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

community en

The Lost Highways: BC JC Heritage Sign Project Ends, Ontario’s Begins - Part 2

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Can you tell us a bit about each of the sign sites? What was the local community support like?

It began on October 2017 at Tashme Internment Camp - located beside Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum with a stop of interest sign about thirteen km outside Hope on Highway 3.

On May 2018, a stop of interest sign was installed for the Lillooet self-supporting sites: Bridge River, Minto, McGillvray Falls, East Lillooet, Taylor Lake with East Lillooet.

Our committee partnered with the District of Lillooet (town government) to make the Japanese Canadian Internment Memorial Garden where the sign is ...

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community en

The Lost Highways: BC JC Heritage Sign Project Ends, Ontario’s Begins - Part 1

Certainly one of the most important Japanese Canadian projects that was completed in 2018 was the Highway Legacy Sign Project in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The ambitious eight site project included important reminders that Nisei and Issei men worked as forced labour to build highways in some of the most remote and dangerous areas of BC and Alberta.

In September 2018, the Ontario JC heritage marker program was launched. The first one highlighted a little-known chapter of Japanese Canadian history in Mitchell’s Bay in the Chatham-Kent area where Japanese Canadian families from BC were sent as farm labourers during ...

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culture en

Canadian Nikkei Series

Sally Ito’s Memoir The Emperor’s Orphans: An interview - Part 2

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What does being Nikkei mean to you today?

Being Nikkei today means being aware of who I am regarding my personal history, and being aware of what continues to inspire me as a writer.

Is this something that you are passing on to your kids? If so, how and why? What is their reaction to these stories and their connection to Japan?

Am I passing this on to my kids? I have tried my best to expose my children to life in Japan, for example, and by having them take Japanese language classes, but ultimately, as adults ...

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culture en

Canadian Nikkei Series

Sally Ito’s Memoir The Emperor’s Orphans: An interview - Part 1

Nation of Birds

What if our only home were the air
And our wings flapping through it?
And time the space we lived in
And the nest, a current for our eggs?
What if there were no abode but
Shore or field, one day to the next,
The wide sky, the only true resting place
Made of movement and yearning
For a never-arriving home?

— Sally Ito

In Winnipeg poet/teacher/translator Sally Ito’s memoir, The Emperor’s Orphans (TEO), readers are taken on a journey of self-discovery of her Japanese Canadian heritage. As we have fewer and fewer elders ...

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politics en

A Principled Stand: Gordon Hirabayashi V. the United States: A Book Review

As this past September 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the Redress settlement, I want to share some learning about one of the most important Japanese American heroes, Dr. Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi (1918-2012), whose stand against the 1942 curfew and internment of JAs during World War Two continues to inspire new generations.

A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi V. United States was created by his late brother, James (1926-2012), who was a professor emeritus of Asian American History at San Francisco University and nephew Dr. Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, retired professor of Asian American Studies and the George and Sakaye ...

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