Japan-Pakistan friendship strengthen cultural, economic ties: CG

Japan Fest 2016

Sameer Nazir
On September 8, 2016 the Japan Fest 2016 and Arrival Reception for newly joined Consul General Mr. Toshikazu Isomura were held at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi, with the attendance of leading political, business, cultural and diplomatic figures. The program was co-organized by the Consulate-General of Japan in Karachi, Pakistan Japan Business Forum (PJBF), and Pakistan Japan Cultural Association- Sindh (PJCA)

In the speech at the Arrival Reception Mr. Toshikazu Isomura briefly touched upon various aspects of Japan-Pakistan friendship and resolved to further strengthen the existing cultural, economic and business ties between the two countries. He hoped that through such cultural events the people in Karachi would appreciate the exquisite artistic beauty and enchanting diversity of Japan.

The highpoint of the evening was enthralling Koto and Shamisen performance by Japanese artist Ms. Kaneko Sumie, who has especially flown from USA to perform In Karachi. She was joined by eminent Pakistani musicians from National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). The audience was captivated by the fascinating diversity of Japanese traditional music and memorable fusion of Japanese and Pakistani compositions.

The Koto is a traditional Japanese instrument with thirteen strings that are strung tautly across 13 movable bridges along the length of the instrument. It reached Japan in 8th century and was initially played only in the Emperor Court or aristocrat palaces.

The Shamisen is a three-stringed instrument, introduced in the 16th century from China through the Ryukyu Kingdom (Now Okinawa) to Osaka. It is widely played in folk and art music as an accompaniment to lyric and narrative song and in the orchestras of Bunraku (puppet) and Kabuki dramas.

Ms. Sumie Kaneko is an accomplished Koto and Samisen player, Jazz singer and songwriter who had studied at prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; and Barkley College of Music, and performed at Washington DC Jazz Festival; Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Centre; and Blue Note New York among others. She is widely acknowledged for her unique chromatic use of instrument and has collaborated with many renowned instrumentalists and international artists.

The Japan Fest 2016 was started in late afternoon with Japanese pop songs played by local Japanese Cultural groups, “Shonen Infinity” and “Metal Senien”, which was followed by Cosplay contest, Yukata (a light cotton kimono) experiences, artworks and origami (Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures ) learning. The ambience was exquisitely decorated with Japanese floral artifacts of ikebana (Japanese art of floral arrangement) and bonsai (the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees) displays, which were deeply appreciated by the audience. Concluding the day-event Consul General of Japan in Karachi, Mr. Toshikazu Isomura presented the awarding ceremony for the winners of Cosplay contest.

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