The 33rd Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa

On Saturday, March 5, the Embassy of Japan and the Organizing Committee for the Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa held the 33rd Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa. The Japanese Speech Contest in Ottawa had been held at the Embassy of Japan’s Information and Culture Centre, but this year following last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the contest was again held virtually. The contest was organized with the support of Carleton University, the Japan Foundation Toronto, and Mitsui Canada Foundation.
22 contestants who are currently studying Japanese delivered their speeches covering various topics, refined after weeks of practice, and expressed their strong feelings and opinions. The contest was livestreamed on the Embassy’s Facebook page and was viewed by family and friends of contestants as well as many students who are studying Japanese.

During the event, Ambassador KAWAMURA Yasuhisa delivered his opening remarks. He said that everyone who is studying Japanese will become a future bridge between our countries and make our relationship stronger. He expressed his hope that through the efforts of today’s contestants, many will feel inspired to learn more about Japan, its language, and its culture.
The Canada National Japanese Speech Contest which is held following the regional contests that take place throughout Canada is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2022.
The results of the speech contest.
Beginners’ Category:
The 1st Prize: Ann Soong (University of Ottawa) “Mom-made Lunches”
The 2nd Prize: Julia Spencer (University of Ottawa) “My Life and Japan”
Intermediate Category:
The 1st Prize: Geneviève Haché (University of Ottawa) “The Fantastic Power of Books”
The 2nd Prize: Jennifer Kim (University of Ottawa) “The two “whys””
The 3rd Prize: Shirley Zhan (Carleton University) “The Popularity of Demon Slayer”
The 4th Prize: Sam Dizon (University of Ottawa) “Japanese Illusion Seen in Anime”
The 5th Prize: Emily Chen (University of Ottawa) “The influence of Yuzuru Hanyu on figure skating and on Japan”
The 6th Prize: Alyn Marsh (Carleton University) “My Japanese Family”
Advanced Category:
The 1st Prize: Jiajun Deng (Carleton University) “Not “sorry” but “thank you””
The 2nd Prize: Dilys Jiang (Carleton University) “My Pace”
Special Prizes:
Minh Binh (Carleton University) “Are you prepared?”
Maddison Brooks (Carleton University) “Who does the Japanese language belong to?”
Randy Labrecque (University of Ottawa) “Failure”

Ambassador Kawamura delivering opening remarks

Remarks by Ms. Sasaki, Chair of the Organizing Committee

Ms. Hooper, Chief Judge announcing results
and giving feedback to the contestants
Japanese cultural video screened during the judge’s deliberation

1st prize winners of beginner’s, intermediate, and advanced categories
(From left, Ann Soong, Geneviève Haché, Jiajun Deng)