Chapter President’s Report – July 2015

July 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

by David Fujino

Greetings! to members and friends!

I wanted you to know that —although we vacated our office at 6 Garamond Court on May 31, 2015 —we’re still alive and kicking.

And we’re not lost in ‘cyber space’ either, just because we said we’re ‘going virtual’ which, in this case, means you can reach us by phone at 647 932-1296; or look us up on our website, www.torontonajc.ca; or write us at Toronto NAJC, 6 Garamond Court, Front  Desk, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1Z5. We check our mail regularly, so we’ll get back to you.

As a Chapter of the NAJC, we see ourselves serving as a watchdog for the protection of human rights and freedoms of others and we believe — because of our internment experience and because of achieving the Redress settlement — that JCs are uniquely equipped to protest and say something whenever there’s a stripping away of other people’s rights and freedoms and a subjecting of them to ever new forms of discrimination and violence.

Further, the Toronto Chapter has shown its support of the community through its recent sponsoring of ‘cultural’, or ‘artistic events’ — for example, the successful December 21, 2014, Roy Miyashita Concert at Castleview Wychwood Towers where the jazz pianist Mr.Miyashita is a resident. And so, too, for April 16, 2015, the day friends and associates of Terry Watada coordinated a book launch and reading at the East Asian Library for his new poetry book, “The Game of 100 Ghosts”. Managing the book sales was Jennifer Hashimoto of Nikkei Books. Again, this book launch generated a warm and wide sense of community. Two Toronto NAJC board members attended the launch, as did folks on the library’s mailing list, and the head librarian, Lu Gan, and her staff, were nothing but accommodating and friendly. What a pleasant afternoon.

These art, or cultural events, are simply another way for JC artists and thinkers to express themselves. If the Toronto NAJC can assist by donating modest sums of money to such persons or projects, then the chapter itself learns to practice the art of giving. Giving. Creating legacies. Supporting others. That’s the plan.

But granted, that’s mostly the past I’ve been talking about.

More recently, by giving support, and donating modest sums of money to the annual Artsu Matsuri art show (July 2 to 18, 2015) — on behalf of the Toronto NAJC — is one example of the ‘cultural’ events the Chapter has been pleased to finance. Artsu Matsuri is unjuried, which means I freely get to put up my kind of artwork in a gallery show of other JC artists who also didn’t have to put up with a jury or an entrance exam.

We’ve just received new details on the JC speaker series I’ve mentioned in previous reports. The first speakers will be Ray Nakano, former manager of Information Services in the Ontario government, and his wife, Lan Nguyen, the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of Toronto; their topic will be “Living in the Electronic/Digital World: Impact on Ordinary Citizens” on Thursday, September 24, 2015, from 7 pm to 9:30 pm at 6 Garamond Court, in the Hosaki Room (tentative booking – or a similar room). Admission by donation.

And ‘in progress’ are plans for a second speaker, Shin Imai, Osgoode Hall law professor, in late October. Shin’s topic is presently unspecified, though his work with First Nations and resource development give some indication of what we might expect. Something to look forward to.

Respectfully yours,

David Fujino

President, Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC