Tonari Gumi Used Book Sale a Success–Still Some Books Available for Sale!!

On Thursday, Aug. 20th Tonari Gumi held its annual used Japanese Book and Rummage Sale.DSC_0128  It was a great success with many customers lining up at the door prior to its start.  With the departure of most of the Japanese book stores from the Lower Mainland, it has become very difficult for those seeking a variety of books written in Japanese.  As a service to the community, Tonari Gumi has been holding its used Japanese book sale for many years and it is a very popular event.

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This year, we were particularly successful in receiving donations of many nearly new books and we have decided to offer a number of them for sale on an on-going basis.  So if you have a craving to read a real Japanese book, not an electronic version of one,DSC_0125 you need to come to Tonari Gumi and check out our offerings!  Hard backs are $2.00 each and soft backs are $1.00 each with discounts for purchases of 5 books or more and if you are a TG member.

Come and check out our used books and our beautifully made hand-made crafts at our gift shop at 42 West 8th Ave. in Vancouver.  See you there! used books for sale

39th Powell Street Festival A Great Success!

Tonari Gumi’s involvement in this year’s Powell Street Festival was a banner success. FullSizeRender 1sThis was particularly notable because most of Tonari Gumi’s staff were either dealing with the Powell Street Festival for the first time or having to take on responsibilities they had not had before. As a consequence, there were many challenges to overcome and some of the staff had to deal with more stress than normal, but thanks to the exceptional efforts put in by our amazing volunteers, we were able to overcome the initial jitters and deliver the best results for Tonari Gumi in the past five years.

Many people have commented over the years on how enthusiastic Tonari Gumi’s volunteers are and how hard they work at the Powell Street Festival. FullSizeRender (8)What many may not know, however, is how many different volunteers are involved each year. This year, anticipating good weather, we recruited a few more volunteers than normal and some 150 different individuals, ranging from elementary school age to their early 90’s, worked together to bring about Tonari Gumi’s successful results. Tonari Gumi’s food is always popular among the festival goers and this year was no exception with Tonari Gumi selling record numbers of cold noodle salads (hiyashi chu-ka), mochi manju (Japanese sweet rice-cakes); sushi bento boxes, California rolls and inari-zushi (Japanese rice bags). Among the many volunteers who stepped forward to work long hours at producing our delicious and colourful sushi were Kazu Motohashi, Miwako Manns and Yukio Moizumi. FullSizeRender (5)Many others, too numerous to identify individually spent many hours to create the tasty dishes being sold at the Festival. We even imported some of our staff directly from Japan, as two of our volunteers cooking the ramen noodles for our salads, were soba noodle chefs who came specifically to help Tonari Gumi during this festival. Many of our volunteers had served at the Powell Street Festival for many years and were very often much more knowledgeable on what needed to be done than our brand new staff.

Another perennial favourite at Tonari Gumi’s craft and community tent are the many all-occasion cards produced by our seniors.FullSizeRender (9s) Designed with colourful hand-folded origami dolls or individually pressed and dried local flowers, these cards are individual works of art and many hundreds were sold at the Festival. Also popular at the Festival is Tonari Gumi’s used Japanese dolls, used pottery and porcelain, and — of course — the gorgeous used kimono’s and yukatas which were displayed at the entrance to Tonari Gumi’s compound. Current and former directors served at the FullSizeRender (11s)Community Tent and provided information on Tonari Gumi’s on-going programs and up-coming events such as our ever popular Premium Sake Tasting Night.

We wish to extend a special thanks to all of our many suppliers (Angel Seafoods deserves special mention), donors, volunteers and staff. Without all of these many different individuals working together, Tonari Gumi would not be able to achieve what it does. Thank you for your help. Anyone wishing to volunteer at Tonari Gumi, should contact Tonari Gumi at (604) 687-2172 or go on-line at <>.

Summer Berries for Our Seniors

20150630_103903The summer is a great time for outings with our seniors and this year, with our unusually long and warm spring, berry picking was particularly special.  While we were too late for strawberries, on June 30th, the blueberries were especially delicious.  Some 9 seniors accompanied by Atsuko Ichijo and two volunteers took a trip to Krause’s berry farm in Langely.

B.C.’s berry bounty was readily available and our seniors had a great time.  Thanks to Nobuji Hirosawa for making his van available to transport our seniors.  In the near future we look forward to being able to purchase a new van for Tonari Gumi so our seniors can take more such trips.  Don’t forget that your donations to Tonari Gumi help to create great memories.20150630_113846 20150630_113239 20150630_113643 20150630_113257 20150630_113501 20150630_113633

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