Kagmi-biraki - cracking the sake barrel
June 15, 2011
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg and Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships JS Mineyuki and JS Asagiri kicked off their port visit on June 15th with an on-board reception.
Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood, the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, joined North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, British Columbia Member of the Legislative Assembly Richard Lee, Japanese Consul General Hideki Ito and Rear Admiral, JMSDF Commander, Japan Training Squardron Umio Otsuka in the customary kagami-biraki or cracking of the lid of the sake barrel.
Kagami refers to the lid of the sake barrel and biraki means “to open” so kagami-biraki literally means “opening the lid.” Because of the lid's round shape, the kagami is a symbol of harmony. The kagami-biraki, therefore, represents an opening to harmony and good fortune
JS Mineyuki and HMCS Winnipeg are open to the general public between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on June 16 and from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 17. The three ships are moored at the Burrard Dry Dock Pier located at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.JS Mineyuki is a 130 metre destroyer weighing 4000 tonnes and carries a crew of 200. JS Asagiri is a 137 metre training vessel weighing 5000 tonnes and carries a crew of 220.