THE SPIRIT OF NIHONMACHI
- Release Date 2012
- Running Time 28 minutes
- Closed Captions Yes
- Availability Canada
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Nihonmachi [日本町 or 日本街 lit. "Japan town" or "Japan street"] is a term used to refer to historical Japanese communities. Before the Second World War, Powell Street, in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES) was home to many Japanese Canadians. Today, poverty, mental illness and drug addiction pervade. Yet for a few days each summer, the neighbourhood returns to Nihonmachi when the Powell Street Festival returns to the area to celebrate Japanese Canadian culture with a dynamic and inclusive program of art music, dance, food and sport.
Neither Kevin nor Abraham have a Japanese bone in their bodies but for 10 years they've enthusiastically volunteered and participated at the Powell Street Festival. What makes these men even more special is that they live, work, and were once homeless themselves, on the streets of the Downtown Eastside. The Spirit of Nihonmachi reveals what it is that brings each of them back to the festival every year.
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