This is an article on a special topic published each month. It carries an interview with a top runner in one of various fields or a dialog with a key person who leads an international project.
In this sixth issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19", we welcome Ueda Kanayo, who is a poet, activist and representative of the Non-Profit Organization Room for Full of Voice, Words, and Hearts (Cocoroom).
In this third issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19", we welcome Kitagawa Fram, who directs numerous art festivals in Japan and overseas, including the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (Echigo-Tsumari area in Niigata Prefecture) and
In this first issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19", we welcome Inaba Toshiro, an active doctor and the art director of Yamagata Biennale 2020 "Shape of Mountains, Shape of Life."
"Japan 2019," an initiative for broadening interest in and understanding of Japanese arts and culture in the United States leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, took place from March to December 2019. The Japan Foundation served as the secretariat for this festival that was anchored by eight official events (three exhibitions and five stage performances), held mainly in New York and Washington, D.C. The Foundation
The Japan Foundation Awards, held for the 47th time in 2019, began in 1973, one year following the establishment of the Japan Foundation. Every year, the awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to promoting international mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries through academic, artistic and other cultural pursuits.
This year's award recipients included two individuals and one organization: Tanikawa Shuntaro (poet) from Japan, Perhimpunan Alumni Dari Jepang (PERSADA: Association of Indonesian Alumni from Japan) from Indonesia and Ewa Pałasz-Rutkowska (Professor, University of Warsaw) from Poland. This is a report of the presentation ceremony attended by the recipients on November 7.
Judo is a martial art known throughout the world. One of the mottoes of Kano Jigoro Shihan (Master), the founder of judo, is jita-kyoei, often translated into English as "mutual welfare and benefit." In line with Kano Shihan's belief that "each of us prospers together with others when we trust each other and help each other," the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Kodokan Judo Institute* are jointly running the JAPAN-ASEAN JITA-KYOEI PROJECT. In Myanmar, Mr. Shinro Fujita was named Honorary Patron of the Myanmar Judo Federation and is even called "the father of Myanmar judo," while the president of the federation, Mr. Tun Tun, works hard to increase the knowledge and practice of judo in the country. We spoke with both of these individuals, who are involved in the JAPAN-ASEAN JITA-KYOEI PROJECT, about the popularization of judo outside Japan and about prospects for the future.
Convenience Store Woman, by Japanese novelist Sayaka Murata, has been attracting attention as a best seller in Japan. After the release of its English edition in 2018, the book quickly caught the eye of critics of the major U.S. newspapers. The New Yorker magazine selected it as one of The Best Books of 2018. Murata visited the U.K., the U.S. and Canada under a program organized by the Japan Foundation and communicated with her readers in various places. She describes her experiences in the U.K.
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.
To live in language is to keep flowing, as far as the stream will take you. In her acceptance speech for the Japan Foundation Award 2018, the writer and poet Yoko Tawada alluded to the quiet creativity of such a life in words. Singling out the Chinese character 流for "flow," she connected it to her own work and—as in the title of her most recent novel—that of other writers who are "scattered over the earth." As an astounding amount of information circles the globe at lightning speed, the flow of words, like a hidden stream, crosses all borders to seep into people's hearts, producing, as a sort of residue, literary works that contain a wide variety of elements, but that all have one—breath—in common.
The Japan Foundation, New Delhi organized a two-day event on February 22 and 23, 2018, titled Okinawa Ki Hawa ("Wind of Okinawa" in Hindi), inviting as a special guest Kazufumi Miyazawa, the musician behind the global hit song "Shima Uta" (Island Song) and activities to preserve the music and culture of the chain of islands that form Japan's southernmost prefecture.