A sign with text in English and Japanese that reads Mitsuo and Emmie Hayashi Hall

Hayashi Hall unveiling ceremony

On May 6, 2023 a commemorative event was held in honour of Mitsuo and Emmie Hayashi.  The couple was known for their tireless efforts to build strong relations between Canada and Japan, as well as their dedication to the Nikkei Place community since the 1990s. To honour their legacy, the Event Hall was renamed the Mitsuo and Emmie Hayashi Hall. About 50 attendees, including volunteers, Board Directors, Auxiliary, and friends, gathered to pay tribute. 

Keiko Funahashi, the Development Director of the Nikkei Place Foundation, delivered welcoming remarks, and special guest Kayoko Ihara, Mits Hayashi's niece from Japan, was in attendance.

Karah Foster, the Executive Director of NNMCC, spoke about the couple's generous contributions to the Nikkei Place community from the early days of visioning and fundraising to its opening and development as an active cultural gathering place. Upon their passing the couple left a generous legacy gift.

Consul General Maruyama paid tribute to Mitsuo and Emmie Hayashi's significant contributions to Nikkei Place and the Japanese Canadian community, including Mr. Mitsuo Hayashi’s receipt of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Japanese government in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to the Japanese Canadian community and the Japanese in Canada.

Frank Kamiya, who served on the board of NNMCC with Mits and knew the couple since the beginning, spoke about their involvement with the centre and how they supported the NNMCC Auxiliary. He also highlighted Mits's role in building bridges between Nikkei Place and Japan through his business network. 

Akiko Gomyo, past President of NNMCC, expressed gratitude for Mits's contributions, including his establishment of the Nikkei Community New Year's celebration, and described him as her mentor in volunteering in the community.

Ruth Coles, past President of the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society, highlighted their support for the development of the organization through financial contributions, mentorship, and team building. She described them as dignified and respectful individuals who left an enduring legacy for the community.

The event concluded with the unveiling of the Mitsuo  Emmie Hayashi Hall sign, followed by the display of exquisite Ikebana in the newly named hall. The commemorative event was a touching tribute to the Hayashi’s significant contributions and lasting legacy.






Emmie & Mitsuo Hayashi

Left to right: Frank Kamiya, Akiko Gomyo, Kohei Maruyama, Kayoko Ihara, Herbert Ono, Ruth Roles, Karah Foster (左より、敬称略)フランク・カミヤ、五明明子、丸山浩平、伊原香代子、ハーバート・オノ、ルース・コールズ、ケーラ後新門フォスター Photo by Manto Artworks

Left to right: Frank Kamiya, Akiko Gomyo, Kohei Maruyama, Kayoko Ihara, Herbert Ono, Ruth Roles, Karah Foster
Photo by Manto Artworks