Literally translated, “Kurofune” means “black ship”. The Japanese also associate this term with a historic event: in the mid-19th century, black-tarred US ships arrived in Japan, opening up new cultures and impressions for the Japanese who had been living in complete isolation since 1630 . The situation is similar for the jazz band Kurofune which will be appearing at this year’s Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW.
Although the Japanese community in Düsseldorf is the third-largest in Europe, and Japanese culture is not entirely unknown given that this will be the 18th festival of its kind, the music that this band performs could well be new to many listeners. Kurofune’s jazz-influenced music combines traditional art from two different regions of Japan: the tsugaru shamisen on the one hand – a three-stringed long-necked lute from northern Japan – and the traditional “Shima-uta” singing style from the Amami Islands in southern Japan. The concert will take place at 21:40 on the main stage on Burgplatz. The overall programme starts at 12:30 with the official welcome speech. This will be followed by various musical numbers ranging from choral singing by the Japanese kindergarten to koto playing and drumming. Apart from music, further insights into Japan’s diversity will be provided by dance, sport, food and various activities for visitors. The Rhine embankment promenade and Reuterkaserne will be lined with around 90 demonstration, exhibition and sales stalls offering sushi, green tea products, dorayaki (baked confectionery), cosplay accessories, tabi socks (socks with a separated big toe which are usually worn with sandals), Japanese tableware and antiques and much more.
Those who wish to actively immerse themselves in Japanese culture will be able to try on a kimono, get a calligraphy lesson, or take a taster language course. There will also be manga, karaoke, cosplay fashion show and tabi sock competitions for which the prizes include flights to Japan.
Johannes-Rau-Platz and the field in front of the Landtag (state parliament) will be dominated by sport. This area will provide the setting for the street soccer tournament, the martial arts displays and Japanese archery. The Takeda samurai group will also be setting up its military camp here.
Japan Day ends with a spectacular display of fireworks specially imported from Japan, which will be ignited at around 23:00. The theme this year is “Journey to Japan” and depicts the country’s special features. The first scene depicts Japanese festivals and will be accompanied by the sounds of drums and flutes. Manga and video games represent Japanese popular culture; in the second scene, their heroes will be painted on the sky. The show continues with ancient traditions such as the spiritual “place of power” whose positive energy should be transferred to visitors in the third part of the display. Moving on, food plays a major role in Japan, so sushi, baked eggs and a whole octopus are part of any trip to Japan. The grand finale will be provided by the cherry blossom – probably Japan’s best-known symbol – which will unfurl in golden glory against the midnight sky.
Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW is jointly organised by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state capital Düsseldorf and Düsseldorf’s Japanese community. It is the biggest festival of its kind in Europe and more than 600,000 visitors from Germany and the neighbouring countries are expected to attend.
for more information:http://www.japantag-duesseldorf-nrw.de