2023 New Year Reception

On January 19, Ambassador Yamanouchi and Mrs. Yamanouchi hosted the 2023 New Year Reception at their residence. Approximately 70 guests attended this event, including Japanese nationals and Japanese Canadians living in the Ottawa area.

As his opening remarks, Ambassador Yamanouchi, after reflecting on Japan-Canada relations in 2022, underlined the historical significance of the year 2023 as the 95th anniversary of Japan-Canada relations and the outcome of the visit of Prime Minister Kishida to Ottawa on January 12. The Ambassador also expressed his hopes to continue to work with Japanese Canadians and Japanese nationals in Ottawa to further advance Japan-Canada relations. The Ambassador’s remarks were followed by Kagami-biraki*, a traditional sake barrel opening ceremony performed at celebratory events.

Mr. Shima, Chef of Ambassador Yamanouchi, prepared a variety of Japanese dishes for the occasion, including osechi (a set of Japanese festive dishes served on New Year’s Day), sushi and tempura. Japanese sake from different regions were also served.
An ikebana flower arrangement by Ms. Anne Breau, President of the Ikebana International Ottawa Chapter, and Kakizome (first calligraphy of the year) by the students of Ottawa Hoshuko were displayed.

Opening remarks by Ambassador Yamanouchi

Kagami-biraki ceremony by Ambassador Yamanouchi and guests

Kakizome work by Ottawa Hoshuko students Ikebana flower arrangement by Ms. Anne Breau

 *Kagami-biraki is a ceremony performed at celebratory events in Japan. ‘Kagami’ refers to the lid of the sake barrel, and ‘biraki’ means ‘to open’, so kagami-biraki literally means, ‘opening the lid’. Because of its round shape, ‘kagami’ is also as symbol of harmony. Kagami-biraki therefore represents an opening to harmony and good fortune, and is often performed to celebrate the New Year and the start of a new departure in life or business.