Norm Masaji Ibuki

Norm Masaji  Ibuki, vive en Oakville, Ontario. Escribió sobre la comunidad Nikkei Canadiense desde los comienzos de 1990. Escribió mensualmente una serie de artículos (1995-2004) para el diario Nikkei Voice (Toronto) donde describía su experiencia en Sendai, Japón. Actualmente, Norm  enseña en la preparataoria y continúa escribiendo para varios publicaciones.

Última actualización en diciembre de 2009

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull: How-to-Bake a Japanese Canadian Cake

Here’s an intriguing idea about how to think about your Japanese Canadian identity: What if it were a cake recipe what would go into it and how would you construct or, perhaps, more aptly, deconstruct, it?

De/constructing my own Japanese Canadian identity over the years, I’ve learned that the foundation of the Japanese part of my cultural shaping would include the food, my awkward way of interacting with others (especially in Japanese), Buddhism, aikido, how history has twisted and bent my identity, the novels of Yukio Mishima, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, Kenzaburo Oe, and writer Naoya Shiga’s ...

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

A journey of becoming ... with Toronto’s Lillian Michiko Blakey - Part 2

The continuation of Lillian Michiko Blakey's story.

Read Part One >>

Right after the craft show, I got busy with my first real art piece. I am still mystified as to why I chose to create a nonrepresentational piece of art. “White Night” was an abstract landscape completely created in varying tones of point fabric. Upon reflection today, I find myself thinking this is an odd way of representing night. The other strange thing is that abstract expressionism of the 60s have never been of intrinsic interest to me. As I grow older, I search for meaning increasingly in the ...

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

A journey of becoming ... with Toronto’s Lillian Michiko Blakey - Part 1

Dear Reader:

When did you decide to become “Japanese Canadian” and did that choice come at a cost?

For me, it was when I realized that despite being immersed in a white community, I was not a full member and that my position in it was always qualified and defined by a persistent ‘otherness,’ that stereotype that even my most well intentioned friends can’t seem to see beyond. It’s always the same asinine comments about Japanese culture, baseball, or sushi. This Japanese Canadian (JC) stuff is about being pushed to the edges. White western fetishism with “Japan” has ...

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

Norman Takeuchi - An Uneasy Harmony of Sorts

“Certain events can have a major impact that will last a lifetime. The forced removal of the Japanese Canadian - my family was among them - from the west coast into the British Columbia (BC) interior in 1942 is one of those events. My troubled feelings regarding this disordered time have remained unfaded along with my ambivalent attitude towards being Canadian of Japanese origin.”

— Artist Norman Takeuchi

As we launch into the new “Canadian Nikkei Artist” series, I wanted to start with artist Norman Takeuchi who was born in 1937 in Vancouver, which means, of course, that he was a victim of ...

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

Toronto art at the Royal Ontario Museum: Being Japanese Canadian: Reflections on a Broken World

What does being Japanese Canadian (JC) mean to you? And, how was the world of your own family broken by the experience of internment?

That answer differs with each one of us. Pondering upon my own answer, I would list factors like my family’s lost histories in BC, internment, forced labour on a Manitoba sugar beet farm, the so-called dispersal ‘east of the Rockies’, settling into tumultuous new lives and careers in Ontario, young families, getting back into contact with old JC friends and establishing JC communities all over again like brand new immigrants. The Issei and Nisei didn ...

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