A spirited exhibition of Japanese and Vietnamese cultural performances was held at the eighth annual Vietnam-Japan Cultural Festival in Hoi An last Saturday, August 21.
Japanese artists performed a traditional lion dance, the royal Iwami Kagura dance which is normally reserved for Shinto shrines, and the Bon Odori dance, a celebratory ritual in which departed ancestors and their living descendants are invited to join together in dance.
The Japanese also offered demonstrations of the traditional stringed musical instrument named Koto, held tea ceremonies at an ancient house on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, and led an Origami workshop and contest.
Vietnam, on the other hand, performed dragon dances and traditional songs while floating traditional flower garland lanterns on the nearby river. A traditional boat race was also held on the water.
The event organizers put up a photo exhibition of Hoi An, an important Vietnamese trading center in the 16th and 17th centuries. Hoi An has played home to numerous foreign settlements, including the Japanese.