Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
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On the corner of 9th Ave and Mayor Magrath Drive South
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
T1J 3Z6
Phone: (403) 328-3511
Fax: (403) 328-0511
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Golden Maple Reception: Mark Sakamoto, Dr. Saga


Dates and Times:
Saturday, September 15th, 4:30pm to 9:00pm

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On Saturday September 15th Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden  and The University of Lethbridge present the Golden Maple Reception, with support from the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs, Ron and Joyce Sakamoto and The Lethbridge Herald. The reception will feature keynote speaker Mark Sakamoto and debut an exhibition of art, poetry, and calligraphy by Dr. Junichi Saga.    

Sakamoto’s 2017 memoir Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents beautifully chronicles the stories of his grandparents and their struggles during the war years. Forgiveness intertwines the compelling stories of Ralph MacLean and the Sakamotos as the war rips their lives and their humanity out of their grasp. But somehow, despite facing such enormous transgressions against them, the two families learned to forgive. Without the depth of their forgiveness, this book's author, Mark Sakamoto, would never have existed.  Forgiveness is a national best seller and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and the OLA Evergreen Award.    

The question and answer segment of the evening will be hosted by Dr. John Harding and David Tanaka. Dr. Harding is a professor of East Asian religions at the University of Lethbridge and the founding coordinator of the University’s Asian Studies program. David Tanaka spent a 30 year career in journalism working as a writer, editor, and executive publisher. He has lectured at Lethbridge College and he has a keen interest and deep knowledge of Japanese culture and Japanese– Canadian history.  

Dr. Junichi Saga wrote Memories of Silk and Straw and Memories of Wind and Rain, which chronicles the rural life of residents of Tsuchiura, located in Ibaraki Prefecture Japan. Saga’s best known work Confessions of a Yakuza provided inspiration for some lines of Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft album.  

Itinerary of the Evening:  

4:30pm to 6:00pm: Reception at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Guests will enjoy food, beverages and refreshments, and will enjoy the debut exhibition of art, calligraphy, and poetry by Dr. Junichi Saga. This portion of the evening is by invitation or reception ticket.  


6:45pm: The evening speaking event is at The University of Lethbridge room PE-250. Advanced tickets are available for purchase through Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. The event will begin with greetings from dignitaries.  

7:00pm: Mark Sakamoto Presentation.    

7:50pm: Question and Answer session hosted by Dr. John Harding and David Tanaka. 


8:20pm: Mix and mingle and book signing  



Complete Reception Tickets - Includes the debut of the Dr. Saga exhibition at the Garden and features food, beverages, refreshments, and premium seating to Mark Sakamoto’s speaking event at the University of Lethbridge. Cost is $50 and guests will receive a $25 charitable organization tax receipt.  

Guests can purchase their tickets by calling 403 328-3511 or at the Garden’s Visitors Centre  Reserved Seating - Purchase advanced tickets to Mark Sakamoto’s speaking event for $10.  Guests can purchase their advanced ticket by pickup at the Garden’s Visitors Centre. 

Go to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Main Page

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