19 years and counting
The October 1993 issue of The Bulletin, my first as editor, featured Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget of Kokoro Dance on the cover. The issue was designed and layed out by Lotus Miyashita and the managing editor and advertising manager was Fumiko Greenaway—my mother. The Japanese editors were Setsuko Tanaka and Yoshiko Shimizu. The JCCA President was Peter Kubotani and Vice-President was Roy Miki.
A lot has changed over the ensuing 19 years, both in these pages and in the world at large. Like much of the world we are doing more with less. Advances in technology, primarily the advent and evolution of the internet, allow small publications like ours to continue publishing with a bare-bones staff. We are able to share our content more widely through the web and at the same time, contributors are able to feed us material—both text and photos—with the click of a mouse, things that were unheard of back then in our little office on Powell Street with our lightboxes, exacto knives and hot wax machines.
As for the community itself, it’s almost unrecognizable. The issei are all but gone and the nisei are aging, as are the sansei. Even the idea of categorizing people by generations will soon be all but meaningless.
Longtime leaders are starting to step back but new leaders are beginning to emerge, leaders with less direct ties to the past but with both feet planted firmly in the future. At last weekend’s NAJC AGM in Kamloops I was pleased to see so many young delegates in attendance—young people with energy and ideas who were there to learn, but also to contribute. I sat in on one of their sessions and was re-energized and heartened by their passion and by their willingness to share their thoughts and feeling on what it meant to be Canadian Nikkei. Many of them reflected the realities and experiences of my own children—one hapa father and one “other” parent. As I listened to them talk and debate and laugh together I thought to myself, if this is the future of our community, then there’s nowhere to go but up . . . and as I head into my 20th year as Editor I remain as committed as ever to helping facilitate community communication, now across the country.