Season 4: Nikkei Women

During the run of the “Iron Willed: Women in STEM” exhibition, we will be sharing stories of Nikkei Women. Lives of remarkable Japanese Canadian women who have survived through the Japanese Canadian internment will be presented by Julie Tamiko Manning. Subscribe now on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss an episode and tune in weekly.

July-September 2021

Season 3: Marpole Monogatari

The Sounds Japanese Canadian To Me podcast features a new series Marpole Monogatari on life at home, work, and in the community for Japanese Canadians in pre-War Marpole. Hear David Suzuki’s father talk about the birth of his twins, as well as Joy Kogawa singing a favourite song from kindergarten. Hear Mush Arima talk about buying a chicken from David Suzuki’s grandmother, along with other stories of triumph and tragedy from former residents, descendants, and associates.

June-July 2021

Stories From the Stage: 2020-21

In the age of social distancing, performing artist Kunji Mark Ikeda takes the reins of Sounds Japanese Canadian to Me to lead a series of in-depth conversations with some of today's most exciting Japanese Canadian performing artists.

Listen on our website, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Calgary Arts Development, and the Rozsa Foundation.

Season 1: 2013-2017

Sounds Japanese Canadian to Me is a monthly podcast hosted by Raymond Nakamura and staff members at the Nikkei National Museum.  They sit around a microphone (usually in the museum's collection vault - for ambience) and have a casual discussion on a chosen Japanese Canadian topic.  The goal of this endeavour is to entertain and wow people about Japanese Canadian history and culture.

Subscribe to
Sounds Japanese Canadian to Me

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below


Stories From the Stage 1: Raymond Nakamura / Kunji Ikeda

To introduce our new series of Sounds Japanese Canadian to Me, founding co-host Raymond Nakamura interviews season host Kunji Mark Ikeda about his Japanese Canadian artistic journey to date, and what he’s looking forward to in conversations with other Japanese Canadian performing artists.

> read more

Episode 28 – Mixed Heritage

It’s not alien, it’s utopian! In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss the history, the social politics, and the experience of having mixed heritage. From the reasons for so many Japanese Canadians being of mixed heritage, to describing yourself as “half”, “mixed”, or of course “hapa”, even to the level of your own name, having mixed heritage is a complicated experience. This double-sized episode of Sounds Japanese Canadian to Me is just one part of a huge and continuously evolving conversation.

> read more

Episode 27 – Hastings Park 1942 

It’s not all fun and games at The Fair. In this episode, Raymond is joined by guest Erica Isomura to talk about Hastings Park in East Vancouver, better known as the PNE Fairgrounds, and its role for Japanese Canadians from up the coast and Vancouver Island in internment.

> read more

Episode 26 – Taiko

In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn explore the fascinating history of Japanese taiko drumming, from its ancient roots in folk culture to the emergence of taiko ensembles in both Japan and North America after the Second World War. Taiko ensembles first began in North America in the 1970s, and were closely tied to Asian American and Asian Canadian political activism.

> read more

Episode 25 – Dressmaking (Our Mothers Patterns)

Sewing was an important occupation for Japanese Canadian women before and during the Second World War, not only to clothe themselves and their families, but also as one of the few professions which was not barred to them in the racist climate of the time. Many pre-war issei and nisei women were skilled technicians, attending schools to learn how to draft their own patterns. In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss some of what they learned about this history from the Nikkei National Museum’s online exhibit, Our Mother’s Patterns.

> read more

Episode 24 – Cultural Centres

Just what is it with Japanese Canadian cultural centres, anyway? This episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss this phenomenon, from the JCCC in Toronto to centres in Montreal, Steveston, and even the Nikkei Centre which they’re recording out of. Different centres across Canada have unique and interesting origins related to varying histories of postwar Japanese Canadian settlement, and today continue to provide space for their local communities in many ways. Many were built with the help of the redress settlement, and are important venues for celebrating multiculturalism and Japanese heritage today.

> read more

Episode 23 – Harmonicas

The harmonica was the musical instrument of choice for young nisei Japanese Canadian men in the 1930s and 1940s. Raymond and Carolyn look at some reasons why it became so iconic for this generation, some of the more prominent players, and story of the Lemon Creek Harmonica Band.

> read more

Episode 22 – Cherry Blossoms

Join Raymond and Carolyn as they discuss figures in ancient Japanese folklore, botanical attractions in Vancouver and across Canada, and…mutants and clones? The Japanese ornamental cherry tree is all of these, not to mention a feature of spring in Japan and many places in Canada.

> read more

Episode 21 – Baseball

In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss the Japanese Canadian favourite of baseball. While the Vancouver Asahi are the most famous Japanese Canadian baseball team, there were many Nikkei teams and leagues throughout BC before the forced removal, in the camps during internment, and even some established east of the Rockies in the 1950s and beyond.

> read more

Episode 20 – Cumberland

For our twentieth episode, Raymond and Carolyn look at the fascinating history of Japanese Canadians in the village of Cumberland on Vancouver Island. Coal baron Robert Dunsmuir began importing workers from Japan and elsewhere to Cumberland in the late 19th century. Labour disputes and racism were rampant, but the Japanese immigrants were also able to build lives there, moving from mining to logging and service industry work, and even bringing over their families and establishing a Japanese Language School. After the community was forcibly removed in 1942, efforts have been made by Cumberlanders in more recent years to uncover, preserve, and celebrate the multicultural history of the village.

> read more