Omoi: Cultural Experiences

Culture is a complicated word. The Nikkei National Museum knows many Japanese Canadians. We see a lot of different ways that different people think about being Japanese. We also see a lot of different ways that different people think about being Canadian. We have come to believe that:

Culture is anything that connects us to other people.
Every individual person has their own unique culture.

We created the Omoi: Cultural Experiences videos to talk to some people in our community. We asked them about Japanese culture. We also asked them about their experiences as Nikkei (people of Japanese ancestry).


When watching these videos, consider the following:

  • How has their relationship to their Japanese heritage changed throughout their life?
  • What things have helped or hurt their connection to a Nikkei identity?
  • What things help YOU feel connected to your ancestral culture?

Choose two videos and compare and contrast what is said in each about culture and identity. You may want to use a Venn diagram (see above for an example).

Next, compare and contrast the people in one or more videos with yourself and/or your family.

Finally, use this worksheet to draw a symbol or a few symbols about your own culture. What connects you to your family and friends? What traditions and activities are meaningful to you?


Yoko Matsuno shares some of her personal history and love of kimono.

John Endo Greenaway talks about his personal journey with the living art form of taiko in North America.

Members of the Nikkei Centre Auxiliary talk about how manju has helped them connect to community and culture. Try the Nikkei Centre auxiliary’s Manju recipe!

Maiko Behr of SaBi Tea Arts shares some of her experience with the traditional Japanese practice of making and serving tea.