See The Twelfth Night in KABUKI Style at Victoria Fringe Festival

The Twelfth Night

Victoria Fringe festival is one of the oldest Fringe festivals in Canada and they are back again this year with over 300 performances from all over the world for the next 11 days. It is one of my favourite annual events in Victoria and my husband and I have been looking forward to this year’s too.

I am thrilled that my favourite Japanese troupe is coming back to Victoria Fringe – RakuJuku with Show Ryuzanji.This will be RakuJuku’s first time in Canada.

We saw Hanafuda Denki from Ryuzanji Company last year and LOVED it. I saw it twice, my husband saw it three times. It was something I have never seen before. The year, Mr. Ryuzanji is bringing RakuJuku.

RakuJuku can be loosely translated as “Having Fun Troupe”. It was created by Show Ryuzanji in 1997 who wanted to have fun with “regular” people with a lot of experience in life – people over the age of 45. Now RakuJuku is well known as a pioneer of senior acting troupes, which is quite popular in Japan. The members of RakuJuku believe that watching something joyful makes you happy. I believe so too!

This year, they’re bringing an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to Fringe. The original story is about two shipwrecked twins who get separated upon arrival on a shore. Each has their own adventures including multiple love triangles. The adaptation by Ryuzanji is named “The Twelfth Night in KABUKI Style” and set in old time Japan. Energetic actors with an average age of 61(!) will perform in Japanese with English subtitles. There will be original music and dance in gorgeous kimono costumes. You won’t be bored with this Shakespeare! I’ve been following their Japanese blog and I know they ran this in Tokyo (This is not their first year of this particular production, They’ve done The Twelfth Night few times already and we are getting an improved version.) and been sold out pretty much every day.

Ryuzanji won the Best of Fringe Award in 2000 with Educating Mad Persons and the Pick of the Fringe Award in 2012 with Hanafuda Denki.

The troupe is arriving this weekend. Show starts on August 27th (Venue: Metro Studio) Be prepared to arrive early, as their shows often sell out.

First Step of World Domination

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I’ve just returned from my first World Domination Summit. This was my first time at WDS, and also first time in Oregon.

Water fountain

As I heard from many people, Portland is a beautiful city. Although I spent most of my time at the conference, I very much enjoyed my strolls downtown.

WDS T-shirt

What is World Domination Summit? The answer varies. As I was coming home, one of the TSA agents at Portland airport said “I’ve seen lots of people wearing the same shirt as you, and asked what the conference was about, but everyone’s answers have been very vague.” Then he asked me for my version of the answer: “Creative people getting together to inspire each other to have unconventional life.” At least, the TSA agent said my answer was the best he’d heard. Ha.

audience

2800 people. Two days. It was a little crazy just how many people were there. I missed few people I knew was coming, simply because there were so many OTHER people! I *almost* didn’t have a chance to look for anybody I knew, as whenever I stop and look around, someone would approach me and introduce themselves. It’s not a bad thing, though.

I made a whole bunch of new friends and gained so much insight, knowledge, and inspiration. Every session was amazing, but here are three highlights for me.

Darren Rowse

He is THE Problogger. Anybody working online space knows him, but I was surprised some people had no idea who he was – which is actually a cool thing about WDS. All kinds of people in the spectrum.

But this talk wasn’t about problogging. Darren talked about dreams. He shared his story and told us to take responsibility for our future. Right now, this every day life we’re living is literally shaping your future. So do something every day to get closer to your dreams. He literally made us tell a fellow attendee what our dreams are. And he encouraged us to share the dream ten times a day. This will give us accountability. At this time, I identified my dream as working to connect Japan and the World. That is my dream. Sure, of course it requires courage to identify your dream. But Darren told us how important it is to know what we want and we need to take action.

Another thing he taught us, among others is, to Become Obsessed With Being Useful. This is why Problogger and Digital Photography School is so susssessful. What a great lesson.

After his talk, so many people were saying how humble, nice, and approachable he was. I felt the same…I also attended his Problogegr Academy Workshop on the second day, and again, he was giving away so much information for us bloggers. He actually stayed WAY after the session to answer as many questions as possible. What a great guy. I learned some very important tips I had never thought of before about my blog…and I implemented as soon as I got home. Thank you, Darren.

Jia Jiang

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I had no idea who he was and what his story was about. (Which is one thing I was so impressed with WDS. I didn’t know many of the speakers but their stories were all absolutely amazing. By the end of the first day, I learned to trust the WDS crew.) Jia’s story was this. Everyone hates rejections. We all take it so personally. After he was rejected by an investor for his startup, he decided to do 100 days of rejection therapy, in order to de-sensitize himself from fear of rejection. He asked a stranger to lend him $100, and rang the doorbell of a stranger and asked if he could play soccer in their backyard. Amazing thing is, some people said YES! If you’re like me and haven’t seen his famous donut video — you have to see it here. Such a great story.

Another amazing thing about his life is, he has the most supportive wife. When he quit the job four days before his first baby was born, his wife gave him six months to pursue his dream. Four months in, when he was rejected and devasted, this is what she said to him; “I gave you six months, not four.” How awesome is she?! Love, love, loved his talk. Thank you Jia.

Gretchen Rubin

Credit: Chris GuillebeauShe is a blogger and the author of The Happiness Project. I own it, read it, but other than that, I didn’t know too much about her. Her presentation was great – very entertaining. Great speaker. Gretchen presented bunch of questions to us that will help us find out who we are and what we really want to do to be happy.

