NAJC Toronto Youth Committee


The NAJC Toronto Youth Committee was created to get more young Japanese Canadians interested and involved in their community. As an organization, we are committed to both inspiring youth-oriented Japanese Canadian with exciting cultural initiatives, and supporting other youth-driven Japanese Canadian groups working towards similar goals. We also recognize that social media is playing an increasingly important role in community building. Therefore, all of our initiatives place a strong emphasis on creating digital content as part of every initiative that we undertake.

The JapanTown Project

At the forefront of the NAJC Toronto Youth Committee is ‘The JapanTown Project’; a series of youth-driven initiatives that aim to preserve Japanese-Canadian culture, foster inter-generational dialogue, and empower young Japanese-Canadians to make positive change in their communities. The JapanTown Project began as a collaborative painting exercise in which creative director Ken Galloway, along with a team of five other young Japanese Canadian artists painted a gigantic mural in downtown Toronto.

The idea was to articulate each artist’s unique sense of Japanese Canadian identity, while collaboratively giving Japanese-Canadians a physical presence in downtown Toronto; in the absence of a Japantown.

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s formal apology for to Japanese-Canadians, we began painting a 2-story high mural on Sanko Trading Co; one of the oldest Japanese-Canadian owned businesses in the city.

2-story high mural on Sanko Trading Co
You can read what popular blog Torontoist had to say about the project here:
The Story Behind the Japantown Mural

Or you can check out the behind-the-scenes film here.

(Stay tuned until the end of the video to see the CBC News coverage of the undertaking!)

livepainting performanceIn 2014, we teamed up with the Yonge-Dundas Matsuri organizers to create a livepainting performance at the city’s busiest intersection. You can watch the ‘evolving mural’ here:

pop-up photoboothIn 2015 we collaborated with the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders group, the Kurakake group and over 100 young Japanese Canadians to articulate JC Identity using a ‘pop-up photobooth’. We also hosted the largest game of ‘janken-pon’ or rock-paperscissors that Toronto has ever seen at the event. Check out the fun and action here:

Asahi baseball teamMeanwhile, Ken Galloway continues work on his “JapanTown” documentary film. The film aims to explain why there are no Japan Towns left in Canada today, through the microcosm of the legendary Asahi baseball team.
You can see the trailer here:

Keep checking back to see what we do next!
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