A Celebration of Japanese Films, Art, Music and Friendship

The Japan Foundation, Manila together with the Embassy of Japan invites everyone this July to a month-long feast of Japanese art and culture as it celebrates the 2012 Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.

To jump-start the celebration is the highly-anticipated Japanese film festival, Eiga Sai 2012 which officially opens on July 5 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza Mall inMandaluyongCity with the critically acclaimed film “Villain”.  Eiga Sai will be held at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall from July 5 to 15;   Gaisano South Citi Mall in Davao City from July 20 to 22; Cinema 4, Ayala Center Cebu from August 7 to 12 and at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute in Quezon City from August 15 to 21, 2012.

The traveling exhibit Sharaku Interpreted by Japan’s Contemporary Artists, takes as its theme Toshusai Sharaku, known throughout Japan and the world for his bust portraits of kabuki actors, and presents posters, paintings and three dimensional works by today’s artists as they freely interpret this foremost master of the ukiyo-e print.  The exhibition will feature 28 reproductions of Sharaku bust portraits, 28 posters by graphic artists and 23 paintings, sculptures, ceramic and woodblock prints by contemporary artists and will be on view from July 10 to September 16, 2012 at the Ground Floor of the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

The friendship month also welcomes the return of the Japanese acoustic duo, Aki & Kuniko for a series of concerts.  The concerts will be held on 13 July (Friday), 6:30 p.m. at the Abelardo Hall at the UP College of Music, Diliman, Quezon City; 14 July (Saturday), 7:00 p.m. at the Conspiracy Garden Café in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City; 16 July (Thursday), 6:00 p.m. at the University of the Cordilleras Theater in Baguio City; 20 July (Friday), 8:45 p.m. at the Jazz n’ bluz Bar and Restaurant in Cebu City; and, on 21 July (Saturday), 4:00 p.m. at the Activity Center, Ayala Center in Cebu.

Other events for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are:  the 2012 JPOP Anime Singing Contest and Mini-Cosplay Contest, Le Velvets Concert and the Anime Film Showing which will all be held at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) on July 21-22, 2012.   All events are open to the public free of charge.  For inquiries and details, please contact the JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at www.jfmo.org.ph

Philippines-Japan Friendship Month 2012

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July 4, 2012 · 8:24 am

Another night of exquisite music with Aki & Kuniko

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM), in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, UP College of Music, University of the Cordilleras, Jazz n’ bluz Bar and Restaurant and Ayala Center Cebu is pleased to announce the return of one of Japan’s best guitar and koto duo, Aki & Kuniko this July for a series of shows to celebrate the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.

Formed in 2002, Aki & Kuniko has come to be known for its originality and musical sophistication. The music produced by Hiroaki Sasaki and Kuniko Obina has had unmatched impact, bringing the listener into an extraordinary world.  The two string instruments play against each other furiously in one moment, and change to delicate heartrending murmurs in the next.  Their melody reminds us of what modern man has begun to forget.

The Aki & Kuniko concerts will be held on 13 July (Friday), 6:30 p.m. at the Abelardo Hall at the UP College of Music, Diliman, Quezon City; 14 July (Saturday), 9:00 p.m. at the Conspiracy Garden Café in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City; 16 July (Thursday), 6:00 p.m. at the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City; 20 July (Friday), 8:45 p.m. at the Jazz n’ bluz Bar and Restaurant in Cebu City; and, on 21 July (Saturday), 4:00 p.m. at the Ayala Center in Cebu.

Other events for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are:  2012 Eiga Sai, Japanese Film Festival which will be held from July 5 until August 21 in Manila, Davao and Cebu; the exhibit Sharaku Interpreted by Japan’s Contemporary Artist, a traveling exhibit featuring works of contemporary artists inspired by Toshusai Sharaku, the foremost master of ukiyo-e prints and reproductions of Sharaku bust portraits which will be on view at the Ground Floor of the Ayala Museum in Makati from July 10 to September 9, 2012; the 2012 JPOP Anime Singing Contest and Mini-Cosplay Contest, Le Velvets Concert and the Anime Film Showing which will all be held at the SM Mall of Asia on July 21-22, 2012.   All events are open to the public free of charge.  For inquiries and details, please contact the JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at www.jfmo.org.ph .

