To answer your Japanese question: Iee. I haven't really taken the time to really learn Japanese as a language. But I did know one guy who took Japanese language studies at the U of A. I'm well aware of how fiendishly difficult that language is! However, I'm learning a different and more important one now - ASL, or American Sign Language, as I know a lot of my friends who are either Deaf or hard of hearing(that's what I am). There really isn't any such thing as a Canadian Sign Language. A little more difficult than you think, because ASL grammar is much more similar to French or Russian than English!
Anyhow, about your thread - it's kind of interesting. You're damn right a lot of those Japanese restaurants tend to be run and staffed by Chinese. There really are a lot of cooks in Japanese restaurants in Edmonton who are Chinese. The Mikado's even begun hiring an Anglo-Canadian cook to work at the robata grill, as well as other duties. The Mikado is run by a Japanese-Canadian manager and owner, though. I don't know if you know where Mikado set up its new restaurant, I'm sure might, but in case you don't, I'd give you the location anyways - 109 Street and 104 Avenue. That's right next to where the Rathole is being taken down. I did go to Sakura on 101st Street once - it wasn't half bad at all.
Hmmm. The Sicilian Kitchen and Bua Thai, I've never really been to those places, but I'll try them sometimes!