The Japanese Folk Dance group called Furusato Dancers perform a bon odori dance called Don Pan Bushi at the 2012 Japanese Cultural Fair. The group will be performing against this year.

Fair highlights Japanese culture in Victoria

Sixteen years ago, the Japanese Cultural Fair started off as a small garage sale in the basement of St. Aidan's church.

Sixteen years ago, the Japanese Cultural Fair started off as a small garage sale in the basement of St. Aidan’s church on St. Aidan’s Street. It has since grown into a community-wide event celebrating Japanese-Canadian culture in Victoria.

Tsugio Kurushima, former president of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society that hosts the event, said Victoria has a unique background when it comes to Japanese immigration, since it served as an entry point for asian immigrants.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during World War II, thousands of Japanese-Canadians were taken from their homes and businesses and sent to internment camps.

However, after they were released following the war, Kurushima said very few who originally lived in Victoria returned home.

“There was no established Japanese-Canadian community in Victoria. It’s all been recent transplants, people whose families didn’t grow up here,” said Kurushima, who moved to Victoria from Winnipeg in 1979. “There was no connection between people.”

However, with the formation of the society and the cultural fair, Kurushima said it has helped the roughly 2,000 to 3,000 Japanese-Canadians living in Greater Victoria reconnect with their roots.

The 16th annual cultural fair also allows the society to educate the community about its culture through traditional Japanese entertainment and displays, cuisine, kids’ activities, craft tables, cultural demonstrations and a silent auction.

There are a number of demonstrations including iaido, a martial arts discipline around the samurai sword and karate, as well as an anime presentation by Tsukin-Con, a popular anime conference at the University of Victoria.

“What we’re trying to do is not only do traditional or classical Japanese cultural demonstrations, but also more local stuff,” Kurushima said. “Hopefully (participants) will get an appreciation and more knowledge about Japanese culture.”

The cultural fair, a free family-friendly event, is on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser St).

 

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

VIDEO: Uptown Noodlebox restaurant catches fire

Daycare evacuated while crews fight kitchen fire

Dance Victoria Nutcracker contest returns to Oak Bay village

Find Mr. Nutcracker and Tommy Tempo now through Nov. 26 for chacne to win ballet tickets

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

Oak Bay snags Colonist Cup in 1-0 battle

Oak Bay, Reynolds senior boys soccer teams head for provincials Nov. 22

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Saanich gets behind new municipal spending rules

Mayor suggests other measures, such as term limits, needed to level playing field

Kaleidoscope Theatre start season with Secret Garden

Theatre troupe to stage Secret Garden, Peter Pan the panto and Pinocchio for 2017

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Most Read