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

identity en

Kyoko Norma Nozaki Sensei: “A Minority of Minorities” - Part 2

Read Part 1 >> I am curious about what prompted you as a third year high school student to return to the US on your own? What was the reaction of your parents? Where did you go? Where did you study? Despite the tragedies my father had faced, he strongly believed that the USA had the best education system in the world and encouraged me to study in the country. In order to prepare for the goal, I was sent to a junior - senior mission school in Fukuoka, where English language (not content courses) was taught by American missionaries and went to the American Center for extra language le…

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education en

Kyoko Norma Nozaki Sensei: “A Minority of Minorities” - Part 1

“Mr. Commissioner….So when you tell me I must limitTestimonyWhen you tell me when my time is up,I tell you this:Pride has kept my lipspinned by nailsMy rage coffined.But I exhume my pastto reclaim this time.My youth was buried in Rohwer,Obachan’s ghost visits Amache Gate.My niece haunts Tule Lake.Words are better than tears,So I spill them.I kill this,The silence…” From “Breaking Silence” (for my mother) by Janice Mirikitani (1941-2021) If anyone knows about the struggles of living with the dual identity of living as a Japanese American i…

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

Ottawa Artist Norman Takeuchi: Scrolling Exhibition

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, restrictions have not slowed down Ottawa Nisei artist Norman Takeuchi who recently launched his second exhibition in two years: Equal Time and this one entitled Scrolling. Takeuchi’s father Nawoki was from Kochi and mother, Miyoko, was born in Vancouver. During World War Two the family stayed in the small Okanagan community of Westwold, BC along with some other Japanese Canadian families. After the war, they returned to Vancouver where his father reestablished his gardening business and mom set up a dress-making shop. Born in Vancouver, T…

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

The Yume. Digital Dreams Art Project: Shifting Paradigms

The Yume. Digital Dreams art project The Yume. Digital Dreams art project launched by Julie Tamiko Manning (Montreal) and Matt Miwa (Ottawa), co-Artistic Producers of Tashme Productions, pairs 14 prominent Japanese Canadian artists, working in a process that invites viewers to follow their evolution in bi-monthly updates. The aim is to present a culminating presentation online on May 15, 2022. The project creators reached out to artists who are included in The Japanese Canadian Artists Directory (JCAD) that was launched in 2017, a collaboration with the National Association of Japanese Ca…

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Book Review: Not Yo’ Butterfly by Nobuko Miyamoto

“Growing up Asian in America, we had the songs of our ancestors, but we no longer understood them. In our quest to be American, we’d often rejected the old music…. We were a songless people. We were missing something that we didn’t know we longed for — our own song.” — Nobuko Miyamoto, Songwriter, dance and theatre artist, activist and Artistic Director of Great Leap Recently, a writer friend sent me a notice about a new memoire: Not Yo’ Butterfly: My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love and Revolution by American Sansei Nobuko Miyamoto.…

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