A cookbook, culinary and 130-plus year cultural journey in 270 mouth-watering pages - recipes include spam sushi, shoyu wieners and chow mein sandwiches. Stories cover fish up flagpoles in Ucluelet, train rides from Ottawa, golf bento boxes and an impromptu marriage proposal in front of a future mother-in-law

TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - Like so many community centres across Canada where volunteers gather to share similar interests and plan upcoming activities Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is no different. When walking through the lively centre one can find a small group focused on the placement of a single blossom in an ikebana (flower arranging) class, Gi-clad children and adults rushing along the halls to their karate classes and women and men hula dancing their stress away. For almost 50 years, the JCCC has been a hive of activity for the Japanese Canadian community and many others.

Like other centres, groups plan activities that are of interest to their community. One such group at the JCCC is the Heritage Committee that meets each month to organize exhibitions and events. And for each meeting people bring snacks and treats. 

"Every time the JCCC Heritage Committee meets, we spend the first 20 minutes talking about the snacks people have brought," said Russell Onizuka, Co-chair of the Cookbook Committee, Board Member of the JCCC and member of the Heritage Committee. "We sample the food and sure enough someone will say this reminds me of my mother or when I was …. and the stories spill out. It makes it tough to keep our meetings short."

"Just four years ago we were looking for a fundraising idea that would capture the stories of the Japanese Canadian community and share our culture with our friends," said Theresa Sano, Co-chair of the Cookbook Committee and member of Heritage Committee. "That idea was right in front of us on plates and in bowls - our food and the stories and memories associated with each dish. Just Add Shoyu was born."

Shoyu (soy sauce) is a staple ingredient in every Japanese Canadian's kitchen.

Just Add Shoyu also provides a snapshot of the Japanese Canadian community through its recipes. The cookbook is filled with "comfort food" that is easy to prepare, has uniquely Canadian ingredients with a Japanese twist. The 270-page beautiful hardcover book includes 83 easy recipes, 48 anecdotes and stories in beautiful full colour format.  It costs $39.95 and is available at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks, Vancouver, B.C.; Mika's Japanese Gifts, Mississauga, ON.; Chapters Indigo Books, in selected stores across Canada and online www.chapters.indigo.ca; Noinkee's, Orangeville, ON; The Cookbook Store, Toronto, ON; National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre, Burnaby, B.C.; Wanda's Pie in the Sky, Toronto, ON. For the full news release, early reviews, photos, facts, where to buy, visit www.jccc.on.ca/ and click on the "Just Add Shoyu" photo.

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is a registered charity No. 118972967RR0001 and hosts a broad spectrum of martial arts, traditional and contemporary arts programs and performances, a busy cinema program and home of the J-Cinema project that includes the annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival. For more information visit www.jccc.on.ca or call 416-441-2345.

SOURCE Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

For further information:

Media contact:GoldFenix Communications - Paul Tyler, 905-235-7285, pt@goldfenixcom.ca or Victoria Ollers, 416-822-2288, vo@goldfenixcom.ca

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Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

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