MESSAGE FROM THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO THE UK

Japan Matsuri has grown steadily in scale and scope over that past 11 years and is now undoubtedly a mainstay of the cultural calendar. Even though we are unable to physically gather on this occasion, I am delighted that together we will be able to enjoy the UK’s biggest free showcase of Japanese culture online, in the form of Japan Matsuri Presents. 

This fascinating programme, to take place over the two days of 26 and 27 September, highlights the traditional aspects of Japanese culture as well as contemporary offerings. You will be able to enjoy performances of music, dance, martial arts, storytelling and much more. In addition, the online format allows for stimulating interactive elements with live cooking demonstrations, talks and family-friendly activities.

One particular highlight of this event is Tomioka Dance Club, who went viral in Japan and beyond with their 1980s-inspired hit dance video in 2017. They have created a new dance routine especially for Japan Matsuri Presents, so be sure not to miss it.

I have been heartened to see the great determination shown by the organisers and the dedicated volunteers in finding totally new ways to present some fascinating aspects of Japanese culture. This time, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to make this online endeavour a reality. I hope you all enjoy the programme.


MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF THE ORGANISING COMMITTEE

First held in 2009, Japan Matsuri has entertained large audiences and has become annual fixture at Trafalgar Square for the last eight years. This enjoyable event is organised every year by the Japan Matsuri Company.

This year, just like every year, we had planned to hold the event in the heart of London. Unfortunately, events of this kind involving large crowds are no longer possible in this current climate due to Covid-19. For this reason, we have decided to hold the event online which will be the first time for us to do so.  A great number of people have been affected by the pandemic and as a mark of respect, we have decided to use the name Japan Matsuri Presents instead of ‘Matsuri’ (festival) for our event which highlights the best of Japanese culture in performing arts, martial arts, cuisine, tourism and so much more. We had arranged for Tomioka Dance Club, a group talented high school students, to appear onstage in person in Trafalgar Square but even still we can now watch them on our screens perform a new dance specially made for the occasion. We sincerely hope you enjoy the wide-ranging programme of events this year.

I would like to use this opportunity to convey my appreciation to the Embassy of Japan, the member of Organising Committee and the large number of volunteers for their considerable efforts in making Japan Matsuri Presents a reality.

While we are unable to foresee what the future holds, we hope to be able to return to Trafalgar Square and host Japan Matsuri next year. 

Takaaki Hanaoka
Chair of the Organising Committee


Japan Matsuri Presents 挨拶文

皆さま

ジャパン祭りは、2009年に第一回を開催、第4回より会場をトラファルガー広場に移し、昨年で11回の開催となりました。例年多くの方々にお越し頂き、楽しんで頂いているものと思います。主催は、Japan Matsuriという会社となっています。

本年も、例年の様に、9月27日にトラファルガーで開催する予定にしていました。然しながら、コロナパンデミックの為、多くの人が集まるイベントは開催が出来ない状況となってしまいました。その為、初めての試みではありますが、バーチャルでのイベントを開催することにしました。コロナの感染で多くの方々が亡くなられていますので、今回は「祭り」ではなく、”Japan Matsuri presents”というタイトルで、日本の芸能、武芸、食、観光等を紹介する、日本文化紹介のイベントとなります。特に、本年のロンドンの舞台に登場する予定であった大阪登美丘高校ダンス部からも、本イベントの為の、新作ダンスの映像を送って貰いました。その他、多くのプログラムを組んでいますので、是非、お楽しみ下さい。

本イベントの実行に際しては、日本大使館、実行委員の皆さま、ボランテイアの皆様に多大な貢献を頂きましたことに対し、お礼を申し上げます。

状況の予想がつきませんが、明年は、またトラファルガー広場で祭りを開催できることを期待しております。

実行委員長 花岡高明