Thank you everyone for a successful Mini Matsuri this past labour day weekend!
It was wonderful to host this event, in support of Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, and give families and friends the chance to celebrate culture and community in-person. We feel fortunate that we were able to bring that familiar 2-day Nikkei Matsuri festival experience back this year, even if it was on a much smaller scale.
Over 2 days, festival goers were treated to delicious Japanese food offerings, performances and martial arts demonstrations, gamezone, beer and sake garden, a Matsuri Marketplace featuring local businesses and artisans, exhibits, a second hand Japanese bookstore, and a flea market run by the NNMCC Auxiliary.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the many people and organizations that made Mini Matsuri possible — our planning committee, and the incredible support of our attendees, sponsors, donors, staff, volunteers, photographers, vendors, and performers!
Mini Matsuri began with its opening ceremony. We are grateful to share the heritage of Japanese Canadians on this beautiful traditional and ancestral lands of local First Nations. Thank you Squamish Nation Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Elder Sam George for your blessing. We also heard welcoming remarks from Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, Consul General Takashi Hatori, our Nikkei Matsuri Chair Louise Akuzawa and NNMCC Executive Director Karah Goshinmon Foster.
Many enjoyed dance and music performances in the Nikkei Garden around the yagura tower built by Kenyukai. Traditional Japanese dance and Bon Odori was led by Satsuki-kai, Japanese pop dance by ShootingStar Idols, Japanese drumming by Chibi Taiko and Vancouver Okinawa Taiko, and musical duos Pico & Seira (koto and keyboard), and Bushido (taiko & shakuhachi).
Also performing this year, for the very first time, was the Southern Wave Okinawan Music & Dance Society – a new group that was formed during the pandemic – that performed traditional Okinawan songs and dances.
Delicious food and beverage offerings were had by JEGGS, Teppanyaro, Sara-Udon, Hachan Takoyaki, Suzuya, Tornado Potato, Tokyo Katsu Sand, Ichiyos Matcha Bar, and Japadog, plus Studio Brewing and the Sake Association of BC in the Beer Garden.
Inside Nikkei Centre, patrons could watch martial arts demonstrations in the Hall and Budojo by Vancouver Shomonkai Aikido, Iaido – Seishin Kan, Ishikawa Family Judo Club, Shito-ryuseiko-kai Karate Canada, and Shorinji Kenpo. They could also view displays of Mikoshi and shishi-mai lion dance costume by Rakuichi.
The Matsuri Marketplace offered unique merchandise including hand-made and Japan-inspired items and treats from Pacwest, Coconama, Wren Creation, Sasaki Art, Mysgreen, Cocoaro Craft Chocolate, Kanadell Japanese Bakery, Siamurai Apparel, and Shinobu’s Japanese Fabric Creations, and the Nikkei Cafe serving Rocket 7 Coffee and Tsuen Tea, and handmade Anpan and manju by the NNMCC Auxiliary! Visitors to our 2nd-floor discovered the NNMCC Auxiliary Mini Flea Market and Japanese Bookstore packed with 2nd-hand treasures.
For the kids, the Game Zone was the place to be for fun and games, Japanese snacks, and the ever-popular Hello Kitty Sand Picture activity!
Thank you to all our volunteers for lending their time and skills that helped make Mini Matsuri a success. We also thank our talented photographers Noriko Tidball and Sakura Ono for capturing many memorable moments this year!
A big THANK YOU also goes out to our lantern “chochin” wall sponsors and donors for their support this year! Click here for a full list. Special thanks to our festival partners the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, Pathfinder Asset Management Limited., and the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver.
Check out this year’s photo gallery highlights here. We look forward to seeing everyone back again for Nikkei Matsuri 2022!