Open Doors Project

382 Powell Street

BUILT IN 1922 | SHOWA CLUB 1930 | KIYOOKA’S STUDIO 1982-1990

The Showa Club was an illegal gambling venue run by Etsuji Morii: “If the police came, a watchman on the sidewalk would push a warning button,” recalls Masajiro Miyazaki. Patrons would turn tables over and begin socializing over tea and cakes.    
"I think one of the touching things about the (Powell Street) festival is how it is already deeply involved in perpetuating the mythology of Japan, most of us have lost. We hold it in our mind’s eye as something both desirable, you know what I mean, that we treasure, but it’s slipped through our fingers long ago..." - Roy Kenzie Kiyooka (1926 - 1994), was an influential Canadian multi-media artist of national and international acclaim.

Artist Comments and Additional Information

This panel pays homage to Roy Kiyooka, whose studio was on Powell Street during the 1980s to 1990s. In 1930 the building was home to the Showa Club the neighborhood’s night club and gambling venue.The panel presents both the artist and a rendition of his photo-based work Powell Street Promenade (1978) to which the infamous Kiyooka grid of photographs repeats the image of tree, parking meter and pedestrian along Powell Street.

For more information on Roy Kiyooka
1. Reed: The Life and Works of Roy Kiyooka. Fumiko Kiyooka. Documentary, 2011.
2. Pacific Windows: Collected Poems of Roy K. Kiyooka. Edited by Roy Miki. 1997.
3. Mothertalk Life Stories of Mary Kiyoshi Kiyooka. Roy Kiyooka. 1997.
4. Pacific Rim Letters. Roy Kiyooka. 2005.
5. All Amazed for Roy Kiyooka. Edited by John O'Brian, Naomi Sawada and Scott Watson. 2002.
6. Roy Kiyooka fonds. Special Collections SFU Library. PDF