The popular Uminari Taiko drumming group will be back for another performance at the Japanese Cultural Fair this Saturday (Oct. 21) at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. Courtesy Uminari Taiko

Annual fair brings all things Japanese to Esquimalt

Victoria Nikkei society event offers traditional entertainment, food and more

Making cross-cultural connections with people around the region is a big part of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s activities throughout the year.

The volunteer group hopes to enrich those connections further this Saturday (Oct. 21), when they host the 18th Japanese Cultural Fair.

“We have third- and fourth-generation Japanese-Canadians living in Victoria,” says society president Tsugio Kurushima. “This fair is a way for them to connect with those cultural and ethnic roots, but it also serves as an outreach to the greater community.”

An example of how the fair and its related activities bring together locals of Japanese heritage came during the recent preparation of manju, the traditional Japanese confection, for the concession. “We had 25 people there helping out, including some [Japanese] exchange students who said they had never experienced this sort of thing at home.”

The availability of that and other traditional foods such as prepared chicken or vegetarian bento boxes, onigiri rice balls and special YYJ dogs – hot dogs with Japanese toppings – is one of the mainstays of the fair.

So is the entertainment, which includes the always popular Taiko drummers, songs from Soran Bushi and the Youth Choir, musical performances of minyo and koto (stringed instrument) and shakuhachi (flute), a Bon Odori folk dance performance by the Furusato Dancers and presentations of classical Japanese theatre.

Hands on demonstrations feature bonsai gardening, ikebana flower arranging, growing Japanese vegetables and how to stage a traditional tea ceremony.

Some new elements that organizers are excited about is an interactive haiku poetry presentation, hosted by local Haiku Canada president Terry Ann Carter, a presentation of Japanese classical theatre by University of Victoria Japanese studies faculty member Cody Poulton, and a martial arts demonstration by the Victoria Judo Club, which will complement the annual aikido and kendo demos.

“We have amassed quite a following over the years,” Kurushima says.“By having these different things, like haiku, we’re hoping to expand our potential audience demographic.”

The fair, free to attend, takes over the Esquimalt Recreation Centre (527 Fraser St.) community use areas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For a full schedule visit http://bit.ly/2ysrUgt or for more information about the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, visit vncs.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Three suspicious fires in Saanich under investigation

Saanich Fire are currently investigating three suspicious spot-fires in Saanich’s Panama Flats… Continue reading

West Shore skatepark moves closer to fruition

Company estimates project will cost $600,000

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

Most Read