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Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation
22 August 2012 00:02

One of the key aspects of Ukrainian-Japanese bilateral relations is cooperation in the field of culture which focuses on activities that promote Ukraine in Japan. 

The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan held a series of cultural events under the collective name "Days of Ukrainian Culture" in the period from September to December 2019 in cooperation with its Japanese partners and Ukrainian community. 

In total 11 events were held in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto:

  • On September 4th-17th, an exhibition of the works of Ukraine's leading contemporary artists was held at the National Art Center in Tokyo within the framework of the largest national art salon of Japan "NIKATEN". During the exposition there were presented graphic and landscape works by M.Vaisberg, Z.Skoropadenko, O.Stratiychuk, B.Soroka, O.Dzhurayeva and O.Sysa.
  • On September 28th-29th, the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan organized Petrykivka painting master classes which were held with the participation of Ukrainian folk artist G.Nazarenko during the international cultural festival "Global Festa JAPAN 2019" (Odaiba, Tokyo) as well as at the Japanese public schools and Ukrainian Sunday school in Tokyo.
  • photo exhibition about Ukraine was held on November 1st-30th at the Tokyo Azabu Library. The mentioned library was also provided with materials on Ukraine in Japanese and books in Ukrainian.
  • On November 3rd-5th, Ukrainian style fashion show was held during the Bunka Fashion College cultural festival (Shibuya, Tokyo) with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine. The collection was designed by the students of the above mentioned college. The Embassy booth which represented Ukrainian culture was also presented during the festival.
  • On October 9th, 13th, 16th and 17th the Embassy of Ukraine in cooperation with the Japanese partners organized Ukrainian film festivals in Tokyo and Yokohama during which the audience had an opportunity to watch such movies as "Dyakuju", "Travel Book. Ukraine", "Winter on Fire" and "Cyborgs: Heroes never die".
  • On November 8th-22nd, the Embassy in cooperation with the Bunka Fashion College and Ukrainian community in Japan "Kraiany" carried out an exhibition of Ukrainian traditional clothing from Olena Skrypka's collection as well as lecture and master classes of creating Ukrainian embroidery and motanka dolls.
  • On November 27th-28th, Ukrainian Baroque music was presented for the first time in Japan. The concerts were held in Tokyo and Kyoto with the participation of the professors of the M.Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy - pianist A.Ivanyushenko and Ukrainian flute "sopilka" musician B.Korchinska, Ukrainian opera singer O.Stepanyuk, Japanese violinist C.Sawada, Japanese amateur chorus "Shedryk" and young artists E.Kono and M.Akiba. The concert program in Japanese with biographies of Ukrainian composers was prepared for the guests by the Embassy of Ukraine together with the assistant professor of the M.Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy - L.Shevchuk-Nazar. During both events, an exhibition of Petrykivka paintings by G.Nazarenko was held in the concert lobbies.
  • On November 30th, a master-class of Ukrainian traditional cuisine was held in Nagoya by the Japanese-Ukrainian Cultural Association with the assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine.
  • On December 21st-22nd, Ukrainian community "Kraiany" held Ukrainian Christmas Festival, including exhibition, workshops and concert with the support of the Embassy.


In order to promote the positive image of Ukraine in Japan,  the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan and Ukrainian community took part in the following international cultural festivals: Odawara Citizens Festa (Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, February 2019); Tokyo Tower Arts Festival (Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, March 2019); Minato World Carnival (Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, March 2019); Global Festa Japan (Tokyo, September 2019).


To ensure the presence of Ukraine in the cultural space of Japan the Embassy of Ukraine provided assistance to the following artists: assisted architect V. Dereznichenko in realization of the project of presenting Ukrainian embroidery in the world-famous “Nakagin Capsule Tower” building (Tokyo, January 2019); coordinated participation of Z.Skoropadenko in the international cultural event "World Art Tokyo" (Tokyo, March) as well as participation of R.Minin in the event "Carp Festival" (Tokyo, May); provided Ukrainian motanka doll by O.Shynkaruk to the Yokohama Doll Museum (Kanagawa Prefecture); assisted “Tokyo Laputa Art Animation School” in creating animation movie “The Glove”.