First one was “Who do you envy?” —Honestly, I am still trying to figure this one out. I don’t necessarily “envy” anybody….hmmm I guess someone like Richard Branson?! I don’t think that’s an envy thought, it’s more like admiration. Still trying to figure this out but I can see this is a great question to ask yourself.  You envy somebody who has what you want and doing what you want to do.Also “What do you lie about?” and “What do you do for fun?” are good questions to ask, she said—If you have hard time answering what you do for fun, she said to think about what we did for fun when we were 10 years old. This will show you what your essential self (I’m currently reading “Finding Your Own North Star” and that’s the phrase used instead of “Social Self” which you create to satify expectations from others and what you “should” be doing. Anyway, I digress.) For example, she loved making books when she was 10 – and now she’s an author. Her sister loved watching TV and now she is a TV writer…etc. When I pondered this question, what I used to love to do when I was 10, and still now is — reading books. And I felt kind of stuck. Is there a job where I can read books all day and get paid?! My husband said that means I would be a writer and also do book reviews…I’m not 100% convinced, but I will definitely keep you posted. Also I would love your opinion if you know what this implies for my dream job.

I know everybody took away different things from WDS, but for me it felt like that the message throughout WDS was “Follow your dream” “Find our who you are”…I had this vague idea of what I’d like to do, but maybe somehow, always felt like it was “just a dream”. Like it will never come true. WDS made me realize that the first step of World Domination is to know what my dreams are. Then take action every day to get closer and closer…until one day it is no longer a dream, but your reality.

Chris Guillebeau

Finally, I would like to thank Chris Guillebeau for hosting WDS — He is this guy who is quiet and unassuming, yet he has firm vision on what he wants to see happen. I’ve listed him as the person who influenced me back in 2011, and he still is on the list 2 years later. Thank you for being you, Chris, and see you next year.

VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair

When I first came to Victoria in 1998, I didn’t know any Japanese people in Victoria. I was a young mother in the early ‘20s and I didn’t know much about living in Canada, let alone anywhere else in the world. Eventually, I met few Japanese people and learned some great tips on living in Canada. Where to get great Japanese food and how to re-create the culture without leaving Victoria, etc.
Now, 14 years later, Victoria has a significantly larger Japanese community and there are at least four main groups/societies out there. When Japan was hit by the Earthquake and Tsunami in March 11, 2011, all these groups joined together to fundraise to help the victims. We are very lucky to have such active community here.

One of the groups is Victoria Nikkei Cultural Socety(VNCS). The purpose of the society is to promote the awarness of Japanese culture, represent the Japanese community, support other Japanese organizations, and to serve the need of the Nikkei community. I am a member of VNCS and it has been great source of information for anything Japanese in Greater Victoria, in BC, and in Canada for me.

This weekend, Saturday, October 20th is their annual Japanese Cultural Fair. It will be held at Esquimalt Recreation Center (527 Fraser St) from 10:00am − 4:00pm. It is a FREE family event where you can experience many traditional Japanese culture with demonstrations of Ikebana(Flower arrangement), Tea Ceremony, Bonsai, Shodo(Calligraphy), Sumi-e(Ink-wash painting), Kendo and Aikido. There will be food sales(Sushi and sweet Manju desserts), performances by Uminari Taiko, Furusato Dancers, Koto by Satomi Edwards, and Japanese School Children’s Choir, just to name a few. There will be kids activities as well.

This is a major fundraiser for VNCS. Please support by stopping by with the whole family. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society Japanese Cultural Fair
When: Saturday, October 20th, 2012 10:00am – 4:00pm
Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre (527 Fraser Street)                                       Admission: Free

Here is Facebook event.

For more information, please visit www.vncs.ca

Fashion with Passion Fundraising Gala for Women In Need

I’ve worked with Tami Tate from Triple T Consulting last year for Courtnall Celebrity Classis Golf Tournament. We were two of about ten women who helped as Silent Auction cabinet. After the successful event, we got together for a meal and I had an absolute blast meeting and connecting with powerful women in the cabinet.

So I was delighted to hear from Tami, asking me to model for a fashion show for WIN(Women In Need) fundraising gala on Friday, May 4th.

WIN has been in greater Victoria community for 20 years, supporting women and creating opportunity for self-sufficiency. It’s a cooperative; they work together with other organizations such as Bridges For Women Society, Transition House, and Inter-Cultural Association.

I was in WIN Cook Street store the other day to try on various outfits from the consignment store. You wouldn’t believe the quality. Shoko, who works at WIN picked some excellent items for me. I am dying to tell you what I’m wearing, but I’ll leave it as a surprise.

This was my first time to be in a WIN store, and I was reminded that I should shop there often; having a toddler boy means that you are constantly looking for new clothes for him as he wear them out very quickly. You’ll be supporting women in your community by shopping for what you need; it literally is WIN WIN.

I’m excited to be part of Fashion with Passion event – it will be held at Ocean Pointe this Friday, May 4th. Tickets are available online. I hope to see you there.

What: WIN’s fourth annual Fashion with Passion Fundraising Gala

Dinner, Live auction and fashion show

When: Friday, May 4th, 2012

Where: Delta Ocean Pointe Resort

Ticket: $80 for an individual ticket.  Tables of 10 can be purchased.