8000 People in the First ‘Nikkei Matsuri’ - First Idols were Born

8000 People in the First ‘Nikkei Matsuri’ - First Idols were Born

Momoko Shimada and Akiko Ozaki won the first Nikkei idols at ‘Nikkei’s Got Talent!’

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 The first summer event ‘Nkkei Matsuri: the Heart of Nikkei’ was held at Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby) on August 31st and September 1st. About 8,000 people including those with family members visited the event.

 As Nikkei community has been diversified and new immigrants have been increased more, Nikkei Place Foundation is an event organizer to provide experience which enables people to know and share Japanese culture. It got nice weather and many children enjoyed Wanage (Ring Toss), Yo-yo Tsuri (Yo-yo Balloon Fishing), Shateki (Prize Shooter) at Kids Zone Games, Watagashi (Cotton Candy), Hot Dog, Takoyaki (Osaka-style seafood ball), and Yakitori (Grilled chicken) at Food Booth on both days.

 A talent show ‘Nikkei’s Got Talent!’ held after two of the auditions drew extra attention. Ten groups of finalists showed singing, dancing, or piano performances to win 500 CAD as a winner’s prize. They introduced voting system which is available for audience in the event to vote through the Internet or SMS service as well as evaluation by five of juries. The event, which ‘encouraged a sense of unity,’ seemed a TV audition program with a feeling of tension. Momoko Shimada and Akiko Ozaki, who fascinated with the audience by their cheerful street dance with a song Natsumatsuri (Summer Festival) by Whiteberry, won the first prize. They performed dynamic dance at a narrow stage in costumes arranged colorful kimono bought in Japan and won the first idols in Nikkei Centre.

 The number of volunteers who engaged into this event was 180 people. Roy Sakata, who is one of the Nikkei Matsuri Committee members and first Director of the Centre, expected continuity of the event and future growth of Japanese society, and smiled, ‘From setting up the venue to event planning, without many people’s efforts, we wouldn’t be able to make it. Especially, energy concentration, power, and ability to get things done by the young were amazing. I was very encouraged by their growth with strong leadership.

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)