Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club (TCHC) is an amateur independent hockey team made up of Canadians, Americans and Japanese nationals. The team was founded in the mid 1990’s with the idea of providing an opportunity for foreigners and native Japanese to come together and play a common game, ice hockey. The team travels throughout the year domestically in Japan and internationally to neighboring Asian countries for games and exhibitions.
TCHC also participates in domestic Japanese and international charities. Within Japan, TCHC regularly participates in, and donates to, the Terry Fox Run/Run for Hope. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, TCHC has been actively involved in volunteering, donating to and working with charities in the Tohoku region.
Other initiatives include:
i) two Club members serve as Nadia
executives, an NPO offering on the ground relief in Tohoku;
ii) raised more than JPY 1M in direct donations and regular trips to the affected areas by club members, including relief efforts in the Ishinomaki area and work through the Canadian Embassy at Otsuchi;
iii) hosted a charity game with HMCS Ottawa which raised $7,000 CDN;
iv) hosted a Smile & Dream
charity hockey weekend in Yokohama during which TCHC brought a children’s hockey team from Ishinomaki to Yokohama. Other activities included an awards banquet and a tour of Yokohama for the Ishinomaki families. TCHC was able to work with friends and families to provide funds, equipment, and athletic clothing for the children.
TCHC also directly supports Father Joe’s Mercy Centre
in Bangkok, Thailand. For over eight years the Canadians have been sponsoring a child, Lek, from the orphanage. With TCHC’s help, Lek was able to complete her schooling in Bangkok in 2011 and is currently attending a UN university in the Norway.
Every year while in Bangkok for an international hockey tournament, TCHC members visit the orphanage and many of the children attend TCHC games to cheer on the team.
For more information on upcoming tournaments and previous tournament results, please see the Tournaments
section of this site.
The Tokyo Canadians also host biannual fund raising parties, with partial proceeds going to support local charities such as the Y.M.C.A. Special Children's Fund (Tokyo) and Father Joe Maier's Human Development Center in Bangkok, Thailand.
History of the Team
In the Beginning...
In 1991 and 1992 current Tokyo Canadians Brent Carlson and Mike LaRose along with alumnus John Richmond, joined a rag tag group of hockey playing Tokyoites who banded together to go to Seoul, Korea to play in a tournament. The Tokyo team won both tournaments and after returning to Tokyo on both occasions they thought it would be great to get a Canadian team together in Tokyo on a more regular/formal basis.
At the time LaRose was still in university playing hockey for the Toyo University varsity team while Richmond and Carlson were toiling for different teams in the Tokyo Men's League.
Nothing really happened until...
...a sweltering 36-degree Celcius weekend at the end of July, 1995 the Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club was formed and, with select members of the Tokyo Canadian Club, a social club for Canadians and friends of Canada living in Tokyo, went on the road to an Ikaho onsen in Gunma-ken.
Then TCC President Connie Kaneko and former Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Neil Moody, a founding TCHC member, persuaded some hockey 'has-beens' to take up the invitation of the Gunma Seals Hockey Club's Masami Ueki and off we went to enjoy the soothing baths and the seething competition.
Group camaraderie was the strong suit from the moment they departed Ueno station, with everyone getting acquainted over lunch and afternoon pleasure skating. Before starting the first game, they had to chase away the fog gathering on the ice at Ikaho's mountain top sports complex. The hockey team then got down to brass tacks and despite falling behind while shorthanded, they were able to rally after Connie and Sasaki Manabu (the honorary Canadian) "explained" the rules to the referee. On the sidelines the Canadian Embassy's own John Tennant led an assorted group of Canadian and Japanese 'friendlies' in some spirited vocalizing while on-ice leadership was provided by Gord "Howe Elbows" Kask and Nathan "the Saskatchewan Streak" McLeod. In the end, the Canadians prevailed 11-7, and then it was back to the ryokan for some real fun.
Sated by an outstanding dinner and lulled to sleep by the karaoke crooning of Gordo and Eddie Takaya, we bedded down secure in the knowledge that Canadian-style hockey could overcome the fiercest competition while the Seals had nightmares about how to stop Speedy Stadnichuk, Thundering Takaya and Komet Koszec. Needless to say, it couldn't be done and the Canucks skinned the Seals 10-0 the following morning to repay them for their gracious hospitality.
Congratulations and commiserations were exchanged over the ceremonial luncheon after which all enjoyed some hard-earned sight-seeing before boarding the bus for the return leg.