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

Memoir Celebrates Yoneyama Family of Haney, B.C.

The hands that brought me into this world were Dr. Misao Yoneyama’s at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital and it was about 30 years later that I met her and husband Dr. Wes Fujiwara during the Ghost town bus tour that was part of Homecoming, outside the Ainsworth Hot Springs Hotel in B.C.

As Dr. Yoneyama was my mom’s gynecologist, I grew up hearing the name always spoken with a great deal of respect and reverence. Mom also pointed out that her two sisters, Yachiyo and Mitsue, were also doctors: a dentist and optometrist, respectively. I ...

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community en

The Lemon Creek Harmonica Band Plays On 65 Years Later

“Hail to new Canadians. Pledge loyalty with the land that gave us birth and our destiny yonder gleam the challenge bright, though the way be dark. All together with one voice onto victory…” words by Dr. Irene Uchida, first principal of Lemon Creek School, Officer of the Order of Canada (1993)

Rare are the stories that have continued in our community for the past sixty years. But the Lemon Creek Harmonica band, certainly one of Canada’s oldest, are now into their 65th year as a musical group and, if you are lucky, you can still catch them at the ...

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media en

Jero and Me

Even though American Enka-singing sensation JERO is being proclaimed at the “first black Enka singer” in Japan, I would like to claim him as one of us.

JERO is one of the newest ‘gaijin’ (foreigner) talents to make their mark on the Japanese entertainment scene. Following the release of his first recording, Covers, in 2008, and subsequent Yakusoku (“Promise”) in 2009, JERO has become a popular guest on the TV talk show circuit. While he gets away with visually challenging the genre’s inherent stereotypes in a way that celebrates his “gaijinness” with in-your-face hip hop panache, he balances this ...

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media en

Making “Henry’s Glasses” with Brendan Uegama

B.C. filmmaker Brendan Uegama is intensely involved in the exploration of what-it-is-to-be Nikkei today.

Brendan, along with co-producer Shin-Ijusha Miho Yamamoto, is working on a short film called “Henry’s Glasses” which is based loosely on his family history, primarily grandfather, Imataro “Sam” Uegama who fought for Canada in World War One, his dad, Walter’s family internment experience at Greenwood, B.C. and Uegama’s artistic interpretation of these events.

Brendan, 29, discovered a love for photography while a skateboarding high school student in Tsawwassen, B.C. That passion for image making carried him into the filmmaking program ...

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