First I would like to thank all the golf enthusiasts who participated in the JCCA Golf Tournament on June 14th at Meadow Gardens in Pitt Meadows. As usual there was a good turnout and everyone enjoyed themselves. Shag Ando and all her committee should be commended for all their efforts in arranging such a great annual event.
By press time, Chibi Taiko will have performed their fundraising concert along with Steveston Tera Taiko and Yuaikai Ryukyu Taiko. This special fundraiser enables Chibi Taiko, who I have watched and enjoyed for many years, to travel to Japan, specifically to the seaside town of Onomichi. Onomichi is where Linda Ohama (whose daughter Caitlin is in Chibi Taiko), has ties via her grandmother, the “Obaachan” of Obaachan’s Garden. Linda Ohama is a long-time member of the Japanese Canadian community and I hope her film and visual work is familiar to all of you. Chibi Taiko will be hosted by, and work, with Onomich Betcha Taiko members along with the townspeople. As it takes a lot of financial resources to send such a large group to Japan, I hope you were able to help support this event. If you haven’t, it is not too late to donate as they will not be leaving until mid-July.
At 3pm on Sunday July 28 at Nikkei Place, koto player Chikako Kanehisa from Japan will perform a special koto concert, supported in part by the GVJCCA. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Normally made of kiri wood, the koto has 13 strings strung over 13 movable bridges along the length of the instrument. Koto players adjust the string pitches by moving these bridges before playing and use three finger picks (thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings. The koto dates back to the 5th century and the concert will feature a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces which will be pleasing for both first-time and experienced listeners.
The GVJCCA will once again be participating in the Powell Street Festival on August 1 and 2, 2009 at its temporary location this year at Woodland Park, located at 700 Woodland Drive, Vancouver, just off Commercial Drive. The GVJCCA through The Bulletin will again provide the program guide to everyone attending the festival. The Powell Street Festival is the largest event of its kind in Canada and has over the past three decades provided a wonderful blend of Japanese Canadian arts, culture, and heritage. We hope to see you all there again this year. Watch for the August issue of the Bulletin which will come out early this year to give you lots of time to plan your BC Day weekend.
As you will have read in the Bulletin/Geppo, the GVJCCA and the National Association of Japanese Canadians will be co-hosting the Honouring Our People: Stories of the Internment Conference on September 25-27, 2009 at Nikkei Place. We feel that this will be an important event for all Japanese Canadians as it will provide a venue for survivors of the internment to share their stories and learn methods of preserving them for future generations. If you are like myself, and not yet born during the internment, there are many stories which have not been told by many of our elders. Not all the stories are the same and not all the stories are of sadness and anxiety. We would like to hear both and what I have noticed over the years working in the community is that all stories will vary dependent upon where, with whom, and what age one was during this period in one’s life. Not all the stories have been told either, for whatever reason. We are hoping you can participate.
See you at Powell Street Festival 2009!