Canada-Japan Literary Awards Ceremony and Japanese Music Concert “Musical Journey through Japan”


On January 25th, the Embassy of Japan, in conjunction with the Canada Council for the Arts, hosted the 2014 Canada-Japan Literary Awards Ceremony and a Japanese music concert entitled “A Musical Journey through Japan.” More than 140 people attended this special event celebrating Japanese music and literary excellence.

Ambassador Okuda opened the event by thanking the Canada Council for the Arts for their hard work in overseeing the Canada-Japan Literary Awards for the past 25 years. Furthermore, he expressed his hope that by attending the concert and reading the award winning books, more Canadians will form a closer bond with the people of Japan as well as gain a greater appreciation of Japanese culture.


This year’s Canada-Japan Literary Awards went to Ms. Ruth Ozeki, author of “A Tale for the Time Being” (Penguin Canada Books Inc.) in the English book category and to Mr. Michel Régnier, author of “Seize tableaux du Mont Sakurajima” (Editions Philippe Picquier) in French book category. (For more information please see the announcement by the Canada-Japan Literary Awards by the Canada Council for the Arts)

The winners received certificates and a memento along with congratulations from Ambassador Okuda and Mr. Roger Gaudet, the Director of the Arts Disciplines Division at Canada Council for the Arts. Following the awards presentation, Mr. Régnier said a few words on his feelings about receiving the award and his affection for Japan, as expressed in his novel. Unfortunately, Ms. Ozeki was unable to attend due to bad weather, however, her publisher read a message on her behalf. The publishers were also given certificates as a thank you for their efforts.   


Following the award ceremony, the audience had the chance to enjoy a Japanese music concert, entitled “A Musical Journey through Japan.” Two Japanese musicians, Ms. Ryoko Itabashi, from Gatineau and Mr. Scott Kusano, from Toronto, played a selection of folk songs from around the country on the Tsugaru-shamisen, Japanese taiko drums, shakuhachi and shinobue flutes. Their involvement of the audience and passionate performance helped to evoke the customs and regional festivals which exist across Japan.



Ambassador Okuda making opening remarks



From left: Mr. Roger Gaudet; Mr. Michel Régnier and Ambassador Okuda


Ms. Wendy Bush-Lister, receiving a certificate from Roger Gaudet




From left: Ambassador and Mrs. Okuda, Michel Régnier, Jury member Ms. Andrée Christensen, Ms. Wendy Bush-Lister of Penguin Canada Books Inc., Jury member Ms. Margaret Lock and Mr. Roger Gaudet



Japanese Music Performance




Ms. Itabashi and Mr. Kusano receiving a round of applause from the audience.