About the Restoration

Japanese Charcoal Pit Kiln Restoration Project has been completed

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (SSI PARC) and Japanese Garden Society of Salt Spring Island (JGS SSI) are please to announce the completion of the restoration project of the Japanese Charcoal Pit Kiln.

The public opening of the kiln will be held on Sunday November 29th, 2015. At the opening event, the speakers will share their stories and knowledge about the history, restoration, and use of the charcoal kilns.

Time: Sunday November 29th from 1pm to 3 pm
Location: Japanese Charcoal Pit Kiln in Mouat Park

The site is on the left fork of the main path after the rain shelter on the right.

Two old pit kilns, one large and one small, that were used to make charcoal have been located in Mouat Park in Ganges. The kilns were built by Isaburo Tasaka who lived on Salt Spring Island in the early 1900s. The Tasakas used to live in the area behind Embe Bakery. Isaburo Tasaka made a living by fishing during the fishing season and making charcoal in the off-season. It is said that he was taught how to build this particular style of kiln by the Japanese Canadian pioneers on Galiano Island who originally came from Wakayama in Japan.

In January of this year, PARC and JGS took on the restoration project with the assistance of Steve Nemtin, who has extensive knowledge of the historical charcoal pit kilns on the Gulf Islands. The restoration was completed in November 2015 with the generous support of numerous people and organizations. We are very fortunate to have received grants from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Salt Spring Foundation, and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

For the project's progress, please check 'Updates' section of Charcoal Pit Kiln Restoration on this website.

The society will keep the fundraising campaign going to raise enough fund to restore the smaller kiln in the Park. We sincerely appreciate your financial support for the restoration. You can donate specifically to support this project. Please contact us for more details.

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To read the article about Isaburo Tasaka written by his grandson Chuck Tasaka published in the Discover Nikkei (October 2015 issue).
http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/2015/10/13/charcoal-kiln

This article was originally published in the Nikkei Image (Summer 2015, Volume 20, No. 2), a publication of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.

To read the article about the Japanese charcoal pit kilns on Salt Spring Island published in Gulf Islands Driftwood,
click here to download a pdf copy of the Driftwood article.

  • Driftwood Japanese Charcoal pit kilns

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On January 20th, 2015, interest groups met at the park behind Artspring and examined the Japanese charcoal pit kilns for the first time.

  • Rose Murakami Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Don Clogg and Steve Nemtin listen Rose
    Murakaki talking about Tasaka family at
    the entrance of Mouat Park
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Kirk Harris from PARC and Steve Nemtin
    examine the earth mound
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    PARC manager Dan Ovington measures
    the kiln
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Stone structure of the smaller kiln
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Steve Nemtin explains the structures of
    charcoal pit kilns
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Stone wall of the kiln on Galiano Island
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Restored pit kiln on Galiano Island
  • Japanese charcoal pit kilns salt spring mouat park
    Memorial plaque dedicated to the people
    from Wakayama in Japan at the Galiano
    Island site

An article about the restoration project of the Japanese charcoal pit kilns in Mouat Park is on the second page of the Spring 2015 newsletter. Click on the newsletter below to view.

  • JGS Spring 2015 Newsletter page 2

Click here to download a pdf copy of the Spring 2015 Newsletter.