November events in Vietnam celebrate ties with Japan

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A still from 2013 film Tokyo Family by director Yoji Yamada

Vietnam will host a series of cultural events this month in honor of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Japan.

An exhilarating night in Hanoi, featuring cutting-edge Japanese and Vietnamese rock bands, will kick off at 6:30pm on November 16 at the Van Ho Exhibition Center, 2 Hoa Lu Street.

The "Go! Go! Japan! Rock Festival 2013", co-organized by the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam and Rockpassion.vn, will feature Japanese bands Okamoto, The Ton-Up Motors, and Ryukyudisko; and the local group, Thuy Trieu Do and Oringchains.
 
Okamoto consists of four 22-year-olds from Tokyo, including lead vocalist Sho Okamoto, guitarist Koki Okamoto, drummer Reiji Okamoto, and bassist Hama Okamoto. The psychedelic garage rock band recently became the first Japanese band to sign an endorsement contract with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, one of the leading instrument makers of the US.
 
The "rock' n soul" band The Ton-Up Motors from Hokkaido has attracted a large fan base throughout Japan with their overwhelming live performances, straightforward lyrics and melodies based inspired by soul, funk, and blues. Their upcoming appearance in Vietnam will be the band's international debut.

Techno unit of twin brothers from Okinawa, Ryukyudisko, will top off the festival by offering two danceable sessions, one in the Okinawa style; the other techno.

Vietnamese representative Thuy Trieu Do, a long-established Vietnamese heavy metal band currently celebrating its 10th anniversary of performing live will kick off the first night.

Based in Hanoi, they have appeared at numerous festivals both inside and outside of Vietnam, including Rock Storm, Tiger Translate, and Rock Typhoon Yamaha.
 
Another delight from Vietnam is Oringchains, winner of "The Tiger Translate Battle of the Bands 2012. Formed in 2009, this versatile modern rock band, covering various rock styles ranging from alternative, nu metal to rap core, rapidly won over Vietnamese music fans.

The first "Go! Go! Japan! Rock Festival" was held in 2011 in Hanoi to promote the rejuvenation of Japan in the aftermath of the November 3 nuclear disaster and celebrate the ongoing solidarity between Japan and Vietnam. The event drew approximately 2,000 fans.

Free tickets for this year's event can be obtained at the following locations:

- The Japan Foundation, 27 Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Rockpassion.vn, 66 Ngo 40 Ta Quang Buu Street
- Café M Day, 110 Cau Giay Street
- Major 7 Café, at the end of Alley 95 Chua Boc Street.

This year's Japanese Film Festival, entitled "Bond" or (Kizuna) will take place from November 13 through December 15 in Hanoi, Da Nang and Vung Tau.

Kizuna, which means "the connection" in Japanese, represents the importance of diplomatic relationship and friendship, and will feature the following films: "Tokyo Family" (directed by Yoji Yamada, 2013); "Grave of the Fireflies" (Isao Takahata, 1988); "Someday" (Junji Sakamoto, 2011); "Rebirth (directed by Izuru Narushima, 2011); "Star Watching Dog" (Tomoyuki Takimoto, 2011); "The Last Ronin" (directed by Shigemichi Sugita, 2010): "Linda Linda Linda" (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2005); and "Half a Confession" (Kiyoshi Sasabe, 2004).

These famous Japanese films have won grand prizes and been showcased in international film festivals.

The Hanoi screening will be held from November 13-24 at the National Cinema Center, 87 Lang Hạ Str.

In Da Nang, the films will be shown from December 6-8 at Le Do Cinema, 46 Tran Phu Street.

Ba Ria Town's Ba Ria Cinema on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street will present the films from December 13-15.

Free tickets can be collected at the venues.

Ho Chi Minh City will be hosting the Japan Festival in Vietnam 2013 at September 23 Park in District 1 on November 16-17.

The festival's 40 booths, highlighting traditional Japanese culture, products, and cuisine, will cover the park's entire Area A.

It will also include musical performances, including those from 1980s pop sensation Gyspy Queen and Satoko Yamano, original singer of the Doraemon and Pokemon theme songs.

Entrance is free.

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