If you have walked around Niigata City at all you have probably come across this sign at least a dozen times already:
This is Niigata City`s official logo marking it as a 2015 Culture City of East Asia. From the official site a Culture City of East Asia is described as thus:
“From among the cities in Japan, China, and Korea that are aiming to develop their ties through culture and the arts, one city in each country is chosen, each year and a variety of cultural and artistic events are held.
In this way mutual understanding within East Asia can be deepened, and the ability to internationally promote the diverse culture of the region is strengthened.
In addition, the cities chosen as Culture Cities of East Asia also aim to use the implementation of the project as an opportunity on a continuous basis by taking advantage of their distinguishing cultural characteristics in order to promote culture, the arts, creative industries, and tourism.”
As such a huge range of exhibitions and events have been held and there are more to come through the end of the year. On the English version of their website you can learn more about Niigata as a Culture City of East Asia, as well and search through their events.
Regrettably, not all of the events have an English translation, and those that do still have some of the important event details written in Japanese. I will do my best to include on this blog some of the larger and more interesting events. Those will be in upcoming posts as well as linked here once they come into existence.
All of the events feature the arts in their various forms ranging from different types of traditional dancing, sculptures, light shows, symposiums, exhibitions, etc. and more often than not feature the talents of those from Korea and China as well (this is all about cultural exchange after all!).
The events are divided into two different types- “Events” and “Friendship Events” and difference is in who was a part of the planning. “Events” are planned by and otherwise involve big names in the Cultural Fine Arts world and are all in all large scale events. The mayor himself makes appearances at the receptions of a number of these. That being said, “Friendship Events” are projects, exhibitions and events that are privately planned, and privately run.
A quick list of events up-coming are as follows (with link to official page):
Etc etc etc!! Go to the official site to learn about more! There are literally dozens more events listed that I haven`t even begun to mention here!