To paraphrase, when in Japan, do as the Japanese do. Google CEO Sundar Pichai marked the opening of company's new headquarters in Shibuya ward in Tokyo, Japan with a traditional sake barrel breaking ceremony.
In a tweet posted on Monday, Pichai and others can be seen hitting and breaking the lid of a traditional sake cask specifically used for such ceremonies. "Greetings from Tokyo! Celebrating the opening of our new office in Shibuya with a traditional sake barrel breaking ceremony," Pichai said in his tweet.
Greetings from Tokyo! Celebrating the opening of our new office in Shibuya with a traditional sake barrel breaking ceremony pic.twitter.com/NmOwSTSlOW— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) November 18, 2019
Sake barrel breaking ceremony, or kagami biraki, is a 300-year-old tradition supposedly started by a Tokugawa shogun, a military ruler appointed by the Emperor, on the eve of a war. After the war was won, breaking sake barrels for good luck became a new tradition. Now sake barrel breaking ceremonies are performed at opening days of companies, weddings, sporting events and such.