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Kirié: Japanese Paper Cutting Art

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Temples and Hydrangea (Kyoto) by Shu Kubo

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) is bringing another fascinating traditional Japanese art workshop to Manila this May.  Kirié is the traditional Japanese paper cutting art of depicting scenery, plants and animals by cutting paper precisely and skillfully with a knife.  The Kirie Paper Cutting Art Workshop by Mr. Shu Kubo will be held on May 25 (Friday) from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and on May 26 (Saturday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Japan Foundation Manila.

Shu Kubo was born in Japan in 1951 and is presently active as a kirié artist.  His bold, graceful and subtle technique was highly acclaimed both domestically and internationally and some of his works have had the honor of being produced as design for the national new year cards and postage stamps.  His artwork led to the Department of Cultural Affairs of Japan to appoint Shu Kubo as the “Cultural Ambassador” in 2009. Since then he has been actively representing Japanese culture across the world.

To complement the workshop, an exhibition of Mr. Kubo’s kirie works will be showcased at the JFM office from May 21 to June 30, 2012.  Among the sixteen (16) works included are Sunflowers and Tram, Beautiful Street of Whitewashed Wall and Temple and Hydrangea.

For inquiries regarding workshop application and fees, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at telephone numbers 811 6155 to 58, fax number 811 6153 or email@jfmo.org.ph.  Or visit www.jfmo.org.ph.

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Japanese Trio brings “Sound Fusion” to Manila

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) is bringing once again to Manilaa different kind of musical show featuring the Japanese trio, Trinity on November 16 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza, MakatiCity.

A number of inspiring joint improvisation and collaboration performances with Kei Wada and Miki Maruta led Chikudo Takahashi — the last apprentice of renowned master Chikuzan Takahashi, who established and spread the solo playing style of Tsugaru shamisen (traditional Japanese music instrument) — into forming the trio “Trinity” in 2006.  Experienced percussionist Wada enjoys collaboration work with artists from various musical genres, while also engaging in the direction and production of play accompaniments. Well-established Koto player Maruta handles a broad range of different music, from classical to contemporary, while Takahashi collaborates with a wide range of musicians, and boasts a reputation as a talented Tsugaru shamisen,Okinawasanshin and kokyu (Chinese fiddle) performer.

From Tsugaru folk songs, Asian and European music to the Beatles’ classics, Trinity’s new and uniquely arranged musical performance will surely be another treat for music aficionados.

“Sound Fusion” will also feature Japanese singer, Taiko Matsumuto and Filipino group, Bandang Malaya.

A mini concert will also be held on November 17 (Thursday), 4:00 pm at the William Shaw Theater in De La Salle University – Manila.

The event is free admission.  For inquiries and reservations, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manilathrough telephone numbers 811~6155 to 58, or email@jfmo.org.ph, or visit the website at http://www.jfmo.org.ph.

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The Art of Japanese Comics

The Japan Foundation and the Ayala Museum in cooperation with the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in Japan, will bring to Manila the traveling exhibition, “Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today”.

It is widely known that Japanese manga and anime are attracting global attention today as the leading media of Japanese visual culture. Starting from manga comics by Osamu Tezuka, the master cartoonist of postwar Japan, this country’s manga has established a distinctive style that is different from American comics or French bande dessinée. Once depreciated as children’s amusement or a subculture, the public perception of these media has been changed considerably in recent years. Japanese manga and anime are now regarded as the main culture as the soft power that represents Japan today.

The exhibition which will be on view from August 16 (Tuesday) to October 2 (Sunday) at the Ground Floor Gallery and at the Glass Lane and Luna and Amorsolo Rooms at the Third Floor of the Ayala Museum will showcase nine manga artists and their works including Ninomiya Tomoko (Nodame Cantabile); Harold Sakuishi (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad); Asano Inio (Solanin);  Anno Moyoco (Sugar Sugar Rune ); Igarashi Daisuke (Children of the Sea); Kuramochi Fusako (Five Minutes from the Station); Kyo Machiko (Sennen-Gaho); Matsumoto Taiyo (No. 5); and Wakaki Tamiki (The World God Only Knows). During the exhibition run, other activities including lectures and workshops will be conducted.

From its first exhibit in Art Tower Mito, Japan, the exhibition has traveled to Artsonje Center in Seoul, South Korea and to the Vietnam Fine Art Museum in Hanoi, Vietnam where it has received considerable acclaim.

Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Manga Today is presented by Ayala Foundation and the Japan Foundation; additional support is provided by Lyric Piano and Organ, Acer and Via Mare.

For inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at telephone numbers 811.6155 to 58 or visit www.jfmo.org.ph.

