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Sushi chef rolls back into business at Japanese pavilion

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Hinode Taiko is considered the main draw at the Japanese pavilion, and the drum troupe will be performing there again during the pavilion’s run from Aug. 11 to 17.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Hinode Taiko is considered the main draw at the Japanese pavilion, and the drum troupe will be performing there again during the pavilion’s run from Aug. 11 to 17. Photo Store Photo Store

Edohei, one of Winnipeg’s original sushi restaurants, closed its doors in 2012, but the Japanese pavilion at Folklorama is reviving its scrumptious sushi.

"Sadao Ono (the former chef and owner of Edohei) is retired, but he’s going to be rolling sushi at the pavilion," says Ken Teramura, the media contact for the Japanese pavilion.

"In the past, we’ve typically had pre-made sushi, but he’ll be doing it right there."

In addition to sushi, the menu will include noodles, teriyaki chicken, Gyudon (beef bowl), sunomono salad, miso soup and shaved ice and manju (a Japanese confection) for dessert. Of course, there’s plenty of sake and Japanese beer to wash it all down.

While you’re sipping on sake, there’s lots of entertainment to take in.

"We have a combination of martial arts, dancing and singing and then we have Hinode Taiko, a Japanese drum group," Teramura says.

"They are kind of like the house band. They’re the pavilion’s main draw. If you were to ask people what they remember from our pavilion in the past, it’s always Hinode Taiko."

This year the pavilion will celebrate Tanabata or "star festival", an annual celebration held during various days between July and August in Japan.

"There will be a wishing tree," Teramura says. "People will come into the pavilion and they’ll write a wish on a piece of paper and attach it to the tree. It’s to bring good luck."

A third generation Japanese-Canadian, Teramura says Folklorama and the Japanese pavilion help keep his culture alive and well.

"The heritage has always been something that’s been close to me," says Teramura, 57.

"My parents were always involved in the Japanese community and we’ve always tried to encourage our kids to get involved as well. It’s a part of who we are. I just think it’s important that people celebrate their heritage and pass it on to other people.

"One of the things we’ve noticed is that fourth and fifth generation Japanese-Canadians know less about the culture than previous generations. As much as the Japanese pavilion is a learning experience for people of other cultures, it’s also important for our culture as well.

"We find that the people in the Japanese community who don’t get involved with the other cultural things that go on throughout the year at least come out to Folklorama. It’s the one time we see a lot of people from the community and eventually we’d like to get them involved in more things as well."

The Japanese pavilion runs from Aug. 11 to 17 at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall (515 College Ave.).

For more information, go to www.folklorama.ca.

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