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Japan Cultural Expo

Japan Cultural Expo: Major Exhibits for 2020 –2021


Press release
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The Japan Cultural Expo is a nationwide event launched in 2019, showcasing the arts of Japan to audiences from all over the world. It has been timed to coincide with Japan’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021 The Expo’s programming features cultural works from as far back as the Neolithic period to the present day under the overarching theme of “Humanity and Nature in Japan.” By highlighting cultural treasures, the Expo hopes to inspire the next generation to reach for even greater heights in the future.

Through the collective efforts of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Arts Council, arts-related government bodies, cultural institutions, regional organizations, and private-sector organizations, the Japan Cultural Expo’s program includes art exhibitions, drama and dance performances, and festivals that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the arts of Japan throughout the year.

We are pleased to announce that the “Japan Cultural Expo 2020 – Introduction of Major Exhibits” document is now available, outlining the planned activities for the fiscal year of 2020 (2020 – 2021).

COVID-19 has made inbound tourism to Japan more challenging for the time being. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and look ahead toward the time when activities can fully resume. We will continue to actively promote the Japan Cultural Expo while flexibly rearranging some of the programs that cannot be held as originally planned.

For further details, please see below.

There are activities planned across Japan during the fiscal year of 2020, to allow everyone to experience and enjoy Japan’s rich culture. These include displays of local art and cultural properties, performances of traditional performing arts, food, and festivals showcasing modern art and theater in natural surroundings. For example, there will be exhibitions showcasing Kōgei (Japanese craft arts) masterpieces, some of which have been passed down for centuries, and which are designated by Japan as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. Japan’s unique restoration techniques for cultural properties, which utilize natural materials will also be presented. In the field of performing arts, the Japan Cultural Expo will present several performances of Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku, as well as a modern opera, which are all themed around the connection between the people of Japan and nature. Furthermore, there will be exhibitions on leading Japanese architectural works that utilize natural materials such as timber, soil, and stone, spanning the Asuka period (538-710) to the present.  Last but not the least, there will also be opportunities to experience local cuisine that has been passed down through the generations while being influenced by the local climate and landscape.

We hope that these programs by the Japan Cultural Expo will promote cultural exchange and inspiration among everyone, and contribute to an appreciation of diversity, shared universal values, and peace for all.

The Basic Concept of the Japan Cultural Expo
For over 10,000 years, the arts of Japan have expressed a reverence for nature. Historically, all living beings were thought to be endowed with a spirit, and early humans deeply respected the diversity of life found in nature. People in Japan developed an aesthetic sense that embodied the closeness they felt with nature, and expressed that sense through a number of mediums and forms, including: prehistoric pottery; Buddhist and other sculptures; paintings on woodblock prints and folding screens; lacquerware and other decorative arts; kimonos and other textiles; Noh, Kabuki, and other traditional performing arts; music; literature; and even daily essentials, like food, clothing, and shelter.

Over time, Japan developed a diverse artistic culture as it borrowed elements from external cultures and its society adapted to each new era. Living amidst nature cultivated creativity and heightened artistic expression. The living environment also encouraged mutual respect and understanding, giving rise to a more tolerant society that was able to accept diversity. The artistic tastes and expressions found in long-cherished cultural works and traditional arts have given rise to new forms of value and culture by influencing contemporary art, design, fashion, manga, and anime.

Japan Cultural Expo PR Office (Attn: Ms. Kitada / Mr. Kawabata)
TEL: +81-(0)80-7092-2070(Japanese Only)
Office hours: 9:30AM-5:30PM on weekdays except national holidays

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