Join John Ota, architectural writer, designer, historic preservationist on a journey to explore all things Japanese! This podcast was created to provide information and connect with Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre members and the public during the Spring and Summer of 2021 to provide hope, information and entertainment during the lock-down months.
Origami: The Art of the Fold
Origami requires only one material to perform – paper. Rooted in history, how did this art form became so prevalent in the lives of many beyond Japan? How does contemporary artists elevate this art form? In exploring these topics, John Ota is joined by special guests: Kathy Yamashita, co-curator of the exhibit, Origami: The Art of the Fold; Miya Turnbull, a visual artist living in Halifax, NS who primarily works with masks and self-portraits; Mui-Ling Teh, an artist, photographer, and poet of Japanese and Chinese descent best known for her miniature origami; and Kaz Shikaze, a member of the Japanese Canadian community and making origami cards as a way to raise funds for various charitable organizations.
Origami: The Art of the Fold exhibit is available for viewing at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre until April 22, 2022. Join us for a reception on April 3, 2022 at 2pm at the JCCC Gallery.
Image credit: Alex K. Hiroshina.
Valentine’s Day In Japan
Valentine's Day - A day of chocolate, cards and romance is the norm in North America. But what about Japan? Is there Valentine’s Day in Japan? Is it the same as in North America? Join us in exploring the topic of love , evolving dating etiquette, and humanity's search for companionship whether in Canada or Japan. John Ota is joined by special guests: JCCC Executive Director, James Heron; JCCC new receptionist, Shino Ihara who was born and raised in Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan’s Kyushu island; and Alice Ngan, founder of Ecila Choco Inc., Canada’s first chocolate maker specializing in using Sake in chocolate.
Would you like a taste of Ecila's Sake Chocolates? Head over to their website or visit Arts Market at 790 Queen Street East in Toronto, Canada.
Episode 11 (Christmas Special): Anne of Green Gables in Japan
“Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world. It had been a very mild December and people had looked forward to a green Christmas; but just enough snow fell softly in the night to transfigure Avonlea. Anne peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes.”
Please join us for a special podcast episode on Anne of Green Gables and in Japan. Our special guests this episode are Mariko (Anne) Sasayama who led a cosmopolitan life and the wife of Consul-General Sasayama; Yuka Kajihara author and expert on Anne of Green Gables and Lucy Montgomery’s influence in Japan; Florence Fletcher, actor and producer of many musicals including Anne of Green Gables at the Vos Theatre who will be reading an excerpt from the book. In this episode, John and his special guests explore the significance and influence of Canadian classic, Anne of Green Gables in Japan especially during periods of upheaval to bring hope, cheer, and encouragement.
Let’s read! You can purchase Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomery in all major bookstores as well as your favourite local bookstore. Yuka Kajihara highly recommends this wonderful read: Anne's Cradle: The Life and Works of Hanako Muraoka
#10 Halloween Special: Spooky Japan with Rui Umezawa, Author of Strange Light Afar
“Please,” It whispered. “Let me in.”
Please join us for a special podcast episode on Horrors and Ghost Stories from Japan. Our special guest is Rui Umezawa - Toronto novelist, as well as a storyteller, essayist, children and YA writer. Rui is the author of Strange Light Afar: Tales of the Supernatural from Old Japan, selected for the CBC Best Books of the Year 2015. In this episode, John and Rui dissect scary folktales from Japan rooted in the Shinto tradition as well as why you should be wary even when venturing to the washroom in your own home...
Check out Rui Umezawa’s Strange Light Afar in your favourite local bookstores or online on House of Anansi, Indigo, or Amazon.
#9: The Story of Samurai
Episode 9: Did you ever wonder, who are the samurai? What did they do? Who are these guys?
Please join us for our latest podcast episode on The Story of Samurai. Our special guests will be Michael Wert, Professor of History at Marquette University and author of the book, “Samurai: A Concise History” and James Heron, Executive Director of the JCCC who will discuss the history of the samurai in Japan, their function and the international attraction to samurai films. This samurai podcast supplements the screening of the Samurai Marathon 1855 film presented by the JCCC on August 20, 2021.
To check out Michael Wert's Samurai: A Concise History, click here.
For more information about JCCC's virtual screening of Samurai Marathon, click here.
#8: Judo - Olympic Special!
Episode 8: The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games is here and we are excited! John Ota sits down with architect and judo sensei, Ken Fukushima to talk about judo, from the sport's philosophy to its introduction to the Olympic Games in 1964 when Japan hosted the Olympic Games for the first time. Ken also talks through the rising stars in the field this year including the first Olympian from the JCCC, Shady El Nahas.
Check out Judo competition information: https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/judo/event-schedule-men-100-kg.htm
Did you know JCCC offers eight martial arts programs? https://jccc.on.ca/programs/martial-arts