TorontoNAJC March – April Update

April 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm
Donation to the Momiji Place Shuttlebus Campaign

Presentation of TorontoNAJC’s $20K Donation to the Momiji Place Shuttlebus Campaign Fund Feb 28, 2017 With TorontoNAJC’s $20K donation, the Momiji Place Shuttlebus Campaign exceeded their goal and has placed an order for a new vehicle to replace their aging shuttlebus. Staff and residents of Momiji Place are looking forward to the June delivery date of the new vehicle which is specially equipped to accommodate disabled passengers and their caregivers. REMEMBERING STANLEY HIDEO HIRAKI (1923-2017) Stan passed away on February 14, 2017, at the North York General Hospital, Toronto, shortly after celebrating his 94th birthday. He is survived by his wife Marjorie, son Lester (Sylvie), grandson David, and brother George (Esther) and sister Joy (Fred). Stan will be remembered for his life-long service to his community, and his commitment to the Japanese Canadian redress movement that resulted in the signing of the Redress Agreement in 1988 with the Government of […]

December Report – Toronto NAJC holds its 2015 Annual General Meeting

December 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm
AGM 2015

The Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC held its Annual General Meeting on December 6 at 1:00 pm at the Toronto Buddhist Church with an attendance of 20 devoted members. The meeting was chaired by Bruce Tatemichi, Vice President of the chapter, who welcomed the attendees. Bruce acknowledged the service of David Fujino, who resigned from the Board of Directors in November after serving as President for 3 years. He also acknowledged former board member Bob Tanaka who resigned earlier in the year, for his years of service to the Toronto NAJC. Next each of the remaining Board members introduced themselves to the meeting as follows: Ken Galloway is a professional videographer and is the youth liaison for the chapter; Yosh Inouye is a retired commercial photographer and active in the JC community in Toronto; Randy Sakauye is a professional engineer and manages a specialty metal company and serves as […]

Victoria, Victoria …

November 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm
Victoria, B.C. map

by David Fujino On a sunny weekend from September 25 to 27, I was in Victoria to attend the National Association of Japanese Canadians’ AGM (Annual General Meeting) where, to my surprise — beyond the full Agenda of items to discuss — I also experienced a series of personal eye-openers. It so happens that my mom, Marion Noda, was born and raised in Colwood, a suburb of Victoria, so this was my chance, however brief, to catch a glimpse of my mother’s roots in the still genteel and urbanizing city of Victoria (the capitol of British Columbia), a place “where you could smell the flowers” in each of the four seasons, as my mother used to say with a peaceful look on her face. After arriving at the Chateau Victoria hotel on September 25, I freshened up, and since I had some time to spare, I took a stroll along […]

The Second Time Around

October 31, 2015 at 3:49 pm
No-No Boy by John Okada

An opinion & Review by David Fujino Recently I read John Okada’s novel, No-No Boy, for the second time — you see, it’s been 32 years, to be exact, since I read this classic of Asian American literature, and I frankly wondered what new things it might reveal on a second reading. I’m happy to report that, while I definitely enjoyed the book again as a ‘good read,’ I was reminded that No-No Boy is essentially the story of Ichiro Yamada who refused to serve in the U.S. army when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour — and for saying ´no’, Ichiro was interned for two years and jailed for two years. That’s the simple version of Ichiro’s story as it opens with his release back into ‘civilization’ and his hometown of Seattle, Washington, at the ripe age of 25. “He was Ichiro who had said no to the judge and […]

She’s Got A New Gig!

September 29, 2015 at 11:35 pm
Brenda Kamino

Moderato Cantabile @ Factory Studio Theatre August 7, 2015 by David Fujino I recently saw Brenda Kamino in the play, Moderato Cantabile, at this year’s 25th anniversary SummerWorks festival. What a (pleasure) it was to see a Nikkei actor in a role that’s usually given to an actor of European heritage. Brenda played the role of a piano teacher. Now, you might think, what’s the big deal? The race or nationality of an actor shouldn’t figure into who gets the job. Talent should be the basis of a hire, and I’d agree with you, but this is not exactly how it works in the theatre world. Put simply, actors of colour are rarely considered for leading and speaking roles in most European, American, or Canadian plays (Shakespeare, Miller, Shaw, and Ibsen, to name just a few), and if you look at film, television, or the internet, actors of colour aren’t […]

INTERROGATION: Lives and Times of The Kamloops Kid

September 1, 2015 at 11:34 am
INTERROGATION: Lives and Times of The Kamloops Kid

by Karri Yano and Evan Andrew Mackay The Toronto Fringe Festival @Factory Theatre Mainspace July 6, 2015, 1 pm by David Fujino This particular version of the lives and times of the Kamloops Kid clearly preoccupies the kid’s grand-niece, Karri Yano, in her recently unveiled play at this year’s 2015 Toronto Fringe. I say ‘this particular version’ because there’s other stories circulating about Kanao Inouye — in fact, a tense guy in the audience told me he’d ‘like to hear what Hong Kong vets have to say’ about the torture they endured under the Canadian-born Inouye, who first worked in Japan as a translator and then became a notorious POW (Prisoner of War) interrogator for the Japanese army during World War 2. I responded, ‘that’s fine, but we should look at the story in the play’. Somehow this seemed to stop the unreasonable demands the man was making of the […]

Satoko Fujii and Kaze

August 1, 2015 at 4:31 pm

May 19/15, Arraymusic, 155 Walnut Ave., 8 pm by David Fujino THE OPENING  ACT The evening started conventionally enough, with trombonist Heather Segger and tenor saxophonist Paul Newman playing a set of their original compositions. Just the two of them. In the first tune — the staggered boppish line of Heather Segger’s composition, Series, trombonist Segger would occasionally punctuate section endings with a single lone note and in a later section, saxophonist Newman was to emerge in a full singing and solo mood. By this time, it was clear the composition was not written as a conventional duet, or as a piece of chamber music. It was written by an improvising musician. Paul Newman’s longer composition, When I die, who will be there to count the rings? was based on a poem by Diane Krasinski. Employing vocalized extended techniques, trombonist Segger effectively encouraged a duet-like sequence to develop into a […]