The Japan Foundation, Budapest
As described in the previous report, Hungary is celebrating the "Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009." From April 9 through May 31, 2009, an exhibition "WA: The Spirit of Harmony in Contemporary Japanese Design" had been held at the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. Co-hosted by the Japan Foundation and the Museum, it was one of the highlights of the friendship year in Hungary. 161 excellent Japanese product designs from a variety of fields, including stationeries, cell phones, and a motorbike, were exhibited.
Hungarian people have always been friendly toward Japan and have great interest in two distinct sides of Japan: whereas traditional side is typified by budo, tea ceremony, and kimono, modern face is represented by automobiles, home appliances, and game software.
This exhibition of product designs presented that Japanese traditional craftsmanship and beauty are assimilated into contemporary technology that pursues convenience. It was a marvelous occasion to show Hungarians that traditional and modern aspects are coexisting in perfect harmony with our daily lives.
On May 16, during an official visit to four countries related to the Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009, Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino visited this exhibition and looked at the exhibits very intently. Their visit was broadcasted nationwide in a morning news show on Hungarian national television, giving considerable publicity to this event.