TorontoNAJC January – February 2017 Update

January 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm

TorontoNAJC wishes all its members and friends a Happy and Healthy New Year.

The Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC held its 2016 Annual General Meeting on Sunday, December 4 in the Parish Hall of St David’s Anglican Church which is home to the St.Andrews Japanese Anglican Congregation. The business portion of the meeting was chaired by Bruce Tatemichi who is Acting President of the chapter.   Bruce introduced the 2016 Board of Directors and recapped the chapter’s 2016 activities. Randy Sakauye, the chapter’s Treasurer provided a the 2016 financial report of the chapter and Bill Kobayashi who chaired the election committee recommended the following slate be approved as the 2017 Board of Director consisting of Yosh Inouye, Janet Sakauye, Randy Sakauye, Ron Shimizu, Michiko Yano-Shuttleworth, Tokuji Suyama ,Bruce Tatemichi and Kim Uyede-Kai which the meeting approved.

Following the business portion of the meeting, guest speaker Ms Kendall Yamagishi, a member of the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders group and a criminal defense lawyer working at the downtown Toronto Legal Aid Clinic gave a very interesting talk on the following:

-Her personal experience in exploring her Japanese Canadian heritage and how it led her to becoming an active member of the JCYL;
-How the JCYL is evolving as an organized group that meets infrequently but is using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and email to share ideas and to keep in touch with each other and;
-How Toronto NAJC and JC local organizations could assist the JCYL by encouraging younger members of relatives and friends to join JCYL by referring their contact information to Kendall.

Kendall also described her legal duties as a criminal defence lawyer:

-She described the function of the Legal Aid Office as offering legal expertise to individuals who had appeared in court but did not have their own lawyer;
-As a criminal defence lawyer she often represented individuals who appeared in court without their own lawyer in bail hearings and other legal proceedings and;
-She briefly discussed the police practice of carding and its association with racial profiling.

Copyright to the book “Japanese Canadian Redress: The Toronto Story” to be transferred to TorontoNAJC     Addie Kobayashi indicated that Terez Hyodo and Bill Kobayashi were the surviving members of a committee which held the copyright and original materials of the book “Japanese Canadian Redress: The Toronto Story” which is now out of print.   She indicated that the book and the materials including audio tapes represent a significant portion of the history of the JC Redress Campaign as it developed in the GTA.   Addie recommended that the copyright to the book and associated materials be transferred to Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC.    A motion to accept the copyright to the book and find an appropriate archive to place the materials was approved.

Volunteers Driver Request   Joy Kogawa asked for volunteers who could drive her and others once every two months to visit Ms Tomoko Makabe at a long term care facility in the Weston area. She asked volunteers to contact the Chapter who will forward their names to Joy to make specific arrangements.   Joy explained that Ms Makabe had written two books about the Japanese Canadians and had made significant contributions to the Redress campaign by freely providing her services as a translator in order that Issei could fully understand the discussion at community meetings held during the campaign.   One driver has already come forward and others would be most welcome. Please email if you are willing to assist.

Cosplay Costume-Making Workshop   —   TorontoNAJC board member and production designer Michiko Yano Shuttleworth has organized a workshop in conjunction with STEAMlabs on cosplay costume –making. Participants will learn how to use a variety of materials to make cosplay costumes. The workshop will be held on March 31st from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at STEAMlabs 49 Cameron St (one block west of Spadina –north of Queen) and is limited to 30 participants, the fee is $25.00 for a ticket, register on the STEAMlabs website:

We Should Know Each Other – the monthly community discussions series continues into 2017 with an interesting set of featured speakers from a variety of fields stimulating self-discovery through group interaction.   The next session is on February 9 and features actor-director Brenda Kamino, writer Rui Umezawa and singer Teiya Kasahara . The March 9th session has Chris Hope a lawyer and filmmaker as a lead speaker . On April 13, a panel composed of actor-writer Mio Adilman, poet Sachiko Murakami, and editor Kelly Fleck will lead the discussion. All sessions are held in the Parish Hall at St David’s Anglican Church at 7:00pm 49 Donlands Ave (immediately across the street from Donlands Subway Stn) . Please register at  or or call the JCCC at 416 441-2345
Organized by the St Andrews Japanese Congregation and sponsored by the Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the JCCC Heritage Committee and St David’s Anglican Church.

Tesatawwiyat (Come in) is a community photography project led by Bryce Kanbara (a TorontoNAJC member) and photographer Mina Ao with members of the Aboriginal community in the Hamilton –Niagara area. The exhibits consists of 19 large colour photos of aboriginal individuals and families taken in their homes accompanied by a short narrative based on their answers to two questions asked of them – how do they self-identify and how it influence their lives. Seeing the subjects in these photos in the comfortable setting of their homes combined with their stories draws in the viewer.  The exhibit also features a painting, Travelling Through, by well-known Mohawk artist Shelley Niro.  The exhibit which runs until April 13, 2017 is located in the Grebel Gallery at the Conrad Grebel University College at 140 Westmount Rd North in Waterloo,ON . For more information please go to their website

Letter to the Toronto City Council   – TorontoNAJC has a sent a letter to Mayor John Tory and City Councillors expressing opposition to a proposal put forward by two councillors to commemorate the Nanking Massacre. The chapter forwarded a copy of the letter by the National NAJC sent to Premier Wynne opposing the passage of private members bill 79 which proposes a province-wide commemoration of the Nanking Massacre. Reasons given for the opposition are as follows:   Bill 79 raises a sensitive and unresolved issue between Japan and China having nothing to do with domestic issues within Ontario; becoming involved in this issue could have far reaching impacts with Ontario relations with either country; focusing on the massacre may draw out racist feelings against members of the JC community who had nothing to do with the issue and in fact were mass victims of an unjust internment during WW2;

Reminder to Renew Your 2017 Membership in TorontoNAJC – Thank you very much to our members who have renewed their membership for 2017.   We would be most grateful if current members and past members would remember to renew their membership in the Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC for 2017.   Your continuing support is critical and allows the chapter to continue to serve the JC community.