Vietnam-Japan to organize series of events to mark 40th Friendship Year

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Poster of the exhibition "Japanese Traditional Dolls" to be taken place in Hanoi's Vietnam Women's Museum in Hanoi on March 7-31.

In celebration of the 40th Japan Vietnam Friendship Year 2013, a series of cultural activites will be held throughout the years, starting from this March in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

In the southern metro of Vietnam, a two-day event featuring Japanese and Vietnamese artists of traditional and modern arts is being held at Youth Cultural House in District 1 on March 2-3 to enhance the relations between the two countries' young people.

Artists from Japan include singer Piko, whose voice is able to switch from male's voice to female's, singer Mikyni Shimokawa, dubbed goddess of Anime music, dancer Tomoyuki Yamaguchi of the renowned Yamamura dance, acoustic finger guitarist Shun Komatsubara and will share the stage with Vietnamese singer Hien Thuc and Nguyen Vu.

In addition to music performances, the event, which will end at 10pm on March 3 also features several Japanese folk games and arts, including Fukuwarai, Kitanuki, iGo, Kingyo sukui, Origami, Mizu Yoyo, and Game Itabike.

The same day, at 7pm, troupe Ship of The Ryukyu from Japan's Okinawa Province will make their debut in Ho Chi Minh City with a show at Ben Thanh Theater thanks to an invitation by the city's Rong Vang Water Puppet Theater.

The 120-minute free performance will feature Japanese opera Kumi-Odori, recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, drum Eisa, karate, Japanese-style lion dance as well as traditional performance by artists from Non La (conical hat) Theater in the city.

Also, to celebrate the two countries' Friendship Year 2013 and International Women's Day (March 8), the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam and Vietnamese Women's Museum in Hanoi, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, will organize an exhibition "Japanese Traditional Dolls" and related activities in the capital of Vietnam on March 7-31.

The exhibition "Japanese Traditional Dolls" introduces over 250 Japanese dolls in total in two venues. In Vietnamese Women's Museum, their collection of over 200 Japanese dolls, mainly Edo-Kimekomi Dolls but including the other genre of dolls used in the Doll Festival or Hina Matsuri, warrior dolls and objects from the Boy's Festival, will be exhibited.

In the Japan Foundation, meanwhile, their long-time collection of around 40 selected Japanese dolls, including female dolls dressed in kimonos, dolls depicting characters from traditional Japanese performing arts like Noh and Kabuki, Hakata dolls or clay dolls, Kokeshi dolls with their unique character, will be exhibited.

According to a press release from the organizers, including the Traditional Edo-kimekomi Dolls Saciei-kai and Kimono Cultural Exchange Association, "Dolls" have been a part of everyday life in Japan since ancient times.

"Japanese dolls reflect the customs of Japan and the aspirations of its people, possess distinctive regional attitudes, and over the centuries have developed in many diverse forms," says the release.

"Japanese dolls now can be categorized in many ways according to the techniques and material used to create them, as well as the themes and shapes of the dolls."

In addition to the exhibition, the other Japanese culture related activities such as Kimono/Yukata trials, Origami workshops, and Japanese traditional toys trials, will be also presented in Vietnamese Women's Museum (mainly on the opening day).

The Vietnamese Women's Museum is located on 36 Ly thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

In Japan, 23 artifacts of Vietnam's Sa Huynh Culture (flourished between 1000 BC and 200 AD) as well as trade road on the sea in the past, will be displayed in an exhibition entitled Great stories of Vietnam at Kyushu Museum from April 16 to June 9 under an cooperation between the museum and the Vietnam National Museum of History.

The antique items belong to Hoi An town of the central province of Quang Nam.


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