Doha: Various facets of Japan’s fascinating culture were showcased at the Japanese Cultural Night held at Lagoona Mall yesterday in celebration of the Reiwa Era which began on May 1 when Emperor Naruhito was enthroned as the 126th Emperor of Japan.
“The name of the new era is Reiwa which means ‘beautiful harmony’ indicating that people in Japan and the world can live together, work together in beautiful harmony,” said Kazuo Sunaga, Ambassador of Japan to Qatar.
Yesterday’s cultural night was a significant event as the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito will take place in about two weeks, added the Ambassador as he welcomed hundreds in the audience to enjoy Japanese culture.
Presented by the Japanese Embassy and Lagoona Mall, the event encapsulated in an hour-long show a breathtaking display of colourful Japanese traditional costumes, centuries-old visual arts and traditional sport.
It opened with a Kimono show by 12 members of Doha Kimono Club showcasing elegant kimonos with stunning floral designs typically worn by Japanese women during special occasions. The well applauded show, which was enriched by a live violin performance of “Sakura Sakura”- a traditional Japanese song depicting spring season, also included a demonstration on how to wear some parts of the traditional Japanese costume.
Following the Kimono show, was an informative Ikebana presentation by Ikebana expert Kumika Sugiyama who demonstrated the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement which focuses on harmony, colour use, rhythm, and elegantly simple design.
The event concluded with a series of demonstrations of the traditional Japanese martial art called Kendo which means ‘Way of the Sword.’ The demonstration done by Ryo Arai and the Doha Kendo Club witnessed Kendo masters and young children showcase their skill in the traditional sport which combines martial arts practices and values. Wearing traditional Kendo outfits which included protective armours, the skilful Kendo martial artistes displayed their dexterity and discipline in the sport using bamboo swords.
Some visitors had their names written in Japanese calligraphy beautifully crafted by Wakako Kimura and Yayoi Kodama. Japanese calligraphy, commonly known as Shuji, is seen as both a traditional art form and a means of conveying written information.
A number of ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, Qatari officials and VIP guests were among those who attended the event.
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