Jerusalem Municipality to host first-ever ‘Japanese Culture Week’

Festival to serve as inaugural event for annual weekly series in capital celebrating cultures throughout the globe.

Paper cranes on a table during origami session  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Paper cranes on a table during origami session
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Jerusalem Municipality announced Monday that it will hold a week-long Japanese culture festival in the capital for the first time this month, which will also serve as an inaugural event for annual weekly festivals in the city celebrating cultures throughout the world.
The event – scheduled to take place from October 19-25 and officially called Japanese Culture Week – will celebrate a broad range of traditions and modern developments associated with the country, including culinary fare, artistry, cinema, sports, martial arts and technology.
According to the municipality, the event will feature a sumo wrestler who will host workshops; the musician Mizaki Miako; the Heavance band, consisting of dozens of Japanese musicians and dancers; and a cosplay competition, in which participants will dress in costumes inspired by animation and comic book movies.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has long championed the capital as a hub for cultural activities, heralded the festival as another example of the capital’s growing status as an international cultural center.
“We are delighted to initiate this unique cultural tradition in the city,” the mayor said. “This year’s festival is taking place following the Jewish New Year, and will celebrate the unique Japanese culture. I invite all to come to Jerusalem to participate.”
Events for the festival will be held at four main venues within the capital, including Emek Refaim Street, Park Hamesila, the First Station Complex and the Cinematheque, the municipality said.
Barkat said Japanese Culture Week is part of a program initiated by the municipality and the Israeli Cultural and Knowledge Promotion Center, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and Tourism Ministry, the Japanese Embassy, and the Israeli Embassy in Japan.
The festival will include flower-arrangement workshops, street performances, origami, indigenous musical instruments, a saki-tasting event, and a Hebrew, English and Japanese karaoke competition.
In terms of food, the mayor said restaurants and coffee shops surrounding the event’s venues will offer Japanese cuisine.
Japanese movies will also be screened at the Cinematheque throughout the week, in conjunction with lectures by experts, professors and special guests from Japan within the framework of the Japanese Cinema Festival.
“The municipality intends to make this cultural festival an annual one,” said Barkat.
“Each year, a cultural week will be dedicated to a different country, during which the unique culture and art of that country will be on display for the Israeli public.”