The well-known “Group of 7” Canadian artists, greatly influenced by the French impressionists of the late 1800’s, were active in the first half of the 20th century. Their works remain imbedded in the psyche of the Canadian people.

None of “The Group of 8” members is a painter. We are a group of Japanese and Canadian professionals; writers, translators, interpreters, activists, scholars, and students, each choosing favorite colours to paint on their own literary canvas.

In the summer of 2011, we had a chance to get together and talk about work, studies, life and every day activities.
We decided to write about what we have been doing and thinking, and to set up our own web site. It will not have a rigid formal format. We want to keep a very open atmosphere.

Whether we like it not, Canada is not like the United States whose presence strongly impacts world news. Nevertheless, information on Canada is readily available in English through the Internet.

Although Japan and Canada are important trade partners, Japan is Canada’s third largest country for exports and fourth for imports, there is no fresh news in Japanese from Canada because no Japanese media are stationed here.

Occasionally, when important news occurs in Canada, for example the results of a Federal election, American- based reporters relay the news to Japan.

Unfortunately, there are very few interesting Canadian Internet sites in the Japanese language.

As a consequence, the image of Canada and the Canadian people for the majority of Japanese consists of iconic views of beautiful Vancouver, the majestic Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls and Anne of Green Gables. There is little of substance.

Understanding this situation, “The Group of 8” will write articles about Canadian life from our own experiences.

We all hope that you, who are interested in Canada and Canadian people, will find our Internet site of continuing interest.