Report on the 2008 Shinnenkai
Almost 200 people attended the 11th annual Nikkei Community Shinnenkai held on January 19 at the Nikkei Heritage Centre. Although the weatherman was threatening snow showers in the morning, the skies cleared by the time the festivities got under way. The attendees were treated to a wonderful evening of fine food, entertainment and chat with friends.
Organizing Committee chair Eric Sokugawa welcomed the guests and reminded them that 2008 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Japanese Canadian franchise as well as the 50th year of the JCCA Bulletin and the 20th anniversary of Redress. He also thanked the volunteers of the 18 organizations that participated in the event for without them, the Shinnenkai would not have existed. Local politicians Peter Julian, MP, Harry Bloy, MLA and Acting Mayor of Burnaby Dan Johnson also came with greetings from the three levels of government. Deputy Consul General of Japan Ichiro Muto gave the toast. Consul General Seiichi Otsuka and Mrs. Haruhi Otsuka joined the party later due to another engagement.
The guests enjoyed a buffet of Salmon Teriyaki, Yakitori, Yakisoba, Deep Fried Fish and Prawns as well as everyone’s favourite, Sushi. Traditional Japanese New Year’s fare included Nishime, Kazunoko, Namasu, and Kuromame beans. The catering was provided by Izumiya again this year.
After dinner, the Nikkei Centre First Friday Forum provided entertainment. The group, led by local musician Harry Aoki performed nine numbers ranging from a Japanese folk song to gypsy music. The group also included Chieko Konishi Louie, flutist, who has played at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Words of thanks are due to the Consulate General of Japan for the sake for the toast, Hanamo Florists who supplied a beautiful flower arrangement, Izumiya Japanese Marketplace for the catering, Vancouver Japanese Gardeners’ Association for the Kadomatsu, MCs Angela Hollinger and Robbie Fukushima, Kiyo Goto for the sound system, and members of the Nikkei Centre First Friday Forum, Harry Aoki, Chigusa Barnes, Ken Kaneda, Chieko Konishi-Louie, Masanao Morimura, Yujiro Nakajima, Max Ngai, Janine Oye and Kaori Wada for the entertainment.