Japan Festival – 90 Years of Canada-Japan Relations with CUJA

On March 10, with the support of the Embassy of Japan and Carleton University, Carleton University Japanese Association (CUJA) held a “Japan Festival – 90 Years of Canada-Japan Relations” on campus, in association with the Ottawa Japanese Community Association (OJCA) and the Japanese Enthusiast Language Learning Organization of Ottawa University (JELLO). The event presented a good opportunity to learn and experience Japanese culture through various seminars and activities. 

In the opening ceremony, Mr. Takuya Sasayama, Minister of the Embassy of Japan, expressed his gratitude to Carleton University and CUJA for organizing the Japan Festival, which was significant to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Japan and Canada diplomatic relations and Japan, and emphasized the importance of promoting mutual understanding through students’ cultural exchanges. In their remarks, Dr. Jacob Kovalio, Associate Professor of Department of History and Ms. Yoko Azuma Prikryl, Japanese language instructor of School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, hoped that the Japan Festival would be a good opportunity to become familiar with Japanese culture and expected more students to study about Japan.

On the stage, cultural performances were kicked off by Ryoko Itabashi, “Tsugaru-Jamisen” musician with her two young daughters playing a variety of traditional Japanese instruments, such as the shamisen, fue flute and taiko drums. “Tsugaru-Jamisen” is a Shamisen playing style rooted in the northern part of Japan. Next, demonstrations of Japanese fencing “Kendo” by the Carleton University Kendo Club and Japanese folk dance “Bon Odori” by the Minyo Kai Group were presented. The Minyo Kai Group also had a “Bon Odori” workshop and set-up a booth to experience wearing a kimono.  Finally, Mrs. Rebecca Cragg, President of Camellia Teas of Ottawa, performed a tea ceremony and a workshop. Guests were invited to come onto the stage and have tea, and one lucky guest experienced being dressed in a proper kimono.

In the hall, the Embassy of Japan and JET Alumni Association of Ottawa had booths and promoted a study in Japan program, the JET program, Working Holiday visas and Japan’s hosting of major sport events such as the Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic.  Besides that were some booths that offered workshops focusing on Japanese culture including calligraphy, Japanese sweets, karuta, and origami.
A haiku contest went on throughout the event, with winners chosen for English and Japanese and an award given at the end by a representative of the Embassy and Ms. Elizabeth Sowka, Japanese language instructor of School of Linguistics and Language Studies.

 
Remarks from Minister Sasayama
 
Remarks from Dr. Jacob Kovalio
 
Ms. Yoko Azuma Prikryl giving remarks
 
Ms. Ryoko Itabashi with her daughters performing Tsugaru Shamisen and other instruments
 
Ms. Ryoko Itabashi with her daughters performing Tsugaru Shamisen and other instruments
 
Carleton University’s kendo club demonstration kendo
 
Performance by Minyo Kai Group Minyo Kai Group’s “Bon Odori” workshop Minyo Kai Group’s Kimono-wearing experience workshop
 
Ms. Rebecca Cragg’s tea ceremony workshop (Part 1)
 
Ms. Rebecca Cragg’s tea ceremony workshop (Part 2)
 
Calligraphy workshop
 
Making Japanese sweets workshop Tea ceremony workshop Embassy of Japan’s booth (right) and JET Alumni Association’s booth (left)