new country is dependent on your age. The younger you are ...

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New Canadian Leader Focuses on Human Rights and Heritage - Part 1

Sansei Ken Noma, 60, a well-known community activist whose involvement stretches back three decades, was elected as the new president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) in October 2010.

The retired Toronto high school teacher began his community involvement in the 1970s as a McMaster University student in Hamilton, Ontario. He’s been actively involved with the Asian and Nikkei communities since then, including the Redress movement in the 1980s, and has come out of retirement to become involved at the national level, replacing outgoing NAJC president, Terumi Kuwada.

Personally, I have a lot of concerns about the ...

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Human Rights Hero Yuri Kochiyama

“Study history. Learn about yourselves and others. There’s more commonality in all our lives than we think… There is so much that unites us, which we do not learn.” Malcolm X (from Heartbeat of Struggle)

One of the most important human rights activists of the past 60 years is the 88-year-old American Nisei, Yuri Kochiyama, who is the subject of Heartbeat of Struggle, a compelling 2005 work by Diane C. Fujino, associate professor of Asian Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

I first heard about Kochiyama some time ago. She is the Nisei lady who was a ...

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