With the Rugby World Cup kicking off in September, fans will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the host country’s culture and history at the annual Japanese Cultural Expo Co-hosted by the Embassy of Japan in South Africa and the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria from 1 to 3 March.
PR officer for the Embassy of Japan, Taro Sawada says the exhibition will feature the rich and unique culture of Japan.
“Alongside the free screenings of some of the country’s award-winning movies such as ‘Your Name’, ‘The Boy and the Beast’ and ‘Our Little Sister’, guests can expect to be treated to a myriad of entertainment showcasing various aspects of one of the world’s oldest cultures. On display will be Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), Bonsai (Japanese ornamental trees) and Martial arts demonstrations such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, and the ancient art of Kyudo (Japanese archery). Whilst those with an ear for music can experience the live playing of Japan’s national instrument, the Koto, a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument. There will also be an eye-catching Cosplay performance”.
The Japanese Cultural Expo is set to coincide with another special day in the country’s calendar, that of Hinamatsuri, or Doll’s Festival — also known as Girls’ Day, which is celebrated on March 3. This commemorative day is used to pray for the health and happiness of young girls in Japan.
Japan and South Africa have a long-standing relationship spanning over 100 years. Japan has always endeavored to maintain a close association with the people of South Africa. The government of Japan has worked hard to contribute to the development of South Africa in a wide range of areas. These include, among others, the building of schools across the country, human resource development, people-to-people cultural exchange, job creation and skill development, improvement of living standards, and infrastructure development.
“Those in attendance will also get to see authentic Japanese food demonstrations, whilst traditional Japanese attire such as Uchikake (Japanese wedding gowns) and Samurai armor will also be on display. Although the Expo will only be a small portrayal of a very vast culture, we hope that it entices and familiarizes guests with the history and traditions of Japan, especially during the year when Japan will be receiving so many international guests as it hosts the Rugby World Cup,” Sawada concludes.
The Rugby World Cup in Japan will host its Opening Ceremony on 20th September, and the Final will be played on 2nd November. The Springboks will face Japan in a World Cup warm-up match on September 6 in the hope of exorcising the ghost of their World Cup match in Brighton in 2015.
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