2019 Natsu Matsuri – Japanese Summer Festival

On July 21st, the Embassy of Japan joined the 15th annual Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival), which was held by the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) of Ottawa at Ottawa City Hall. This event was held with the support of the Embassy of Japan. Despite the heat, an estimated 2500 people attended the event throughout the day.
 
The Embassy of Japan set up a booth to promote Embassy’s cultural events, the JET Programme, MEXT scholarship, and held interactive activities such as an elastic-gun shooting range, tea workshop, and demonstration of the ukiyo-e technique. The Embassy of Japan also worked together with JETAA and Enbridge to offer hotdogs. At this year’s festival a record 25 organizations participated by setting up booths to promote their activities, including non-profits, community associations, student clubs, artists, and local Japanese businesses. Guests enjoyed many other attractions such as, trying on kimono, ikebana, artwork inspired by Japanese ghost stories, and tea ceremony.
 
In addition to many booths, there was also a full performance schedule throughout the day, supported in part by the Embassy of Japan. This included demonstrations of traditional martial arts such as karate, kendo, and judo, as well as traditional yosakoi and odori dancing, taiko drumming, and a musical performance including shamisen.
 
Remarks were given by Mr. Akira Imamura, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Canada, Mr. Brandon Wallace, President of JETAA Ottawa, and Ms. Melisa Kamibayashi-Staples, President of the Ottawa Japanese Community Association. Minister Imamura explained the history and importance of the JET Programme in drawing Japan and Canada closer together, and linked its success to recent events such as the implementation of the CPTPP and increased Canadian tourists to Japan. Mr. Brandon Wallace spoke of his experience on JET and the history of the Natsu Matsuri. Ms. Melisa Kamibayashi-Staples spoke about the Japanese community in Ottawa and the importance of the annual Natsu Matsuri festival.
 
Mr. Akira Imamura, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, gives remarks Ms. Melisa Kamibayashi-Staples, President of OJCA, gives remarks Mr. Brandon Wallace, President of JETAA Ottawa, gives remarks
The Embassy of Japan’s booth Guests enjoy learning about the ukiyo-e technique at the Embassy of Japan’s booth Guests fill out wishes to place on the tanabata tree at the Embassy of Japan’s booth A guest receives a free hot dog
Oto-Wa Taiko performs The audience watches Tateyama Dojo demonstrate kendo The audience watches, and participates in a yosakoi dance
Ottawa Shotokan Karate-do demonstrates karate Ryoko Itabashi and her daughters perform traditional music using the shamisen and Taiko drums Takahashi Dojo demonstrates Judo to the crowd
Guests enjoy putting on kimono at the booth set up by the Ottawa Japanese Community Association Guests line up at the booths Guests look at Japanese art inspired by Japanese ghost stories