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

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 ...

Read more

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 ...

Read more