I am preparing this Message on June 21st. It is the first day of summer. I am reminded of it being the first day of summer when I go the internet to google the weather in Japan. Up on my screen pops an animated Google doodle showing five children in the sea with bathing caps on. They are bobbing in and out of the water as a wave splashes over them. The doodle is kawaii. When I get to the weather site for Japan I learn that it is mostly sunny in Tokyo. How can this be? I thought it would be raining because Japan is supposed to be experiencing tsuyu (rainy season) now. The menacing clouds outside my office window in Vancouver look more like we are in tsuyu season than Japan.
I hope we have good weather the next ten days. Good weather increases the enjoyment of the many outdoor activities available to us in the coming days. Outdoor activities include free Vancouver International Jazz Festival performances and several Canada Day events. One of the Canada Day events deserves our special attention. It is the very popular Steveston Salmon Festival. The Festival offers us a chance to celebrate the history of Japanese Canadians involved in the salmon fishing industry. An outdoor activity of a different kind takes place on Saturday, July 20th at Meadow Gardens. It is a joint Vancouver JCCA and Tonari Gumi Golf Tournament in support of the Home Away From Home Building Fund Drive. You will find details of the Tournament elsewhere in this month’s edition of The Bulletin.
Another joint Vancouver JCCA and Tonarigumi event in support of the Home Away From Home Building Fund Drive took place on June 8, 2013 at Pink Pearl Restaurant. Approximately 300 people attended. I was pleased to see representatives and members of so many Japanese Canadian organizations and societies and clubs devoted to Japanese culture and language in attendance. I am among the many people who share the same view as Ross Saito of the National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre about the collective benefit to be gained by working together for the common good of the Japanese Canadian community.
We were treated to fine musical performances leading up to the beginning of speeches and the serving of dinner. John Greenaway did a great job as MC. The two main speakers were Joy Kogawa and Gordon Kadota. Joy gave a wonderfully inspirational speech about her path in life and how she had grown into a feeling of oneness with her fellow Japanese Canadians. As promised, once Gordon got started, it was hard for him to bring his speech to an end. But that is the way it should have been. Gordon has played a prominent role in Japanese Canadian matters since 1953. We learned much about the history of the JCCA and Tonari Gumi from Gordon at the dinner. I hope Gordon will put his lifetime experiences in writing for the benefit of all.
The Powell Street Festival is fast approaching and the JCCA is looking for volunteers to help out at our annual Salmon BBQ/Spam Sushi booth. It’s a great way to spend the Powell Street Festival weekend, making new friends and helping to raise funds to support the activities of the JCCA and The Bulletin. If you are interested in putting in some shifts, please contact the office through 604 777 5222 or GVJCCA@shaw.ca
I am pleased to report that we have three summer students helping the JCCA until August. Cindy Santos is our historical archivist, Kelsie Nixon is our event coordinator, and Victoria Matsushita is our office administrator. You can find them working out of our office at the Nikkei Centre between 10:00 am and 5:30 pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Kumo yakete / shizukani natsu no / yûbe kana
Clouds are aglow with the setting sun;
it is a quiet summer evening.
May we enjoy many such evenings this summer.
Gary Matson, President, GVJCCA