Southern Alberta New Japanese Immigrant Association

photograph of a group of men and boys wearing white pants, shirts, coloured belts; one boy posed to hit wood plank with hand

Karate demonstration at the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre, Lethbridge, 2005. Kynan Gordon (Gosei) is doing the board breaking. Taka Kinjo is the second to the right adult in the back. He has reached the highest ranks of Karate and holds a 10th Degree black belt in the Gohaukai style of Karate. He is head of Canadian Gohakukai Karate-do Association. Taka Kinjo was awarded the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award in 2012. He has been inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, received the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Outstanding Albertan Award, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Lethbridge.

Photo courtesy of David Tanaka

The Southern Alberta New Japanese Immigrant Association was formed in 1977 to assist and welcome new immigrants into the community, to assist them in their respective fields of work and to encourage them to become independent as soon as possible after their arrival in Canada.

The Association established four Japanese language schools in the districts of Taber, Vauxhall, Bow Island and Grassy Lake. The Association also hosts a number of recreational activities, including golf and ping-pong tournaments, a New Year’s party and ski trips.

Yoshitaka "Taka" Kinjo arrived in Canada in 1971, and has been pillar of the Southern Alberta New Japanese Immigrants Association. He started a Karate Dojo (Karate school) in 1973, and soon became known for tailoring practice to help those with physical and other impairments.