Yukiko Tosa teaches students about Japanese Canadian history with “Storigami”

Meet Yukiko Tosa, an education volunteer with our Taiken program. I retired in 2017 after nearly working 40 years at the Vancouver Public Library, 16 of those years were spent as a Children’s Librarian, so I have always enjoyed spending time sharing stories and activities with children of all ages from babies to teens.

I have also been very involved with my other passion which is Origami and belong to a local Origami Group called PALM (Paperfolders Around the Lower Mainland).  

When I retired, I was not thinking of doing any volunteer work right away but I was contacted by Nikkei Centre staff about getting involved with the TAIKEN School Field Trip Program. Students from Elementary and Secondary schools come to the Nikkei Centre to learn about the history of the Japanese Canadians and also to get introduced to a bit of Japanese culture.  

So, I was able to put my 2 passions, storytelling and origami together — in what some of us in the origami world call, Storigami — to teach children and students the Art of Origami using stories. Since I started to volunteer with the Taiken program, it has been wonderful to see so many students of all ages and feel their delight when they are able to fold some origami pieces and take them home in their origami box.  Receiving hand-written thank yous from the students and teachers has also been very rewarding.  

I am looking forward to volunteering again when the pandemic is over, and the programs can begin again, and we will have the opportunity to get together face-to-face with students and children and continue to share more origami and storigamis.