Greater Toronto Chapter President’s Letter, September 2014

August 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm

by David Fujino.

Now that fall is fast upon us, it’s a perfect opportunity to update readers on some key events the Chapter has sponsored during the spring and summer months of 2014.

Selected events from the Toronto Chapter:

  • On May 11, 2014, a well-attended book launch for Mona Oikawa’s Cartographies of Violence: Japanese Canadian Women, Memory, and the Subjects of the Internment was held at Another Story Bookshop in downtown Toronto.
  • On July 27, 2014, the Youth Committee contributed live action paintings to the 2nd Toronto Japanese Matsuri at Yonge-Dundas Square. Here’s a write-up of the event from a Toronto NAJC Board member:

TorontoNAJC at Downtown Toronto’s Matsuri Festival
On July 27, thousands of Torontonians and tourists crammed into Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto to enjoy Matsuri: the 2nd Toronto Japanese Summer Festival (see Among the many food stands, artisans, exhibitors and entertainers, the Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC stood out with its unique exhibit of the “the Live Evolving Wall Painting.” Conceived and supervised by filmmaker Ken Galloway (a TorontoNAJC board member), the exhibit consisted of a temporary plywood wall approximately 8ft by 12ft upon which artists Tim Fukakusa and Darcy Obokata painted a continuously changing mural from 10am to 7pm. The project was filmed by photographer/videographer David Zelikovitz as the painting evolved from hour to hour. The exhibit attracted much attention from festival attendees as well as other exhibitors. Also popular Toronto mayoralty candidate Oliva Chow stopped by to speak to the artists. Spectators were invited to provide their email addresses to receive a time-lapse video clip of the evolving painting. A long list of e-addresses was collected, indicative of the interest generated. As visitors stop to watch the painting unfold, TorontoNAJC boardmembers Kim Uyede-Kai and Ron Shimizu along with Jessica Whitehead of the Japantown Project (see spoke to individuals and passed out an information card on the TorontoNAJC.

What was striking in Matsuri was its youth oriented contemporary Japanese flavour which was reflected in its pop-rock entertainment, Japanese fusion foods, trendy clothing and jewellery. Particularly notable was the relatively large number of young Japanese Canadians along with many Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos  and East Asians youth. Given Toronto’s rapid growth as a major multi-racial/multi-cultural North American city, one can count on next year’s Matsuri being even more popular.
Ron Shimizu

Upcoming events:

  • At our September 20, 2014 AGM in Vancouver, the successful recipients of the new Hide Shimizu Memorial  Scholarship Fund will be announced.
  • On September 27, 2014, the Annex Reunion barbeque and social will be held to commemorate the Annex, an alternative community drop-in centre that opened its doors on Toronto’s Danforth in 1985.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to report that the re-branding of the Toronto Chapter and its programming focus on the Arts, First Nations, and Japanese Social Services, continues at a pace.

And finally, I’d like to emphasize that, with your kind support and attention, the Toronto Chapter is enabled to deliver events and projects as a form of legacy for the entire Nikkei community. It’s our pleasure to serve.

Respectfully yours,
David Fujino