Hello and welcome to Kiku Corner! We are sisters, Meinhilde and Tomiko, who love to cook, craft, decorate, and generally make pretty things. World travelers who currently reside in Toronto, we both have careers in other fields, but longed for a place to share our creative sides.


Why We Chose Kiku

The word ‘kiku’ means ‘chrysanthemum’ in Japanese, and is the Japanese imperial family seal. We are half Japanese-Canadian and half German, and the kiku is quite significant in the Japanese side of our family. In the 1920s and 1930s, our great grandparents ran a general store business about four hours north of Vancouver, BC, and owned a small, old, run-down boat named Kiku. As a young man in the 1930s, our Gichan (grandfather) fulfilled every captain’s dream and saved up to buy a new, larger boat for the family business, and he named it Kiku 2.

Unfortunately, World War II broke out soon after and even though our grandfather and his siblings were born in Canada, due to their Japanese ancestry,  they were stripped of their possessions and shipped to internment camps in the BC interior. The boat Kiku 2 was seized and never recovered. Decades after the war, our great-uncle owned a series of sailboats which he named Kiku 3, Kiku 4, and so on. The kiku makes an appearance in other family members’ stories as well, so naturally we felt it would be a nod to our family history to include it as part of our name and logo. 

Contact Meinhilde at meinhilde(@)kikucorner.com

Contact Tomiko at kikucorner (@) gmail.com

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Meinhilde and Tomiko signature

6 Replies to “Welcome!”

  1. heidi Wollman says: Reply

    I remember in our high school history books there was a photo of many of the boats confiscated during the war and Kiku was in the very foreground. It was one of the largest boats, if not the largest and you could read the name on it clearly. Any idea how to get a hold of an old Canadian history book from almost 40 years ago? Love your photo!

    1. Hi Heidi! That would be amazing to get the exact book! It might be difficult, but the image itself might be online somewhere…

      1. The Japanese Canadian History website includes a photo of confiscated boats at Annieville Dike in British Columbia. http://www.japanesecanadianhistory.net/the_war_years.htm

  2. I’m loving your blog! I’m a Japanese-Canadian living in Toronto as well 🙂 I look forwarding to comparing notes on local restos!

    1. Nice to meet you! What are you favourite restos in the city?

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