78th Kokikai Reunion
by K.M. Fukuma
The 1936 graduating class of the Vancouver Japanese Language School (on Alexander Street) known as Kokikai, gathered at Syogun restaurant in Markham, Ontario (just north of Toronto) on June 25, 2014. Six members who are mostly 93 years old, and numerous family members attended this 78th annual reunion.
“It is nice to see the sons and daughters bringing their parents and the members always look forward to getting together,” said committee member Diane Carter.
The members who came out this year were, Shirley Sora (Handa), Yukio Ode, George Sato, Barbara Saisho (Nishino), Misao Tehara, and Terry Komori (Sugiura). Some members who sent their regrets included Clare Inouye (Shimada) and Fumi Kono (both recovering from injuries), George Suzuki (recovering from a hospital stay), Dr. Teiso Uyeno (could not make the flight from California), George Tomita (could not attend due to health reasons) and Jack Nakamoto (could not find a ride from Ottawa).
The reunion in 2011 was rumoured to be the last one, but members expressed their keen interest on coming out each year to see their former schoolmates. Some of the daughters of the members then announced that they were willing to organize an informal reunion.
Committee members include Karen Boniface, daughter of Nori Kosugi (Arikado); Sandra Kotack, daughter of the late Eiko Tateishi (Kutsukake); Diane Carter, daughter of the late Kim Onizuka (Sugamori); Shirl Nakamura, daughter of the late Kassie Nakamura (Sanmiya); as well as Misao Tehara and George Tomita.
The reunion date for next year June 24. Members will be contacted with further information earlier in the year.
The Committee is also asking for your help in order to keep the membership list up-to-date. Please call Diane Carter at 647.693.2015 if you have contact information for the following Kokikai members: Haruye Fujino (Uyeda), Tomiko Kanbara, Kazuko Obokata (Kagawa), Fumi Okumura (Toyama), Jim Tsuji, Akiko Yahiro (Koyama).