Tonari Gumi is at the Powell Street Festival for the 39th Year!

In other words, Tonari Gumi has been at the Powell Street Festival ever since it started in 1977.PSFS15_Tonari_Gumi_01 This year is no exception and we’re excited to join with the rest of the community in helping to deliver a wonderful summer tradition. Now that Oppenheimer park is available to the community again, Tonari Gumi’s booth locations are back to their traditional locations on Dunlevy Avenue and along Cordova Street.DSC_0211 Tonari Gumi’s food booth on Dunlevy is always a summer treat with our ever-favourite items: hiyashi chuuka salad (cold ramen salad); sushi bento box, inari zushi (some people call them ‘rice bags’), yummy mochi manju (sweet sticky rice cakes), ice cold barley tea and similarly cold iced coffee. The prices are great and the smiles you receive when you are served are free.

Tonari Gumi’s Community Craft Tent is just off Dunlevy along Cordova Street and th004ere you will find the amazing crafts created by our seniors just for your gift giving—to yourself and to all of your friends and relatives.012 We also have used kimonos, used Japanese dolls and other Japanese gift items. A perennial favourite is our “New To You” table where hundreds of used jewelry items are on sale to enhance your summer wardrobe. You can also find copies of Tonari Gumi’s best-selling Japanese cookbook, our durable and re-usable eco-bags, and the fashionable Tonari Gumi t-shirts available for sale. This year, we also have tickets on sale for Tonari Gumi’s 14th Annual Premium Sake Tasting Night.008 As we nearly always sell out, this is your chance to get an early-bird discount and make sure that you have your tickets for this not-to-be-missed event. 013Make sure that you come to this year’s Powell Street Festival and while there, get your food and gift items at the Tonari Gumi food booth and Community Craft Tent. See you there!

Working Together To Stop Elder Abuse


Elderly-HandsTonari Gumi as the lead organization in partnership with the Greater Vancouver JCCA, the Nikkei Senior Health Care & Housing Society and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Center has recently been awarded a major grant to help reduce elder abuse. Tonari Gumi is spearheading a three part program over the next year to reduce elder abuse within the Japanese Canadian Community by

1) Raising awareness

2) Training seniors and caregivers to recognize and respond, and

3) Building community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse.

1) Raising Awareness:
Under this project we are looking to adapt existing prevention and awareness information on elder abuse and disseminate this information in both English and Japanese through posters, web pages, the local Japanese language press and media.

We are coordinating with a local drama group consisting of Japanese seniors to produce short skits which reveal different aspects of elder abuse and would be understandable for all generations. We are also seeking individuals to interview who may be open to share possible real-life stories on elderly abuse.

Utilizing these skits and interviews, a series of awareness raising seminars will be conducted in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities in the Lower Mainland and subsequently elsewhere in B.C. in cooperation with our partner organizations.

2) Training to Recognize and Respond to Elder Abuse:
There is a plan to organize a series of bilingual workshops in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities to train seniors, caregivers and community leaders to recognize when elder abuse is taking place and how to take action to protect seniors from such abuse. Training expertise would be drawn from the local community (police, financial institutions, medical and psychological professionals) to deal with financial, physical and psychological aspects of elder abuse.

3) Build Community Collaboration:
Together with our partner organizations within the community, a team would be developed to work from Tonari Gumi and serve as a referral point for individuals seeking assistance with respect to elder abuse. For the duration of the project period, a hotline telephone number would be established where individuals could seek advice in Japanese.Elder abuse hand

The objective would be to continue to maintain this hotline after the end of the project period. Seminar and workshop material would also be made available to other Japanese Canadian communities in B.C. and throughout Canada to assist them in raising awareness regarding elder abuse.

We welcome individuals who are interested in helping to raise greater awareness of the issue of elder abuse within the community.  Interested individuals should contact Tonari Gumi if they wish to help or just to express their views.

If you have any suggestions or information you would like to share with us, please give us a call at 604-687-2172 ext. 202 or contact us by email at

Rambling Through Lord Stanley’s Park.

DSC_0392rOn June 17, some 8 seniors with David Iwaasa of the staff and Noriko Plimley as a volunteer helper spent a couple hours enjoying the beauty and history of Stanley Park.  Everyone was transported to the park thanks to Nobuji Hirosawa and Ed Hayashi on their vehicles and the group started off from the bus loop in the park.  First stop was the Japanese Canadian War Memorial where the group learned about the sacrifices made by Japanese Canadians during World War I, in particular, but also in Canada’s subsequent wars: World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Afghanistan War where Japanese Canadians gave their lives on behalf of Canada and to further the rights of Japanese Canadians.

Moving on from the War Memorial, the group passed the Stanley Park Pavilion and the Malkin BoDSC_0395wl, learning about how development of the park had evolved over the years while enjoying the beautiful landscaping and the period architecture.  Next was a chance to enjoy the roses at the rose garden.  From the rose garden everyone made their way past Lost Lagoon and proceeded to the apartment of Makiko Suzuki, Noriko Plimley’s mother.DSC_0401  There, in a beautiful apartment overlooking the Lost Lagoon and Stanley Park everyone was treated to cool drinks and delightfully delicious home-made treats.

Thanks to the beautiful weather and the generous hospitality of Makiko Suzuki, everyone had a wonderful time learning a little about our history in Canada, enjoying each other’s company, while participating in a pleasant walk in the park.DSC_0406

Our next walking excursion will take place on Tuesday, July 14 starting at 10:00 a.m. from Tonari Gumi.  We will be going to Central Park in Burnaby and we encourage everyone to bring a picnic lunch.  Look forward to everyone registering to come.

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