Discovering Japanese culture - 13th Impact
Beyond a big celebration of Japanese pop culture, Japan Expo is also the perfect discovery place of Japanese traditional and contemporary cultures. And the 13th Impact proved it once more!
The lovers of Japanese folk shows get together at the cultural stage where music, dance, and all kinds of performances are at the heart of the festival.
Kôshiro MINAMOTO and his group Bugakuza offered a delightful show to the sound of koto (type of lute) and the rhythms of kotsuzumi (drums). The audience also attended bugaku dance, a kind of kabuki performance based on martial art movements. A breath of exoticism which took everyone straight to the land of the rising sun!
Still for music, the Tsunagari Taiko Center’s taiko (drums) echoed through the festival. Okinawa arts unveiled with the melodies of sanshin (lute) and Okinawa karate movements. The booth Zen en scène also allowed the attendees to discover shakuhachi (flute). As for performances, the myth of the creation of Japan was sung and danced during the show KOJIKI 1300. Compagnie Balabolka offered a rakugo theater performance (a kind of one-man show during which the teller is sitting) full of yokai (fantastic creatures and spirits) and magical animals.
What about the arts?
The Wabi-Sabi exhibition organized by Biken International presented the concept of wabi-sabi, based on imperfection and a beauty about to fade, through traditional arts and crafts. Poems, calligraphies, lacquerware, pottery, dolls, and other objects showed those values. Calligraphy had pride of honor, with workshops, and on stage thanks to several artists who had come to realize giant frescos: Mayumi IWAGAMI, Kuniyo TASAKA, and Sekka NAKAGAWA.
With an exhibition and initiations, the booth Pigments et Arts du Monde unveiled the marvels of nihonga painting, based on natural materials. Gallery Metanoia offered a more contemporary exhibition of works by Yusuke AOYAGI and Ryodo YOSHIMOTO, as well as workshops. People could also try origami.
Ancient and modern Japan
Japan Expo is the perfect place to discover all the aspects of Japan, from traditions to all that makes Japanese culture a high tech culture.
Samurai no Kokoro made the public travel to the feudal ear. This Japanese association aims at preserving and spreading Japanese cultural history. At Japan Expo they built a samurai helmet in front of the audience during the four days of the festival and showed authentic samurai armors. To go deeper into the ancient times, a conference about Japanese castles told everything about 12 historical dungeons while an exhibition about Kyôto showed the beauties of its many temples.
Games were also about Japanese traditions at Japan Expo with go, shôgi, othello, or mah-jong. Thus you could have fun and also relax: zazen meditation, anma, and reiki allowed the attendees to feel a true well-being sensation.
Food lovers could taste Japanese cooking on the restaurant booths or discover the secrets of those meals thanks to Justine PETIT’s recipes (www.riz-o-riz.com) who explained one recipe everyday: okonomiyaki, katsu curry, breakfast, and teriyaki salmon. Still to make the public hungry, kyâra-ben were presented on stage: kawaii bentô with yummy characters and colorful sets.
To get into today’s Japan, PARO the therapeutic robot gave a high tech moment. With his looks of an adorable seal pup, this high tech robot has been selected as Guinness World Records best therapeutic robot.
The kids’ playground allowed children to get a taste of Japanese culture too. They discovered the language through songs and games, played sugoroku (kind of game of the goose), tried origami, and attended kamishibai shows with publisher nobi nobi !.
Photos © David Berson; © Eric Boccalupo;
© Nicolas Gavet; © Florent L'Helias; © Audrey Marchand;
© Joel Oxybel; © Saysavath Tu; © All rights reserved
Culture and traditions
- Butsu Zen Zone
- Nihonga painting
- Galerie Métanoïa
- Sakura never dies
- Wabi-Sabi exhibition
- Origami area
- Kyôto, the cradle of the Japanese civilization
- Okinawa arts
- Samurai no Kokoro
- Japanese castles, 12 historical dungeons
- Calligraphy demonstrations
- Bentô + Manga = Kyara-ben
- Noon's daily recipe
- Traditional music and dance
- KOJIKI 1300: the birth of Japon
- Calligraphy and Shakuhachi
- Kids' area
- Alice BRIÈRE-HAQUET
- Christelle HUET-GOMEZ