Japanese Canadian cultural centre Japanese Canadian cultural centre

Harmony in Diversity: The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre as a Cultural Fusion Icon

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is a diverse community catering to the needs of Japanese Canadians. It tries to build a connection between Canadian society and Japanese culture.

JCCC was founded in 1963 as a Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organization. It celebrates and preserves Japanese Canadians’ rich heritage, culture and language.

It is a registered charity organization with 5000+ members and attracts thousands of tourists, including students representing the world.

1. Japanese Canadians’ History

They are Canadian citizens of Japanese origin. They are called the Nikkei community in Canada. Western Canada has a majority of the community. British Columbia province hosts the majority part of this community.

The history of the settlement of the Japanese community began in 1877 when a Japanese, Manzo Nagano, settled in British Columbia. Immigration continued till the third decade of the 20th Century. A cap of 150 persons/year was imposed on immigration by the ruling establishment.

1.1. World War II

When Japan entered the world war, the Canadian Government imposed war measures on the Japanese Canadian community as enemies.

It continued even after the war. Various restrictions were imposed, limited rights were given, and the right to vote was banned for them.

1.2. Aftermath of the War Effects

In the 1980s, the Canadian Government started easing things for the Japanese Canadian community.

Children were given educational rights, hospital access and public utility services. The confiscated documents were released to provide them with identities.

2. Japanese- Canadian Cultural Centre

It is one of the vibrant Japanese Cultural Centres, preserving Japanese Canadian heritage. The centre organizes various functions annually.

The Vision of the centre is to educate not only the Nikkei community but the Canadians as well about the Japanese Canadian heritage. Also, empower the community to share the culture of films, food and arts.

2.1. Building

The original building was constructed in 1963. The architect behind this building was Raymond Moriyama, who tried to include modern architecture with a Japanese cultural touch.

It also reminds the world war crimes against the Japanese Canadian community. Lakhani family has now taken Raymond Moriyama’s building due to its inability to cater to the needs of JCCC.

The current building is a former printing press. It is large enough for the activities of JCCC. Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects renovated this building.

2.2. Activities

JCCC holds various activities for the Japanese Canadian community. These are designed to propagate the centre’s mission.

These activities represent the diverse community of Japan. Some activities include language classes, martial arts training, sports events, festival celebrations and cultural exhibitions.

2.2.1. Language Education

The Japanese language is taught by experienced teachers proficient in English and Japanese. Anyone can join the classes, irrespective of level.

2.2.2. Martial Arts Education

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Photo by Marvin_SNCR from Pixabay/ Copyright, 2017.

Japan is known for its martial arts. Among various Arts, Judo and Karate are the most famous. Some certified instructors teach these at the centre.

2.2.3. Cultural Heritage Exhibitions

The rich culture and heritage of Japan are showcased at the centre. Anyone can visit to immerse in this Japanese art show.

Paintings, sculptures and photography are the prime attractions at these exhibitions.

2.2.4. Sports and Festivals Activities

The centre hosts tournaments in volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, etc. Canadian community also participates in these events.

Toronto – Japanese Film festival, New Year’s event and Sakura Gala are celebrated by the centre. They present the intermingling of Canadian cultural history with Japanese culture.

2.3. Amenities

The centre provides several amenities to visitors.

2.3.1. Venue Rentals

JCCC has provisions for rentals for functions, conferences, galas, cultural events, film shows, literature festivals, etc.

The centre can be contacted easily through email, phone or website. Its location is Don Valley Parkway, Toronto.

2.3.2. Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre

It is a museum exhibiting Canadian and foreign artists’ arts and cultural centre works. The visitors develop a kind of relationship when they visit this museum.

They represent details of Japanese heritage to the global community. Every section of society, children, adults, aged, professionals, and students, are invited here.

2.3.3. Library

Japanese Canadian cultural centre
Photo by VisualArtStudio from Shutterstock

The JCCC library embraces the spirit of the Japanese Canadian community. It presents the intellectual resources of both communities.

Children’s comics, cultural books and Manga (Japanese Comics) are available here.

2.3.4. Gift Shop

The cultural centre also has a nearby gift shop. T-shirts, toys, caps, home decor items, and many more are available here. Visitors can experience the Japanese Canadian cultural heritage.

2.3.5. Clubs

JCCC hosts eight clubs in total. These clubs are the representation of Japanese culture. They are associated with other communities in Canada.

These are the hubs of cultural activities. Members of the centre provide these services to friends and family members who visit there.

2.3.6. Membership

A person can join the centre via two platforms. JCCC provides the facility of online as well as offline registration.

Offline registration involves a phone call, email or in-person visit to the centre and completing the formalities. The offline form is available here.

Japanese Canadian cultural centre
Photo by Scott Heaney from Shutterstock

3. Planning a Visit

If one wants to visit this place, she can go to the centre’s website to contact them. Working hours are from Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

3.1. Address

Although it is easily accessible, many visitors find it difficult to locate it on the map. The exact location is given on this link.

3.2. Parking Facility

The centre has a parking facility freely available. However, due to special events, parking space can be limited to cater to all visitors.

There are many nearby parking sites.

  • Aga Khan museum parking
  • Canpark
  • PS Parking
  • Medical Place parking

4. Conclusion

The Japanese- Canadian Cultural Centre embraces the Japanese Canadian community culture. It provides a prosperous outlook of Canadian Cultural acceptance to the global community.

Preserving the heritage is a laborious project. This centre ensures that the Japanese ancestral resources are carefully preserved.

It becomes distinctive to the Japanese Canadian community as the native Canadians also accept this wholeheartedly.

Japanese Canadian heritage gives a positive message to the world about diversity in a united place. Societies from all around the world can take inspiration from this bondedness between these two different communities.

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