Ayala Museum is located at Makati Avenue corner de la Rosa St. Greenbelt Park, Makati City.   The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10:00 am to 7:00 pm).  For more information, please call Ayala Museum at telephone numbers 757.7117 to 21 or visit www.ayalamuseum.org.

 

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a different kind of acoustic

What happens when an exceptional acoustic guitarist and a gifted Koto (traditional Japanese 13-stringed instrument) player get together for a musical collaboration? Music fans get treated to an original, seamless and sophisticated acoustic sound from acclaimed instrumental duo Aki & Kuniko.

To celebrate the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July, Japan Foundation, Manila and the Embassy of Japan, bring the two artists to the country for some rare, special performances. On July 20 (Wednesday), a free concert will be held at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati at 7:30 pm. The following day, on July 21 (Thursday), Aki & Kuniko will conduct a workshop at the College of Music in UP Diliman, followed by a performance at Conspiracy Garden Bar along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City at 9 pm.

Formed back in 2002, Aki & Kuniko has brought their unique world sound all over Japan and around the globe, from Europe to the United States, including on the main stage of “Open Strings,” the world’s largest acoustic music festival held in Germany. They have released two albums, HA-AKI & KUNIKO in 2003 on the German label Acoustic Music Records and Over The Top back in 2006.

 

Acclaimed by music critics, they have been described to “create an innovative musical partnership” and to have “original, genre defying work.” Listening to how Aki & Kuniko skillfully blend the notes from their two string instruments, seamlessly going from forceful to delicate to melodic, one can understand all the positive reviews. Watch them live for yourself on the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.

Other activities in the event are the 2011 Eiga Sai, which will screen several acclaimed Japanese movies in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao; and the traveling exhibit, “Japan: Kingdom of Characters,” which will showcase many manga and anime characters at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. All events are open to the public. For inquiries and more information, please contact JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at http://www.jfmo.org.ph.

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for anime and manga fans

Among the many colorful elements that make up Japan’s popular culture, anime and manga are two of the most celebrated not only among the Japanese. With the immense popularity of Japan’s many animated works and comics extending to a worldwide audience, the Japan Foundation, Manila, together with the Embassy of Japan, celebrates the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July with the traveling exhibition, “Japan: Kingdom of Characters”.

The exhibit, to start on July 7 (Thursday) at the Tall Galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, focuses on the characters that fill the world of anime and manga and how they have come to permeate into the daily landscape of Japanese life. Beyond Akihabara and Harajuku, ground zeroes for anime and manga geekery in Tokyo, one can find the characters even on bank passbooks and train passes, in supermarkets and vending machines. “Japan: Kingdom of Characters” gives Philippine anime and manga fans a chance to closely examine the cultural and historical background behind the Japanese love of characters and the future of characters in contemporary Japan.

Divided into three sections, the first part of the exhibit examines the changes in Japanese society from the 1950’s (when Astro Boy made his manga debut) to the present and the characters that have emerged in each decade—from the classic geek favorites Ultraman, Masked Rider and Mobile Suit Gundam to more recent beloved children characters Chibi Maruko Chan, Pokemon and Tamagotchi, among many others.

The second section showcases the bond the Japanese have with characters from a faithful reproduction of a high-school girl’s room completely filled with Hello Kitty. A final section, dubbed “The Future of Characters,” looks at the emerging forms of characters. It also gives a glimpse on some of the factors that play a vital role in their future development, such as the rise of new Internet and computer software and the prevalence of anime-based cosplay.

“We hope that through this exhibition, the viewer might come to better understand the close and extremely futuristic relationship that the Japanese people have with characters,” says Aihara Hiroyuki, President of Character Research Institute Co., Ltd in Japan.

Other activities included in the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are the 2011 Eiga Sai, which will screen several acclaimed Japanese movies in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao; and a free concert and workshop featuring Japanese acoustic instrumentalists Aki & Kuniko in the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza, Makati City, College of Music in UP Diliman and at the Conspiracy Garden Bar in Quezon City.

For inquiries and more information on the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month activities, please contact JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at http://www.jfmo.org.ph.

The exhibition is organized with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and supported by Toshiba (Philippines) Inc.

Japan: Kingdom of Characters is open to the public on July 8 and will run until August 20 at the Tall Galleries. The Met Museum is located at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila. Museum hours are from Monday to Saturday, 9am – 6pm.  For inquiries, call 523-0613 or mail info@metmuseum.ph. Visit us www.metmuseum.ph and at www.facebook.com/met.museum.manila .

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