The annual Japanese speech contest is always exciting but this year’s, held on March 4th at the Embassy of Japan, was sweeter because it was the first in-person contest since 2020. Despite a significant snowfall the night before, a healthy sized audience showed up to applaud the contestants after their speeches.

The Japanese ambassador, Mr. Kanji Yamanouchi, attended. Another honored guest was our director, Dr. Michael Rodgers, who gave a speech.

The 23 contestants from the Ottawa and Kingston regions were divided into four categories: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and open and Carleton students were represented in each. Students chose their topics and the variety of these was fascinating.

Here are prize recipients from Carleton:
Michael Han, 1st place in Intermediate category
Shirley Zhan, 2nd place in Intermediate category
Temitope Olorunfemi, 4th place in Intermediate category
Thomas Cheeseman, Special Prize
Max Wong, Special Prize

Michael Han, the winner of the intermediate category will compete in the national contest on March 26 in Toronto.