2015 Kaiso Day Community BBQ
Kaiso Day is a time when many dojos around the world honour our founder by “giving back” to the community in someway. It takes place in May, the month that Kaiso, Doshin So, passed away in 1980. In 2015, members of the Vancouver Branch (Trout Lake and Vancouver Pacific dojos) tried something new. We partnered with the Vancouver Neighbourhood House Association and on Sunday May 17th closed down a half block of a local street in Mount Pleasant for a community barbeque and mini Japanese festival. In addition to serving free tasty food like grilled chicken skewers, salmon and Japanese inspired hotdogs, there was music, taiko drumming, kids’ face-painting, origami and of course Shorinji Kempo demonstrations. This was a first for our club, and, thanks to everyone working together, it was a great success! Many members contributed their time, energy and talents, and we were supported by a Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grant, and generous donations of fresh food from local businesses. About 500 people from the local community showed up and by all accounts enjoyed the food and demonstrations and some were even brave enough to try a few Shorinji Kempo techniques. We also took pride in making it a sustainable event, including promoting local food and producing “zero waste”. Even though it was a lot of work, we had fun working together and it was rewarding to see everyone enjoying themselves. Some people asked us why we were doing this, and it was nice to be able to say, “just to give back to the community”. We like to think Kaiso would have approved.