Event Report List
- Culture City of East Asia Exchange Project Symposium: Niigata, a Creative City of Gastronomy２月14日
The keynote speech looked to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and discussed circumstances surrounding food and hospitality, as well as how to achieve a more healthy diet and lifestyle in addition to promoting inter city interchange. Yukio Hattori, known for his global expertise in the realm of food, gave the talk from his unique vantage point.
The panel discussion coordinated by Masayuki Sasaki, one of the leading proponents of ‘creative cities’, involved a presentation of the particularities of the cuisine of each participating city. Mr. Sasaki intuitively explained each dish, while further peppering his speech with his own expert commentary. From this, a productive exchange of ideas took place, deepening participants understanding of cuisine.
The dinner party featured the cuisine of Japan, China, Korea (JCK), and Colombia, as well as alcohol spirits from the JCK countries. It was a luxurious spread of food and drink. Food and drink retailers from each nation mentioned above had a booth, where samples were provided and explained, encouraging a deeper understanding of each country's cuisine as well as fostering international dialogue and understanding.
A show of traditional music and performing arts from the JCK countries during the dinner party lent a festive mood to the occasion.
- Seventh Sen no Kaze Music Festival2月21日
One of the opening events for the Culture City of East Asia 2015 was the Seventh Sen no Kaze Music Festival.
The first section was devoted to performances from five groups selected from a nationwide call. They presented their renditions through group orchestration, song, and interpretive dance.
The second section featured Man Arai and guests from Japan, China, and Korea giving a special live event celebrating Niigata's selection as the 2015 Culture City of East Asia.
As the finale of the festival, the audience was invited to sing ‘Sen no Kaze ni Natte’ with the performers, creating an emotionally charged atmosphere that rippled through the hall.
- New Spring Sino-Japan Culture Festival: Featuring the Harbin Symphony Orchestra2月26日・2月28日
Harbin is noted as a city of skilled musicians, and the Harbin Symphony Orchestra was the first orchestra founded in China. Niigata invited the group for a performance. Compositions from Europe, China, and Japan were performed, in some cases incorporating traditional Chinese instruments like the Erhu and Pipa. Given the uniqueness of the fact that not only is it an Asian orchestra but it comes from our sister-city, Harbin, they seem to have been extremely well received.
- Culture City of East Asia Opening Ceremony and Symposium2月27日
Before the opening ceremony there was a pre concert that featured the musical stylings of the koto and shakuhachi performed by Kunpu no Oto. Then, to commence the ceremony, representatives from three cities and the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs greeted the crowd and posed for a commemorative photograph.
A keynote speech by Yoshiyuki Ooshita described the meaning and purpose of the Culture City of East Asia designation and what effects can be expected from it. Kozue Nakayama, Director of the Yokohama Culture and Tourism Bureau, announced the progress the city has made, and a panel discussion with the three city representatives was held. They exchanged valuable opinions on each city's strengths and ongoing projects.
A performing arts show featured guests from the three cities; it included a solemn performance by Niigata Gakuso, a gagaku music group made up of chief Buddhist priests from Niigata.
The opening ceremony concluded with a slideshow featuring messages written by local school students, exchange students in Niigata, and visitors to the event.
- The Opening Event for Culture City of East Asia 20152月27日
Niigata, the 2015 Culture City of East Asia, partnered with performance groups from Qingdao and Cheong-ju to host a special collaborative event. The handsome skills and beautiful sound of the groups ushered in an exciting opening for the program. Niigata's own included Japanese instrumental unit Oto-damashi and the Niigata Sohodori dancers. The impressive performance and sound enthralled the crowd.
Hilcrhyme, guest performers delivered stirring lyrics about their love for Niigata and the goal of Asian harmony, acting as a spokesperson for Niigata for the world. Negicco, as Goodwill ambassadors for Niigata as Culture City of East Asia 2015 also took to the stage and performed ‘Sunshine Nihonkai’, which includes lyrics describing the scenic beauty of Niigata.
Long lines of expectant fans formed before the event, showing the people's high expectation for the show. A survey after the event showed that 90% of those whom attended enjoyed the event, with comments like; "It was a thrilling, fantastic performance." "Seeing three different performing groups at once deepened my understanding of our various cultures differences and strengths." and, "I felt very close to our neighbors in China and Korea and realized that they truly are our nearest neighbors."
These are tremendous responses. The event was successful in promoting the goals of this project and enable the audience to experience and feel close to Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures.