George Hewson

George Hewson is a teacher in the Education Department of the Royal Ontario Museum and specializes in the Japanese and Chinese galleries. He and his wife Gerry (nee Nishimura) operate Aikido Seishinkai, a school of Japanese martial arts and East Asian philosophy.

Updated July 2008

culture en

The Japanese Sword

On Saturday, October 28, 2006 there was a demonstration of various aspects of the Japanese sword at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. The featured guest was Jirokunisetsu Kiyota Sensei a master swordsmith from Japan. Also presenting were David Pepper, Doug Blain, and the JCCC Iaido Club.

In the morning, Doug Blaine, from Guelph, explained his role as a sword polisher. He takes old or damaged swords and restores their looks by painstakingly grinding them a few centimeters at a time to remove nicks or rust.

David Pepper, from Windsor, has been fascinated by swords for nearly fifty years. …

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community en

Remembering the 1907 Vancouver Race Riot

September 7, 2007 marked the 100th anniversary of the “Anti-Oriental Riot” that took place in Vancouver. Hundreds of white Canadians, many of them recent immigrants or the children of immigrants marched into the Chinese and Japanese communities of the city. They beat up Asians and destroyed property in an organized act of vandalism.

It was a fairly minor incident compared to the kinds of violence that occurred elsewhere in the world around the same time. For example, in 1905 protesting rioters in the Russian capital on St. Petersburg were shot at point blank by the army. Dozens died. But in …

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