Norm Masaji Ibuki

Writer Norm Masaji Ibuki lives in Oakville, Ontario. He has written extensively about the Canadian Nikkei community since the early 1990s. He wrote a monthly series of articles (1995-2004) for the Nikkei Voice newspaper (Toronto) which chronicled his experiences while in Sendai, Japan. Norm now teaches elementary school and continues to write for various publications. 

Updated August 2014

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40 Years of Toronto Taiko with Kiyoshi Nagata — Part 2

  Read Part 1 >> Another career highlight came in 2005 when the group had two tours in Italy and one across the US, which evoked a feeling that ‘we made it.’ The reception they received was overwhelming: “The people welcomed us with open arms and the hospitality we received was incredible. We played in many old opera houses where the stages are slanted downwards which proved a very big challenge for us as all our drums are on wheeled stands. Nonetheless, those tours gave our group a huge boost in confidence that we could make an impact beyond our Canadian borde…

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40 Years of Toronto Taiko with Kiyoshi Nagata — Part 1

“I continue to practice and perform taiko because I feel it is a lifelong commitment as well as a way of living for me. Taiko has taught me many things about discipline, perseverance, and aiming to be the best person you can be as a performer but also as a human being. I am constantly learning which fuels my desire to keep on improving and continuing on this lifelong journey.” — Taiko master Kiyoshi Nagata Toronto’s Nagata Shachu founded by Kiyoshi Nagata is celebrating its 25th anniversary and 40 years in taiko for the Sansei founder. Kiyoshi began taking taiko…

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Canadian Nikkei Artist

The Artistry of British Columbia’s Tsuneko Kokubo: Of Light Itself

“My true understanding of art began when I met Koko at the Vancouver School of Art so many years ago. By listening to what she had to say and watching her work, I learned that making art meant going beyond the obvious and searching for something more, and I’ve tried to stay on this path ever since. Amazingly, after all these years, her total dedication to dancing and to making beautiful art has remained undiminished, and has been an inspiration. Sharing work and staying connected is something I treasure.” —Ottawa artist and friend Norman K. Takeuchi, whose Long Divi…

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Japanese Canadians Remember Internment 80 Years After — Part 2

Read Part 1 >> Masumi Izumi, Fulbright Scholar, 2004-2005; Professor, Faculty of Global and Regional Studies at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) The courage of Japanese Canadians to break the silence about their World War II experiences of the uprooting forever changed the course of Canadian history. It revealed the ominous side of the Canadian past, which is filled with Anglo supremacy, racial violence, exclusion, and the denial that such a past is a part of Canada’s identity. The Redress movement provided an opportunity for Canadians to look back into their history, set …

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Japanese Canadians Remember Internment 80 Years After — Part 1

Happy 80th Anniversary of the 1942 Internment? As I reflect on who to contact for this article about this auspicious anniversary, I think mostly about those who are gone: mom and dad, aunts and uncles, who were innocent kids back in 1942. My Ibuki grandparents who lost their Strawberry Hill farm. On a 2019 visit to that location, it pained me to see the Ibuki farm paved over at a busy Surrey intersection at Scott Road now occupied by BC Hydro towers and two large plazas that have nothing to do with the Ibukis in 2022 who all now reside in Ontario. Of course, each of our internment stories a…

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