While the Vancouver Nikkei community can sometimes be fractious and is not always the model of cooperation, the fact is, we are a small but powerful community bound together by a common history. Like in any family, competing interests and differences in philosophy can make it difficult to remember this bond, but it is good to step back once in a while and see the big picture. This is never more important than when marking the passing of one of our own. At the beginning of the year, The Bulletin profiled Cy Saimoto, a key figure in the expansion and renewal of the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall who was also a driving force within the Vancouver Buddhist Temple. I was struck at the time by his passion for moving forward—never forgetting the past, but using the lessons learned from that past to seek improvements, to find new ideas to create a brighter future. It is a passion that is shared by all great leaders, whatever their political leanings or whatever group they align themselves with. This week Cy passed away after a brief illness, surrounded by his family. We are all the poorer for his passing—his energy and leadership will be missed throughout the Nikkei and Downtown Eastside communities.
On another sad note, the Bulletin family suffered a loss this week with the sudden passing of Edward Kita, husband of longtime Community Kitchen contributor Satoye Kita. On behalf of everyone at The Bulletin, I offer up sincere condolences to Satoye and the family on this sad occasion.