Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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Japan Cultural Expo Secretariat

[Japan Cultural Expo 2.0] New expanded content on its website Fuller coverage now available, including a column by art historian Sophie Richard


As of August 31, the Japan Cultural Expo website features greatly expanded content in English to promote Japanese culture and art to readers overseas, kindle interest in cultural tourism among visitors to Japan, and guide them to sites around the country. New content includes a column by French-born art historian Sophie Richard and feature articles by writer and editor Mari Hashimoto. Ms. Richard has spent more than a decade covering art museums across the country, and Ms. Hashimoto is an expert in Japanese art whose insight helps us appreciate the essence of Japanese culture and its formative environment. The site will also serve as a tour guide by providing expanded information on topics in the feature articles, which we hope inspires further interest in and exploration of cultural tourism.

About Japan Cultural Expo:
The Japan Cultural Expo is an initiative of the Japanese government to enhance the appeal of Japanese arts and culture.
Led by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan Arts Council, it is a collaborative, inter-agency project drawing on the cooperation of numerous public and private sector partners.
The Japan Cultural Expo was launched as a nationwide celebration of Japanese arts and culture to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Now, Japan Cultural Expo 2.0 has taken over those cultural initiatives and is connecting people with culture.

Main site image
Site overview
■       Start of expanded content:              August 31, 2023
■       URL:                          

Site content
■       Column / Sophie Richard wanders around Japan
 Observations and suggested destinations in line with the feature article topic are offered by art historian Sophie Richard, drawing on more than 10 years of visiting and writing about art museums across the country. From a fresh perspective, the column shares what makes the museums, galleries, architecture, and art of Japan so appealing.

Sophie Richard
Born in Provence and educated at the Ecole du Louvre and the Sorbonne in Paris, Sophie Richard has been travelling to Japan for the past 17 years. Passionate about Japanese arts and culture, she set out to explore the country's many museums. Her first book on the subject was published in 2014 and was subsequently translated into Japanese. Her second book The Art Lovers’ Guide to Japanese Museums was published in 2019. Sophie has been a contributor to Japanese television programs, writes articles on Japanese arts and culture for various publications and she is currently producing a series of video interviews under the title Encounters with Japan. She collaborates with Bunkacho as an advisor for Japan Cultural Expo and the promotion of Japanese culture towards a foreign audience.
In 2015 her work was recognised by the Agency of Cultural Affairs in Japan and she received the Commissioner's Award.

■       Feature articles
 Insight from Japanese art expert writer and editor Mari Hashimoto encourages a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture and its formative environment. We hope you find yourself wanting to visit and explore more for yourself.

Director of Kankitsuzan Art Museum establishment preparation office, Odawara Art Foundation.
Former Vice-chairperson of Eisei Bunko Museum (Private Museum of Hosokawa dynasty)
Visiting Professor, Kanazawa Institute of Technology

She is a writer/editor who specializes in Japanese arts. She is known for her contributions to major newspapers/magazines and for her appearances on arts programs on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). Her publications include Kazaru Nihon (Decorate Japan, Iwanami Shoten); Bijutsu de tadoru Nihon no rekishi (Japanese history traced by art, 3 volumes, Chobunsha Publishing); Kyoto de Nihon bijutsu wo miru [Kyoto Kokuritsu Bijutsukan] (Appreciation of Japanese arts in Kyoto [Kyoto National Museum], Shueisha Creative Publication); Kawari Kabuto Sengoku no COOL DESIGN (Kawari Kabuto, Cool design of the Sengoku period, Shinchosha Publishing); Shungart (co-authored, Shogakukan); Gensun bijutsukan 100% Hokusai! (Full-scale museum, Hokusai 100%!, co-authored, Shogakukan); and Nihon bijutsu zenshu Vol. 20 (Complete collection of Japanese Art Vol. 20, Shogakukan, edited).

■       Tour guide
 Touring the sites introduced in feature articles to experience them firsthand provides a more intimate understanding of this new insight on the environment and culture of Japan. Besides introducing the main attraction, this guidance also touches on noteworthy aspects of local culture, encouraging exploration through tourism.

■       Recommended tours
 Visitors to Japan will also appreciate this content, which includes the places and experiences recommended by Japan Cultural Expo as part of tours for sightseers.

■       Summary articles
 Curated articles organized by keywords that often resonate with visitors, whether traditional Japan, museums, ukiyo-e, cherry blossoms, recommendations, or others. For readers with a keen interest in art, culture, and touring Japan.

■       Staff Editor’s Note
 Articles encouraging cultural tourism, from the unmatched perspective of the Japan Cultural Expo Secretariat.

■       Must-see hotspots – enticing destinations
    A detailed treasure trove of galleries, museums, theaters, and events in Japan.

The feature theme for August 2023 is “National Treasures”.
In the future, we plan to feature the following themes for each season.
①       October 2023:   Nature and the Four Seasons
②       November 2023:  Crafts
③       January 2024:   Architecture and Design
④       February 2024:  Spiritual Experiences

⚫       The latest information on Japan Cultural Expo 2.0 can be found on the official website and various social media accounts.
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Japan Cultural Expo Secretariat
Hours 9:30–5:30 JST (except weekends and holidays)

Photos (From the left):

1.Opening page


3.Sophie Richard

4.Feature article

5.Mari Hashimoto

6.Must-see hotspots – enticing destinations page

7.Japan Cultural Expo 2.0 logo

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