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

Give fish in Millstream Creek a step up

Groups hope to build fish ladder on Atkins Road culvert

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

UPDATE: Missing Sooke man found safe

The man who was thought to be missing in Sooke has been… Continue reading

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the HSBC Women’s Rugby Series

A one-day promo code will be offered for ticket purchase

New Student Ranger Program to start this summer

Goldstream Provincial Park is one of the sites the program will take place

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Most Read