In 2019 the Embassy of Ukraine started cooperation with the organizers of Japan’s film festivals. On June 28th, Ambassador of Ukraine I.Kharchenko visited the Mt.Fuji-Atami Film Festival in Atami (Shizuoka Prefecture) where Ukrainian movie musical "Hutsulka Ksenia", which received the Grand Prix, was presented. On October 28th, the Embassy supported representatives of Ukraine during the premiere of Ukrainian director V.Vasyanovych “Atlantis”, which received a special jury prize at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival.


Support was provided to the organizers of the following cultural events: National Philharmonic of Ukraine Japan Tour (December 2019); the Okiagari-Koboshi exhibitions (Kyoto, March-September 2019); concert of violinist and head of the “Japanese-Ukrainian Art Association” C. Sawada (Tokyo, July 2019); "The 8th National Classical Ballet Competition in Hirakata" (Osaka, August 2019); "Ballet Performance of Young Artists of Ukraine and Japan" (Kyoto, August 2019); ArtKyoto 2019 (Kyoto, September 2019); Oksana Stepanyuk Soprano Recital 2019 and World Collaboration Concert (September and October 2019); The 10th Cheerleading World Championship (Gunma Prefecture, November 2019).


Introduction of Ukrainian culture to the representatives of the academic circles of Japan was ensured by virtue of holding of Ukrainian festivals at the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages (April 2019); Sophia University (Tokyo, May 20190); Kobe Gakuin University (Kobe, June-July 2019).


A number of exhibitions on historical and contemporary issues relevant to Ukraine have been organized. Photo exhibitions were held at the University of Tsukuba on the events of the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014 in Ukraine (November 2019). Photo exhibitions on the Holodomor Great Famine in Ukraine of 1932-1933 and regarding the heroic deed of the Heroes of Heavenly Hundred were held in the city of Kashihara (Nara Prefecture, September 2019).


Contacts between the sister cities - Odesa and Yokohama (since 1965), Kyiv and Kyoto (since 1971) have been maintained.


Cooperation in the field of education is mainly determined by two programs of the Government of Japan aimed at providing financial support to Ukrainian students, graduate students, teachers and researchers seeking to improve their knowledge of the Japanese language or to learn the experience of Japan in a specific field. In particular, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan is continuing to implement scholarship study programs. The Japanese Foundation has implemented a number of internship programs for graduate students and teachers of the Japanese language.


According to the Ministry of Justice of Japan, as of December 2019, 30 professors, 8 researchers and 104 students from Ukraine resided in Japan.


Cooperation between the universities of Ukraine and Japan has been developing. T.Shevchenko Kyiv National University actively promotes cooperation with the Ryukoku University (Kyoto), Tenri University (Nara), Tsukuba University (Tsukuba), Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo); Institute of Agroecology and Environmental Management of NAS of Ukraine has ties with the Kobe Gakuin University; Kyiv National Linguistic University partnered with the Osaka University of Economics and Law; I.Franko Lviv National University started cooperation with the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages. In May 2018, with the assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan, an agreement on student exchange was signed between the Toyama University of International Studies and the I.I.Mechnikov Odesa National University.


Meetings of the Association of Ukrainian Studies of Japan, headed by Professor of Kobe Gakuin University Y.Okabe, are held twice per year. The main task of the Association's activities is to introduce the history, economy, society, culture and traditions of Ukraine.


The Ukrainian language is currently being taught as an elective course at the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages. Seminars and lectures about our country are held at the University of Tokyo, Meiji Gakuin University, Kobe Gakuin University, Waseda University and others.


In the context of the preparations for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Ukraine has begun cooperation with the cities of Kasihara (Nara Prefecture), Hino (Tokyo Prefecture), Sapporo (Hokkaido Prefecture), and Amagasaki (Hyogo Prefecture) in order to organize training camps for Ukrainian national team ahead of the above mentioned Games. Besides, within the framework of the Japanese government program “Host Town” the Embassy of Ukraine has been carrying out public diplomacy projects with the aim of presenting the history, culture and traditions of Ukraine. “Dyakuyu” Ukraine promotion movie shows and photo exhibitions about Ukraine were held in Kashihara in June and September 2019; cultural exchange with karate school students and local residents and presentation about Ukraine were realized in Hino in July 2019.


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