Living, laughing, and aging gracefully

Independence, respect, dignity, privacy, choice—five cornerstones of adulthood that are too often forgotten when the time comes to face the changes in lifestyle that are a natural part of aging. While many seniors maintain a degree of independence well into their later years, there comes a time when some level of support is needed—with the need generally increasing over time.

The Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to providing supportive housing for Japanese seniors. The Society operates two residential facilities: Nikkei Home, a Supportive Housing and Assisted Living residence, and New Sakura-so, a housing complex for independent seniors aged 55 and over.

Our proud history

The Society began in September 1975 as the Japanese Canadian Society to establish housing for Japanese Canadians and Sakura-so, and merged in 2000 with the Japanese Canadian Health Care Society of BC which was created to build a care facility.  By merging these two organizations the new organization was renamed Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society (“Nikkei Seniors”)

The organization is a charitable non-profit group which is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected.  Nikkei Seniors has been dedicated to the care of seniors and adopted a vision for ‘Kenko de nagaiki’ which translated to a life with good health and vitality for all.  

Key Milestones

1988

  • Joined the Nikkei Place site management committee.

1998

  • Conducted a survey in the Japanese Canadian community to find out would seniors living in a supportive housing provide.
  • Opened New Sakura-so – a 34 unit seniors’ independent apartment in partnership with HomesBC.

2001

  • Received conditional support to building a supportive housing project.

2002

  • Opened Nikkei Home Assisted Living – a 59 unit assisted living home for seniors in partnership with the Fraser Health Authority and HomesBC.

2010

  • A needs survey in the Japanese Canadian senior community.  Key findings – more education, programs to support caregivers and programs to support seniors independence.

2013

  • Development of a dementia friendly day program for seniors and project funding to support 3 additional sites.

2015

  • Donation received and renovation to 5 units to be retrofitted for a ceiling track.

2016

  • Renaming of Nikkei Home to Robert Nimi Nikkei Home.

2018

  • Open of 5 enhanced units at Robert Nimi Nikkei Home
  • Opening of the Kenko Wellness Lounge for programs and outreach. 
  • Renovation to the Iwasaki Room at New Sakura-so.
  • Established a Restricted Endowment Fund.

2019

  • Over 7 years, the Nikkei Place Charity Golf Tournament has raised over $350,000 to support Nikkei Seniors.

Our mission and vision

Our mission is to provide supportive and independent housing, and care for seniors in our community. We value Independence, Respect, Dignity, Privacy & Choice. These five cornerstones of adulthood are too often forgotten when the time comes to face the changes in lifestyle that are a natural part of aging.

• Living with a feeling of anshin (relief)
• Feeling happy, valued and respected
• Feeling supported and connected to
the community
• Enjoying life as much as possible
• Living safely and living at home

Our Board of Directors

Ruth Coles

President

Ruth was educated at UBC and the University of Toronto where she received her Master of Social Work degree. She worked in the health care field for over 30 years as a social worker in management and leadership roles in Diversity Services. She advocates for caring and compassionate care, barrier free services and community building. Ruth has been active with the NSHCHS for over 35 years as Vice President and President since 2010.

Hiroshi Yamamoto

Vice President

Hiroshi came to Canada alone in 1971 from Tokyo when he was 19 and studied Civil Engineering at UBC. Early in his career he worked as an engineer on design and construction but now has a successful career in commercial real estate. Remembering the Nikkei people who have helped him, he wants to give back to the community and to pass on to the next generation Nikkei history, values, wisdom, and spirit. He enjoys hiking and backpacking.

Jack Domitsu, CPA

Treasurer

Jack came to Canada from Japan at age 2 and attended the Toronto Japanese School (Hoshū Kō). After studying accounting at the University of Waterloo, he went on to obtain his US CPA and worked for 10 years in the Tokyo office of PwC in mergers and acquisitions. Through his work at NSHCHS, Jack hopes to give back to the Nikkei community and provide support to its seniors.

Yuki Kurozumi

Assistant Treasurer

Bio coming soon

Marcia Carr, RN, BN, MS, GNC(C), NCA

Director

A Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Medicine Program in Fraser Health, Marcia has been a registered nurse for over 40 years and in the last 20 years has been dedicated to geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry. She loves every moment of being in her profession, and as a director of NSHCHS, she is committed to providing the best care to Nikkei seniors. Marcia is also an adjunct faculty member with UBC, University of Victoria, SFU, and McMaster University.

C. Keiko Funahashi

Director

Raised in Vancouver and on the island of Shikoku, Japan, her multilingual and multicultural upbringing led Keiko to a career in English language education for non-native speakers. She is passionate about contributing to the community with her skills in educational program development and English-Japanese translation. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from UBC and a Master’s degree in education from Stanford University.

Asae Tanaka, MSc, MD, CCFP

Director

Asae was born in Japan and came to Vancouver at age 8. Having coached competitive swimming, her love of teaching took her into the field of Medicine. She has initially worked in rural BC as a locum and emergency physician, and then settled back in Vancouver where she now takes care of Japanese-speaking patients as a family doctor. She also helps those who are not her patients through Nikka Health Care Society that focuses on education and prevention.

Tom Teranishi

Director

Tom has been on the Board of the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society since its incorporation as a society in 1986. He worked professionally as a Social Worker in the health field for 38 years. He has also been active in several volunteer organizations such as the Lions Society, Metro Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, BC Brain Injury Assoc., and BC Paraplegic Assoc.

Tom’s motto: “Making a difference by being involved”.

Brian Tsuji

Director

Brian is a highly experienced immigration lawyer with more than 30 years of experience. He works out of Davis LLP’s Vancouver office. He speaks Japanese and English and has worked in Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver. He has represented clients from more than 50 countries. Brian is a past national Executive Member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Immigration Section and a past Chairman of the CBA British Columbia Immigration Section. Brian is also a director of the Nikkei Place Foundation.

Jay Haraga

Director

Jay Haraga is currently the Director of Operations in BC and Business Development for Western Canada at Bento Inc for more than 8 years. Having an extensive 25 years of being in the public sector for food, beverage and operations. After graduating with a diploma from Douglas College for Human Kinetics, he pursued his passion of movies and worked in the theatre entertainment industry for 14 yrs, while serving on the Motion Picture Theatre Association of BC. Born in Canada, he has lived on the west coast his whole life, Jay hopes to give back to the Nikkei community, while understanding his Japanese heritage and culture.

2 Seniors Residences

NSHCHS runs Robert Nimi Nikkei Home (Assisted Living) & New Sakura-so (Independent Living 55+)

Seniors Care & Programs

We provide care services and programs for our residents as well as programs that are open to the public.

Community Centered

We are keeping seniors connected to community.