Cultural and humanitarian cooperation of Ukraine and Japan
Cooperation in the area of culture and sports
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation continues to promote further development of Ukraine-Japan comprehensive relations.
The central event in the area of cultural cooperation between Ukraine and Japan was the announcement of the year 2017 as "The Year of Japan in Ukraine" according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 1/2017. Various festivals of Japanese culture, exhibitions and performances by Japanese artists, sports competitions among Kendo masters and other eventrs were held.
It should be noted that within the framework of this cultural event the Embassy of Japan in Ukraine carried out a campaign to plant 2,500 Japanese sakura trees throughout Ukraine.
In the framework of the Year of Japan in Ukraine an international exhibition of Japanese traditional dolls "Okiagari Koboshi for Fukushima: solidarity from Ukraine" took place at the national museum "Chernobyl" (Kyiv) in March 2017. The Okiagari Koboshi project is an idea of the world-renowned Japanese designer Mr. Kenzo Takada whose aim is to support the victims of the Great East-Japan earthquake and the “Fukushima-1” nuclear power plant accident.
An important place among cultural events of the Year of Japan in Ukraine is attributed to the project by the Japanese artist Mr. Kensuke Miyazaki "Over the Wall", which was carried out with the support of the Embassy of Japan in Ukraine and the UN Refugee Agency. The abovementioned project was devoted to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Japan and included opening of murals at the Art-Factory Platform in Kyiv and at the secondary school № 68 in Mariupol in July 2017.
On November 9th, 2017 the President of Ukraine Mr. Petro Poroshenko took part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Imaginary Guide: Japan". The Japanese side was represented by the State Minister for the Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane.
On a regular basis Ukrainian music groups and young talented musicians visit Japan.
In 2017 the famous Ukrainian composer Mr. Valentyn Sylvestrov visited Japan for the first time with concerts which took place on November 4th and 11th in Kyoto and Tokyo.
On December 17th a solo concert of the Ukrainian pianist Mr. Alexei Grynyuk took place in Kyoto, during which he performed the works of Chopin, Liszt and Mussorgsky.
On December 23rd-30th the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine lead by a prominent conductor and People's Artist of Ukraine Mr. Mykola Dyadyura was visiting Japan. In the framework of the tour, on December 21st the orchestra performed jointly with the famous Japanese violinist Ms. Yasuko Otani.
In the period from December 24th to 29th the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko toured Japan performing "Swan Lake", "Nutcracker", "Don Quixote" and "Turandot" as a part of celebration of the 150th anniversary of its establishment.
Ukrainian bandurists and singers Mses. Oksana Stepaniuk, Nataliya Hudziy and Katerina Hudziy, as well as the informal community of Ukrainians abroad - "Krayany" make a significant contribution to the popularization of Ukrainian culture and traditions in Japan.
On May 20th and 21st, 2017 the traditional “Fifth Vyshyvanka Megamarch" (vyshyvanka is a traditional Ukrainian embroided shirt) took place in Tokyo and Nagoya at the initiative of the informal community “Krayany” with the aim of familiarization of the citizens of Japan with Ukrainian culture, national clothes and songs. The event was attended by over 150 people and members of their families.
On November 19th traditional commemorative service of St. Jude Ukrainian Orthodox Mission of Kyiv Patriarchate was held in the St. Alban's Anglican-Episcopal church to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor (Famine-Genocide in Ukraine) of 1932-1933. The service was attended by members of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan and their families, representatives of the Ukrainian community in Japan as well as Japanese citizens.
Bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Japan within the framework of people’s diplomacy is actively developing as well. In 2017 Ukraine for the first time was invited to participate in the project "Ship for World Youth Leadership". The program has been implemented by the Japanese government for over 29 years and aims to deepen contacts between young people from all over the world. It was attended by 120 representatives from 12 countries and 120 from Japan.
An important event in Ukraine-Japan cultural life is the mutual rewarding of cultural activists and diplomats with government awards.
In 2017 the first Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Mr. Mykhailo Dashkevich was awarded with the "Gold and Silver Stars of the Order of the Rising Sun" for the promotion of friendly relations and mutual understanding between Ukraine and Japan. "Gold Rays with Rosette of the Order of the Rising Sun" was received by Professor of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University Mr. Volodymyr Rezanenko for the development of Japanese language studies and promotion of academic exchange.
In addition, in 2017 the honored diplomas of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan were awarded to a musician and horn player, soloist of the Symphony Orchestra of the National Opera of Ukraine Mr. Vasyl Pilipchak and senior teacher of the Odessa National University named after I.I.Mechnikov Ms. Viktoriya Migdalska.
As for the Japanese side, Ms. Mari Sasaki, the Executive Director of the Chernobyl Children's Fund of Japan, was awarded the Order of Princess Olga (third class) in January 2017.
Traditionally, Ukrainian citizens participate in international art competitions which take place in Japan. It is significant that many of them become winners and receive honorary prizes.
Thus, among winners of 24th Annual World Children's Picture Contest “Ie-no-hikari”, in which 19,987 works from 85 countries and regions of the world were presented, are Ukrainian children - S.Koverko (gold medal), B.Sherbatyuk and S.Lusyuk (silver medals), M.Kononova and O.Kobylyanska (bronze medals).
The work of the Ukrainian photographer S.Litvinov "The Victory Day" took the second place in the nomination "100th Anniversary of Nikon" at the annual Nikon Photo Competition - Nikon Photo Contest (Tokyo, July 2017).
According to the results of the Japanese Championship of Zendokai Karate-Do among adults (Tokyo, October 2017), Ukraine’s representatives won 2 gold and 4 silver medals.