plant2 Documenting the west coast Nikkei experience [and beyond] from the viewpoint of a hapa Nikkei graphic designer, editor, photographer, taiko player & teacher.


Tonari Gumi Fall Bazaar

Check out Tonari Gumi’s  annual fall Bazaar on November 7th from 11:30am to 2:20pm. As always there will be lots of homemade Japanese food and crafts made by members and volunteers. You’re advised to come early as all the good stuff sells out by [...]

Taiko pioneer Daihachi Oguchi dies

I just received news that Daihachi Oguchi, one of the most important figures in the development of modern taiko, has died after being struck by a car in Okaya, Nagano Prefecture, at the age of 84.

While not as well known in the west as groups such as Kodo and Ondekoza, Oguchi helped pioneer the ensemble approach to playing taiko, rearranging traditional compositions for a large ensemble, using his jazz training to great effect. His style of drumming has had a large influence among North American groups as transmitted throgh one of his students, Seichii Tanaka–grandmaster of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo.

According to the CBC website, Oguchi had been scheduled to perform with taiko group Kodo later this year, even though his health had reportedly been failing in recent years.

In the early eighties I visited Japan with five other members of the newly-formed Katari Taiko. It was a mini-pilgrimage of sorts and we visited Kodo on Sado Island, Oedo Sukeroku in Tokyo and Osuwa Daiko in Nagano Prefecture. The visit with Oguchi-sensei left an indelible impression on me as it was one of my first exposures to the complexity of Japanese hospitality as well as the sensei-student relationship. Since that time i have come to understand it better, but at the time it was very alien.

Continue reading Taiko pioneer Daihachi Oguchi dies

Cherry Blossom Luncheon Buffet & Sunday Buffet


Cherry Blossom Luncheon Buffet Café Pacifica March 25-28 $25 per person

Cherry Blossom Sunday Brunch Café Pacifica Sunday, March 30 $52 per person; $47 seniors, aged 65 years or over, & teens $26 children 6 – 12 years; complimentary children 5 and under

Taxes additional


Each year, Vancouver’s 36,000 cherry [...]

Artisan Sakemaker First Anniversary Pressing

Attended my first sake-making demonstration the other day at Artisan Sake on Granville Island. Actually demonstration isn’t a correct description – it was the real thing, and a number of attendees were pressed into service. Pardon the pun . . . The occasion was the 1st Anniversary pressing of Osake Junmai Genshu at Artisan [...]

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