The cultural exposition Japonismes 2018 received a tremendous response in France. More than anything, it was outstanding in the breadth of its perspective and the diversity of its content. It succeeded in attracting the interest of a very broad spectrum of the French public through a program that included the first opportunity to see Sōtatsu's folding-screen masterpiece Wind God and Thunder God and all 30 scroll paintings of Jakuchū's The Colorful Realm of Living Beings as well as The Shakyamuni Triad, thrilling French art lovers.
The performing arts program for Japonismes 2018 encompassed 36 projects in theater, dance, and music. Forming the core was a carefully crafted lineup of theatrical productions that ranged from genres steeped in history and tradition to ones with a vibrantly contemporary feel, from small- to large-scale, and from the commercial to the avant-garde.
I served as curator for MANGA⇔TOKYO, an exhibition featuring manga (comics) and anime (animation) that was held in Paris as part of Japonismes 2018. The Japanese government's desire to present manga and anime abroad reflects the popularity that these cultural products have been enjoying in other countries.
The Japan Foundation invites academics and researchers in the area of Japanese studies to study in Japan. The guest contributor for this issue is Carolyn Wargula, a 2018 Japanese Studies Fellow who researched "Embodying the Buddha: The Presence of Women in Japanese Buddhist Hair Embroideries, 1200-1700" at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies as a fellow writing her doctoral thesis.