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.

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Episode 19 – Place Names

In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss the who, what, where, when, and why of Japanese place names in Canada, from Ikeda Bay in Haida Gwaii to Bonsai Street in Vancouver, and even “Matane” in Quebec. While some are named in honour of early immigrants from Japan, others are more like tributes from afar to the idea of Japan and Japanese culture, or arrived at their names through a variety of interesting and surprising occurrences.

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Episode 18 – Samurai

In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss the samurai way of life – from the Satsuma clan to Inazo Nitobe’s Bushido – and its possible influence on Japanese Canadian history and culture. While the figure of the samurai has been popularly mythologized in Western culture by the likes of Tom Cruise, many real-life samurai emigrated from Japan in the late 19th century to build new lives for themselves in places like Canada.  Some went on to become Canadian citizens, and fight for their adopted country in the First World War.

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Episode 17 – Obon

In this episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss the Buddhist holiday of Obon, and how it is celebrated in Japan and Canada. Obon is a summer festival held in remembrance of deceased ancestors, but rather than being a sombre occasion, it is seen as a time to celebrate and show gratitude to those who came before. It is one of the major holidays in Japan, and an important cultural occasion for Japanese Canadian communities across Canada.

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Episode 15 – Japanese Canadians in Japan

In this super-size episode, Raymond and Carolyn discuss various experiences of Japanese Canadians in Japan, from the kika-nisei, to the war years and the difficult experience of deportees after the war, to their own stories of living there as Canadians.

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Episode 14 – Aiko Saita

Raymond and Carolyn share the story of Aiko Saita, an international music star and Cumberland-born Nisei. Saita’s studies in Italy were funded by the Japanese Canadian community, who formed the “Saita Aiko Kouenkai” (Aiko Saita support group) to pay for her world-class training. Although she passed away in Japan in 1954, Aiko Saita maintained a deep connection with the Japanese Canadian community: her third North American tour was cut short by the illness which took her life. Even today, many Nisei still remember going to hear her sing.

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Episode 13 – Franchise

In light of the recent federal election, Raymond and Museum Intern Carolyn Nakagawa discuss Japanese Canadians’ long fight for the right to vote, from the British Columbia government’s ban against Japanese Canadians being added to the voters’ list in 1885, to the lifting of all restrictions on citizenship rights for Canadians of Japanese descent in 1949.

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Episode 12 – Magic Hour

Raymond, Scott, and special guest Momoko Ito took some time this past spring to tour the museum’s Magic Hour exhibit, admiring the treasures of the collection quirkily curated by the Instant Coffee collective and sharing background stories on some of the items. Now, their conversation is an archive of this unique exhibit.

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Four delegates on the steps in Ottawa in 1936. Samuel I Hayakawa, Minoru Kobayashi, Hide (Hyodo) Shimizu, Edward Banno.

Episode 10 – Hide Hyodo Shimizu

At 18 years of age, Hide Hyodo Shimizu was the first Japanese Canadian teacher to teach in British Columbia’s public school system. She was part of the delegation sent to Ottawa in 1936 to campaign for voting rights for Japanese Canadians, along with Samuel Hayakawa, Edward Banno and Minoru Kobayashi. She was responsible for organizing schools in the internment camps in British Columbia and later moved to Ontario to attend art college.

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